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Cargill gives $112,500 for Woodbury County project

By Staff | Mar 31, 2015

grove corner@aol.com

SIOUX CITY – A $112,500 donation from Cargill will guarantee the construction of a new office building for Woodbury County Extension.

In a March 12 ceremony, Extension council members and representatives of Cargill gathered for the transfer of the donation in Singing Hills neighborhood on the southeast edge of Sioux City where the building will be constructed.

The donation will give Cargill’s Sioux City company naming rights for the conference center, seating 100 people, more than tripling the current office capacity in the Southern Hills Mall.

Cargill’s support boosts funding received to a total of $180,000. With the Cargill donation, a total of $130,000 is still to be raised.

The building will provide expanded space for staff and programming, a learning kitchen for food safety and preparation programs, and a teaching garden as explained by Adrienne Jansen, Extension program coordinator.

“People want to learn by doing, to feel, touch and taste,” Jansen said. “Our interested Siouxland residents – including young people – will now have opportunity to experience these things as a part of our future programming.

“Other future new programs in several areas are exciting to all of us in Extension.”

Lane Tabke, Extension council chair; Alan Ralston, council treasurer; and Sherry Gill, Extension’s Region 5 director, echoed Jansen’s vision for Cargill’s support.

Cargill’s Steve Gross, a member of its community involvement team, said Cargill’s donation process started with a suggestion by Ralston, who is also a Cargill employee, and set the ball rolling for a team vote on the grant donation.

It progressed successfully for a $25,000 grant and was subsequently matched by the company’s business unit. That $50,000 donation was matched again by Cargill Global Partnership with a final $12,500 grant from Cargill Ag Horizons accounting for the total $112,500.

“The mission of our Sioux City community involvement team has five objectives: education, health, youth, hunger and the environment,” Gross said. “These same priorities are those of Woodbury County Extension, and we felt the two organizations were a good match,”

Extension programs include 4-H youth development, STEM education, regional foods, the Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program, the ServSafe food safety program for food service industry workers, the Centering on Centers conference for early childhood professionals, and the continuing education component of the Pesticide Safety Education Program.

Ground breaking for the new $1.2 million, 6,600-square-foot complex is expected to take place in April with completion of the expanded facilities by late October .

Extension officials thanked the community for contributions that were and still are being committed to the project.

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