While much has changed in the past couple of months because of the pandemic, one thing that has not changed, for the University of Idaho, the importance of the CAFE project. The Idaho Center for Agriculture, Food and the Environment will focus on research, outreach and education, advancing the sustainability of dairy, livestock and crop production as well as food processing in the Gem State.
U of I College of Ag Dean Michael Parrella said CAFE will have a big impact on farming for the next five decades, at least. He envisions the demonstration farm and the dairy as a location where growers can visit and see the latest Ag research in application.
“To be a sight where growers can visit and can see firsthand what is going on, they can learn about what was done, the success, and then then can take that information and decide whether its going to be something that they can do on their property.”
He noted that connection to research and “the boots on the ground” will make CAFE unlike any other facility in the United States. When looking at the agronomic piece, Parrella said it will allow researchers to focus on regenerative Ag, ensuring resources are used wisely while producing the best commodities available.
“What we’re concerned with, in general, is maintaining the high quality of crops that we currently produce and focusing on the magic valley, and we should be very proud of that quality. I mean we produce incredible milk, we produce incredible potatoes, we produce incredible hops.”
Parrella noted while research will focus on the Idaho Ag economy, he believes research done outside of Jerome will benefits producers up and down the west coast and beyond.
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