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Legacy Award Winner - 2011|College of Agriculture and Natural Resources

Donation bolsters college's wildlife-livestock disease research capabilities

Riverbend ranchA Riverside man's donation of the Riverbend Ranch west of Laramie to the UW Foundation will dramatically affect wildlife-livestock disease research in the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources and across the Intermountain region.

In honor of Tim Mellon's donation of the ranch, the college has presented him the Legacy Award. Mellon and other award recipients will be honored during the college's Ag Appreciation Weekend September 9-10.

The college will use the proceeds of the sale to fund the Riverbend Ranch Endowed Chair in Wildlife-Livestock Health.

"The gift is a tremendous opportunity for UW to further the great work our folks are doing in the wildlife-livestock disease area," notes Frank Galey, dean of the college, who also chairs the Wyoming Brucellosis Coordination Team.

The gift's benefits fit nicely with the biosafety level-3 laboratory recently completed at UW. The laboratory will allow research into select agents, including brucellosis.

"I was truly amazed when I looked at this facility," noted UW Trustee President Jim Neiman at the lab's dedication last fall. "The contribution this lab will provide to the state's management of wildlife and to our livestock industry will be second to none."

Mellon's contribution provides a link that was missing in the research capabilities of the university, says Kermit Brown, of Laramie, also on the coordination team and who represents Mellon. "That was the researcher who could bring all the components together."

Melon moved from Texas, where he had been in ranching, to the ranch in 2005. "We were intent on living in a rural area," he says. The family has since moved to Riverside.

"I had already donated a conservation easement to the Wyoming Game and Fish Department," he notes. "It is already protected from development."

One stipulation as part of the donation to the UW Foundation is that it never be divided. "My intent is to keep the land as one entity," says Mellon.

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