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Your local and regional news for Northeastern Kansas and the surrounding communities, brought to you by the KPR news staff.

As Tax Dollars Dry Up, University Ag Schools Turn to Agribusiness Dollars and Industry Projects

Charles Hurburgh, an agricultural engineering professor at Iowa State University, stands at the site of the Kent Corporation Feed Mill and Grain Science Complex. The complex is expected to be completed in Fall 2022. It will make feed for livestock and train students who want to work in the feed and grain industry. (Photo by Katie Peikes, Harvest Public Media)

From Iowa to Oklahoma to Kansas, universities are working more closely with agribusiness in search of ways to pay for projects where tax dollars have become more scarce. Critics worry that agriculture schools might focus more on industry than the public interest.

Corporate Money Keeps University Ag Schools ‘Relevant,’ and Makes Them Targets of Donor Criticism

(Image by Crysta Henthorne, KCUR)

Large donors can put universities in potentially awkward positions when faculty conclusions conflict with the interests of those benefactors. Data collected by Harvest Public Media and Investigate Midwest show corporations have given at least $170 million to ag colleges in the past decade.


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