NACOGDOCHES, Texas – A recent donation from Luminant, a subsidiary of Vistra Energy, will assist Stephen F. Austin State University’s College of Forestry and Agriculture in replacing a facility that was destroyed by a November 2018 fire at the Walter C. Todd Agricultural Research Center.
The fire at the Beef Farm did not injure any individuals or animals, and construction of a facility to meet the needs of SFA students majoring in animal science will begin soon. Luminant donated $10,000 to the building replacement project, which has a projected cost of $900,000.
State Rep. Travis Clardy said the donation is a reflection of the emphasis Luminant and its sister company, TXU Energy, place on giving back to the communities they serve.
“I want to thank the folks at Luminant for their generous donation toward rebuilding the Beef Research Center at Stephen F. Austin State University,” Clardy said. “Luminant has been a steadfast partner for years, and with this donation, proves again their dedication to our university and students.”
The Beef Farm is an integral part of the 726-acre research center that provides hands-on experience to SFA students. Since the fire, students have conducted laboratory work in a make-shift facility with temporary pens for the cattle, making record-keeping and animal care more difficult.
“Our animal science faculty members have done a remarkable job adapting to the loss of the Beef Farm facility to fire last year,” said Dr. Hans Williams, dean of the college. “Luminant’s generous contribution will assist us in replacing this critical facility so we can meet our mission of supplying highly trained graduates to an industry vital to the Texas economy.”
The Beef Farm also provides service to local schools and the community through events, tours and high-school agricultural competitions. An estimated 5,300 guests visit the center each year.
“Our students are fortunate to have an opportunity to learn and conduct research in this real-world, hands-on environment,” said Dr. Scott Gordon, SFA president. “The transformational experiences and various public outreach events at the farm are an important part of the outstanding SFA education.”
Friends and alumni who wish to donate funds to aid in the recovery of the facility and its contents may contribute in a variety of ways. To donate online, visit www.sfasu.edu/give. Select "other," specify "Beef Farm" and follow the designated steps to complete the donation.
Checks made payable to the SFA Office of Development may be mailed to P.O. Box 6092-SFA Station, Nacogdoches, Texas, 75962. Please include a note stating the contribution is for the SFA Beef Farm. Donors also may call the SFA Office of Development at (936) 468-5406 to designate a donation to the SFA Beef Farm.
For any inquiries regarding other ways to help, contact Dr. Joey Bray, chair of the SFA Department of Agriculture, or Dr. Erin Brown, professor of animal science, at (936) 468-3705.