PULLMAN, Wash. -- Washington State University will dedicate the new Eggert Family Organic Farm with a free, public ceremony at 3:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 13, at the site of the new facility on the east edge of the Pullman campus off Airport Road.
Speakers will include WSU President Elson S. Floyd and Dan Bernardo, vice president for agriculture and extension. The entire Eggert family will attend.
In April, WSU announced a $5 million investment by alumni and natural foods pioneers Chuck and Louanna Eggert and their family to expand the WSU Organic Farm from 4 acres to nearly 30.
The gift has grown since then. The farm expansion will provide WSU with the largest organic teaching farm on a university campus in the United States.
The couple, who met while attending WSU, have grown Pacific Natural Foods from a small soymilk production company to a global leader in natural food development, sustainable and organic farming and land stewardship that supports farmers and ranchers.
Founded in 1987 in Tualatin, Ore., Pacific Natural Foods offers a wide variety of all natural and organic foods and beverages including soups, broths, non-dairy beverages and pot pies. The company's products are sold throughout the United States and Canada in mainstream grocery and natural food stores.
"This is a game changer for the program," said John Reganold, WSU Regents Professor in soil science and agroecology who leads the university's organic agriculture major. "This investment by the Eggert family greatly expands the opportunities provided by the organic farm and major for students at WSU."
The Eggerts' gift will be counted as part of the university's $1 billion comprehensive fundraising effort, "The Campaign for Washington State University: Because the World Needs Big Ideas."