Senate throws money valley’s way

The Herald Journal
December 21, 2007

The Senate approved a major spending bill late Thursday night, by a vote of 76 to 17, which will fund several projects in Cache Valley.

Sen. Bob Bennett, R-Utah, spearheaded the effort to get the $290 million in allocations for Utah. Millions will come to Utah State University and surrounding projects.

“After months of debate and consideration in the Senate, I am happy to announce that many critical projects in Utah will be funded this coming year,” Bennett said.

The funded projects in Cache Valley include:

Utah State University’s Agriculture Research Center, $5.5 million

This funding will support the planning, design and preliminary stages of construction for a new USU facility that will be used for research, teaching, and services. The building will provide space to enhance collaborative opportunities between USU faculty, USDA and Agriculture Research Service (ARS) researchers.

The planned building will replace the aging agricultural science facilities and provide USU with a state-of-the-art, high-tech facility connected to three different labs on campus.

Jack H. Berryman Institute for Wildlife Damage Management, $1.1 million

The Jack H. Berryman Institute is a collaborative program with Mississippi State University that researches scientifically based solutions for wildlife disease threats and economics in the United States.

Advanced Computation Research and Education System (ACRES), $559,000

These funds will be used for computing equipment and grants for faculty and students. The ACRES system will help integrate high performance computing technologies into agricultural and natural resource programs at USDA.

Research and Education Outreach at the Utah Botanical Center, $670,000

Research will support production of low water-use plants in sustainable home landscapes for high-desert environments.

Bee Biology and Systematics Laboratory, $302,000

The lab conducts pollen research that helps increase crop yields. This funding and research will further explore the current bee shortage and the effects of pollen on crop production.

Predator Ecology Research Station at the Wildlife Research Center, $1 million

This project continues research on large predators of Utah and the Intermountain West, particularly how they affect the livestock industry. The center is located in Millville.

U.S./China Joint Biotechnology Research Programs, $447,000

USU will develop joint research programs in agricultural biotechnology in collaboration with the Chinese Ministry of Science and Technology, Xiamen University and the Northwest Sci-Tech University of Agricultural and Forestry of the People’s Republic of China.

Space Dynamic Laboratory, $376,000

The lab will develop the equipment to transfer National Institute of Standards and Technology data to working calibration sources used for missions.

Pasture and Forage Research, $187,000

This will complete a USU research project, affiliated with the Utah Agricultural Experiment Station, that focuses on the integration of improved forage species and pastures, resulting in a system that can better meet the needs of the livestock industry. Funding will primarily be used to fund graduate and undergraduate student research.

Salinity Control Assessment for Upper Colorado River Basin at USU, $120,000

Funding will help develop a cost-benefit assessment of the economic advantages, efficiency and salinity control measures for the Upper Colorado River Basin. The assessment aims to reduce economic damage to the lower basin users — primarily the agricultural community — with an emphasis on expanding energy development and land use activities in the upper basin.

© 2007 The Herald Journal