EMERYVILLE, CA — Organic farming got a boost with the recent announcement from Clif Bar & Co., maker of the popular energy bar LUNA and other health food and drinks, that it plans to raise approximately $10 million dollars for organic farming research.
The company teamed with the 1,800 member organic farming cooperative Organic Valley to create a first-of-its-kind endowed chair at the University of Wisconsin-Madison that will study the development of crop varieties for organic farming. The organizations started with a $1 million investment that was matched by UW graduates John and Tashia Morgridge.
Clif Bar says it plans to raise $10 million from additional partners by 2020 to fund a total of five endowed chairs across the country.
“We can no longer depend on an agricultural system that is reliant on toxic chemicals,” Kevin Cleary, CEO of Clif Bar said in a statement. “We must instead invest in our organic future by spurring innovation and diversifying away from these temporary spray-on solutions. Today’s endowed chair is an important first step toward this goal.”