Tysons give $5M to UA System for Ag Division.
The Tyson family and Tyson Foods Inc. of Springdale donated $5 million to the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture.
The money will be used to build a $16.3 million research center in Fayetteville that will be called the Don Tyson Center for Agricultural Sciences. The 60,000-SF building will be located on Garland Avenue near the Pauline Whitaker Animal Science Center.
University officials said the research center will help improve the growing and sustainability of crops and farm animals.
"This gift and this facility will advance Arkansas agriculture into the distant future and help our state compete in the very competitive global world of agricultural research for many generations to come," said Mark Cochran, the division's vice president for agriculture. "It's an outstanding legacy of an amazing family and company, and this is by far one of the most historic days in the state's history of agriculture research."
The research center will serve as the headquarters of the division's Agricultural Experiment Station and have a 300-seat meeting room and exhibition hall. The board of trustees for the University of Arkansas System approved the facility in September and hired WER Architects of Little Rock to design and Nabholz Construction of Conway to build the facility.
Groundbreaking is expected later this year.
"The research and other work that will take place in this building and on the farm surrounding it will, I'm sure, be vitally important in helping secure the future of agriculture and agri-business in our state for generations to come," said John Tyson, Don Tyson's son and Tyson Foods' chairman of the board.