Nebraska Corn Board, UNL partner for $2M presidential chair

The Nebraska Corn Board has made a $2 million commitment to the University of Nebraska Foundation to establish the permanently endowed Nebraska Corn Checkoff Presidential Chair. The endowment will provide annual support to the Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources (IANR) for research and development related to corn demand.

For nearly 30 years, the Nebraska Corn Board and the Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources (IANR) at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln have collaborated on education and research on behalf of 23,000 Nebraska corn farmers and their investment in their corn checkoff. Now, they are partnering to establish the Nebraska Corn Checkoff Presidential Chair.

“This gift from the Nebraska Corn Board is exceptionally exciting, as it will create opportunities to advance corn-based product development at the University of Nebraska,” said Ronnie Green, NU Vice President and IANR Harlan Vice Chancellor. “I can assure you that the future holder of this presidential chair will develop major advancements from this support that will be beneficial for producers and industry leaders in Nebraska and beyond.”

The endowed chair will enable the university to award faculty members with an annual stipend for salary, research and program support. Recipients of the award will be selected based on teaching and research ability, academic promise and accomplishments.

The endowed chair is only the third of its kind at the university, following suit of the Nebraska Wheat Growers Presidential Chair and Nebraska Soybean Board Presidential Chair.

From the Nebraska Corn Board’s investments in students through the Corn Development Utilization and Marketing Board Scholarship and Fellowship Fund, educational projects like the UNL Agricultural Economics Trading Room and the Raising Nebraska exhibit at the State Fair, as well as numerous corn-related research projects, the partnership with UNL has helped the board address its mission of increasing the demand for Nebraska corn and enhancing the profitability of Nebraska’s corn growers.

“But now the corn industry is at a crux, where corn production is outpacing demand, and developing new markets is needed more than ever,” said Tim Scheer, farmer from St. Paul, Neb., and chairman of the Nebraska Corn Board.

“Corn prices are at or below the cost of production following a record crop last year and yet another estimated for this year,” said Scheer. “The timing of the opportunity for the Nebraska Corn Board to partner with the university to support such a distinctive chair is advantageous to develop new uses and create more demand for corn.”

This endowed Presidential Chair will ensure that IANR’s research in this important area of Nebraska’s corn industry exists in perpetuity.

The gift of the endowed chair also supports the University of Nebraska’s current Campaign for Nebraska fundraising initiative, which ends on Dec. 31, 2014, and one of its priorities to increase support for faculty members in an effort to both retain and recruit top faculty.

The Nebraska Corn Board is a self-help program, funded and managed by Nebraska corn farmers. Producers invest in the program at a rate of 1/2 of a cent per bushel of corn sold. Nebraska corn checkoff funds are invested in programs of market development, research, promotion and education.

The University of Nebraska Foundation is an independent, nonprofit organization raising private gifts to support the University of Nebraska for more than 77 years. In 2013, donors provided the university with $236.7 million for scholarships, medical and other research, academic programs, faculty support and facilities. The foundation’s comprehensive fundraising campaign, the Campaign for Nebraska, has raised more than $1.5 billion for the university. For more information, visit

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