Russ Mothershead, president and chief executive officer of Midwest Agri-Chemico, Inc., and Midwest Grain and Barge, donated the utility vehicle, to support the University's agriculture program of which he and several of his employees are graduates.
"I am an alumnus, and our companies are agriculturally based in the Cape Girardeau area," Mothershead said. "This is just one way for us to help the University and the agriculture program. The Southeast Department of Agriculture is very important to this region."
The 4-wheel drive utility vehicle with a tilting cargo bed will be used at Southeast's David M. Barton Agriculture Research Center, the Charles J. Nemenick Alternative Agriculture Gardens and the Charles L. Hutson Agriculture Greenhouse to haul materials, feed and fertilizer, said Dr. Mike Aide, chair of Southeast's Department of Agriculture.
He says student growth in the agriculture program is a great joy to the faculty.
"We faculty hope to create a more rewarding, student-oriented program," Aide said.
"The faculty and students are very appreciative of the gift. This helps to enhance the professional working environment for our students in animal science, agronomy and horticulture," Aide said.
The donation from Midwest Agri-Chemico, Inc., is especially beneficial, Aide said, because the needs of the agriculture program are expanding as it is experiencing rapid enrollment growth.