Uni sets up $50m agriculture endowment fund
The University of Adelaide has established a new $50 million endowment fund to support in perpetuity capital works and research in agriculture.
The fund has been set up following the purchase of the remaining 1614 ha of Martindale Farm at Mintaro by a local farmer.
The combination of Martindale Farm (4143ha), Munduney Station at Spalding (7513ha) and Moralana Station, north of Hawker (61,817ha) realised gross proceeds of $55 million, with $3.84 million going to Prince Alfred College as a one-sixth owner of the JS Davies Estate (Moralana and Munduney). Martindale Farm was part of the Mortlock Bequest.
University of Adelaide Vice-President, Services and Resources, Mr Paul Duldig said investing the proceeds of the three properties into a dedicated endowment fund demonstrates the University's firm commitment to research and education in agriculture and animal sciences, in keeping with the wishes of its benefactors.
Funds from the Mortlock Estate will be spent at Waite Campus on general agriculture, in particular supporting research being done within the Plant Accelerator, a multi-million dollar investment which allows new varieties of crops to be tested.
The JS Davies Estate money will be allocated to research into animal production at Roseworthy Campus.
Some funds will also go to support the new equine facility at Roseworthy, to be built as part of the veterinary science course.
"Teaching and research are our business, not operating commercial farms. We have been able to turn these assets into serious investment in the future of agriculture and animal sciences," Mr Duldig said. "This is through expanded infrastructure for research and teaching and increased research capacity at both our Waite and Roseworthy campuses.
"Agriculture remains one of the cornerstones of education and research at the University of Adelaide, and this endowment fund will help us maintain our position among the world's leading researchers in this area, tackling some of the major issues facing the sector."
Mr Duldig said the University was very pleased to be establishing such a major endowment fund. "These properties came to the University through generous bequests and we are delighted that the realisation of these bequests has allowed us to invest so significantly in the future of South Australian agriculture and animal sciences, just as they wished," he said.
Story by Kate Husband