WVU Davis College Launches $2.5 Million Fundraising Effort to Boost Agriculture in West Virginia | Today

WVU’s Center for Biological Research, Education and Outreach is one of seven statewide agricultural facilities operated by the Davis College of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Design.
(Photo WVU)

West Virginia University Davis College of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Design relies on a $521,000 donation from a deceased alumnus to provide needed support for its statewide research, education and outreach centers. The donation bolsters a larger $2.5 million fundraising effort that aims to promote and strengthen agriculture in West Virginia.

A recent trust gift created the John D. Anderson, Jr. WVU Agricultural Endowment, which serves the greatest needs of Davis College’s research, education, and outreach centers. John Anderson, Jr. grew up on a farm in Morgantown and graduated from Davis College in 1939, earning a bachelor’s degree in animal and veterinary science.

Davis College, through its USDA-supported Agriculture and Forestry Experiment Station, operates seven farms — known as Research, Education, and Outreach Centers — covering approximately 3,100 acres throughout the state. Three facilities are located in Morgantown near WVU’s main campus; others are located in Hardy, Jefferson, Monroe, and Preston counties.

Operating costs for the seven properties are approximately $875,000 per year. Bolstered by Anderson’s $521,000 donation, College officials are seeking approximately $2 million more to ensure Davis College can properly maintain these facilities to support its teaching, research and outreach efforts. for the coming years. Possible uses of the funds include agricultural education and outreach programs, student support, research activities supported by state-of-the-art equipment, construction, renovation and maintenance.

“Agricultural research, education and outreach are essential to meet the food, housing and clothing needs of a growing population,” Darrell Donahue, Dean of the College, said. “This generous gift from John D. Anderson, Jr. will allow us to do more in these areas: implement more cutting-edge research methods and technologies, provide students with more opportunities for hands-on learning with modern equipment and spending more time interacting with communities. around our state and throughout the region.

Anderson’s children said their father would appreciate how his donation strengthens WVU and its mission to serve the state.

“He had a love of the land on his dairy farm,” his daughter Sonya Westerman said. “His whole youth was an agricultural education. Dad’s father, John D. Anderson, Sr., had the most modern equipment available throughout his childhood, through college and beyond. (H) He knew farming was a tough but enjoyable life and a great way to raise a family, which is why he would be proud to support farming in West Virginia.

After graduating from WVU, John Anderson, Jr. worked for the state Department of Agriculture in Preston County, where he helped farmers obtain loans to purchase land, livestock and the equipment. After serving in World War II, his intention was to start his own farm, but he eventually owned and operated a hardware store in St. Albans for over 50 years.

Dr Harry Anderson, an optometrist at Spencer, said his father was a well-respected businessman with a strong work ethic and commitment to his community. John Anderson, Jr. was also a lifelong mountaineering sports fan and proud WVU alumnus. Before his death, he and his brother, a graduate of the Eberly College of Arts and Sciencesestablished the John and Dick Anderson Scholarship to benefit students pursuing studies at Davis and Eberly Colleges.

Davis College alumni and friends interested in supporting WVU Farms can contact Director of Development Andrew Barnes at 304-293-6962 or [email protected] for more information.

Anderson’s donation was made by the WVU Foundation, the non-profit organization that receives and manages private donations on behalf of the University, in conjunction with WVU Day of Giving. Alumni and friends made more than 5,600 donations totaling $15.5 million to support the University’s fifth giving day on March 9.



Communications Specialist
WVU Foundation
304-554-0217; [email protected]

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