EMERYVILLE, CALIF. – Clif Bar & Co. announced that it will donate a $1 million endowment to the University of Wisconsin-Madison to further the study and advancement of organic agriculture. The endowment will specifically support the work of Erin Silva, PhD, a professor in the university’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and an expert in organic agricultural research. A faculty matching opportunity endowed by UW-Madison alumni John and Tashia Morgridge will increase the donation to $2 million.
“Public/private collaborations are key to driving innovation in agriculture,” said Kate VandenBosch, Dean of UW-Madison CALS. “Clif Bar’s funding provides the flexibility for a talented and creative teacher like Dr. Silva to expand her work to a wider audience. This generous donation will allow Erin to increase the number of farmers she works with and increase the number of current students who can learn more about organic farming.
Since 2015, Clif Bar has made annual endowment donations to land-grant institutions with the goal of expanding research in organic agriculture. UW-Madison also received the first Clif Bar grant, awarded to focus specifically on breeding organic corn.
Over 80% of the ingredients used in Clif Bar products are organic or certified sustainable, according to the company, and since 2003, Clif Bar has sourced over 1 billion pounds of organic ingredients.
“Clif Bar has been committed to investing in organic for nearly 20 years because we recognize the benefits for people, communities and the planet,” said Sarah Beaubien, senior director of sustainability impact at Cliff Bar. “With agricultural research receiving less than 1% of public funding, this endowment program is intended to fund the best and brightest minds to help advance the organic industry and meet growing consumer demand for food. organic.”