An expansion of the Corvallis Western Ag Research Center (WARC) has received another funding boost. Montana State University announced a $50,000 contribution from Northwest Farm Credit Services to the planned remodel of the center northeast of Corvallis.

In a news release, Montana President of Northwest Farm Credit Services, said, "As part of Northwest Farm Credit's stewardship commitment to improve the lives of our customers, communities, and industries we serve, we are investing funds in education and research that will benefit our customers as well as our agriculture industry. Our contribution to the Western Ag Research Center will boost their research efforts and their ability to strengthen Montana's ag sectors. WARC is an excellent resource for farmers and ranchers throughout the state."

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MSU's Kierstin Schmitt reports the money is part of a Montana State University pledge to raise $300,000 in donations to replace the current buildings at the Bitterroot Valley center. The 2021 state legislature already approved $1.2 million to build a new office, labs and education facility.

The new facility will have three labs, a covered loading dock, cold storage areas, new communication tech and research equipment, and new meeting rooms. WARC was opened in 1908 and specializes in horticulture, high-value specialty crops, fruit and vegetables, and research on row and forage crops. They include aspects of small business issues for the agriculture community. Montana State University is responsible for a number of ag research stations throughout the state.

WARC superintendent Dr. Zach Miller said in the MSU news release, "We're incredibly grateful for the support of Northwest Farm Credit Services and all the donors. This project is a critical investment in our work to help Montana farmers and rural communities improve their profits and grow delicious, nutritious fruit and vegetables."

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