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UC Davis is set to build a center focused on agricultural innovation and research after Beverly Hills billionaires Lynda and Stewart Resnick gave the university $50 million, the largest donation it has received from individual donors, the school announced Monday.
The $40-million center will work on making crops more resilient and sustainable during climate change, maximizing water and energy efficiencies and expanding access to nutritious food, UC Davis said in a statement. The 40,000-square-foot hub will be known as the Lynda and Stewart Resnick Center for Agricultural Innovation and house classrooms, laboratories, a student career center and an advising support center, according to UC Davis.
The pledge comes from one of California’s largest and most powerful agricultural partners, the Resnicks of the Wonderful Co. The family has led one of the largest farming empires in the country, selling popular supermarket items like Halos mandarin oranges, Pom Wonderful pomegranate juice and Fiji Water.
“Protecting and preserving our planet for the future means we must take bold steps and push the boundaries of what’s possible,” said Stewart Resnick, a member of the UC Davis Chancellor’s Board of Advisors, in a statement. “This gift aims to help our greatest scientific minds to rise to the great challenge of our time — the sustainability of our planet for future generations.”