MU receives $2.65 million to fund research in beef production
COLUMBIA – The University of Missouri received a $2.65 million donation Friday to support research into beef genomics and nutrition.
Genomics is the study of genes and their functions.
MU alumni Barry and Marge Slayton donated the money to advance the nutritional health of cattle and the reproduction practices of farmers.
Barry Slayton said this donation will help create healthier beef for the population.
"The fact that we gave the money to research...it can impact the most people in a greater area if something is discovered. It's important," Slayton said.
Slayton said Missouri is usually either second or third in the country for beef cattle production, so the donation will help move the beef industry forward.
"If we can increase the quality of our nutrition, which beef is a good quality protein, that will help the general population in Missouri," Slayton said. "From an agricultural stand point, that also increases the ability to sell beef which helps the farming community, which will over all help the agricultural economy."
Dean of MU College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources Tom Payne said this donation will also help create more food production in Missouri.
"These advancements will result in real-world answers for improving beef production, which will mean real-world economic developments and more food production for hungry populations in our state, nation and world," said Payne.
Slayton said his donation is not a result of recent budget cuts to the University.
The Slaytons began planning the $2.65 million donation two decades ago. The couple have also raised cattle for more than 40 years.