Endowment Established at Cornell University’s Long Island Extension Center

Jennifer Zurko

An endowment has been established at Cornell Univer-sity’s Long Island Horticultural Research & Extension Center (LIHREC) in Riverhead called the “Founder’s Fund.” This endowment was established by five Long Island greenhouse businesses and is worth approximately $130,000. The interest that’s generated by the fund supports the research and extension programs at the Center. 

An endowment, also called an endowed fund, is a restricted account that’s managed by Cornell University. The principle from this endowment is reserved and protected in perpetuity to allow the account to grow. Only the interest from this endowment can be used and it will be used exclusively for LIHREC.

The Founder’s Fund was established through the generosity of five Long Island greenhouse businesses: Ivy Acres (now called Coastal) Greenhouses, Van de Wetering Greenhouses, Kurt Weiss Greenhouses, Otto Keil Greenhouses, and C.J. Van Bourgondien Greenhouses.

This endowment is only the second ever to be established for the exclusive benefit of the LIHREC. Last year, retired nurseryman Ray Bell established the first-ever endowment for the Center. These two endowments offer the LIHREC a tremendous advantage for its continued success in the future. With the establishment of the new Founder’s Fund, the LIHREC can now receive donations to support the research and extension programs.  

Suffolk County, where the LIHREC is located, is the most diverse county and the leading crop agricultural county in New York based on wholesale value, and has the strongest greenhouse industry in the state of New York. Plant agriculture has always been strong on eastern Long Island and is one of the reasons that the LIHREC will celebrate its 100th anniversary in two years. There are approximately 2,500 acres of wine grapes grown, more than 100 different vegetables produced and more craft beverages made than any other county in New York.

Cornell University has maintained the Long Island campus in the center of New York’s main agriculture region to help the green industry prosper. The LIHREC is the only horticultural research center in the United States that has scientists and professionals in all commodities, as well as cross-commodity specialists in plant pathology, entomology, weed science and plant tissue culture/micropropagation. GT