Canyon family gives their working ranch to West Texas A&M University.

The 1,772 acre ranch will be used by the agriculture department to train students
Published: Sep. 24, 2021 at 6:35 PM CDT
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AMARILLO, Texas (KFDA) - West Texas A&M University (WTAMU) is expanding its footprint. Today the university announced the addition of the Gerdsen Family Centennial Ranch to their land holdings.

The Gerdsen family has been in Canyon for over than 100 years.

“Every family member has a love for this land,” said Lesly Bosch, WT’s assistant vice president for leadership gifts and development.

According to Bosch, the family knew WT would be a great steward of their land.

“To them, they never really owned it. They are just stewards, care takers,” said Bosch. “They know it will live on in perpetuity and really help so many here have hands-on experience and it really is for the purpose of education.”

The addition is part of the rollout of the One West Campaign, which will raise $125 million for the university in the next five years.

WT’s head of the department of agriculture, Dr. Lance Keith says, the land will provide an irreplaceable location for hands-on training.

“Good grass, good fencing, but is also good soil for the production of crops,” said Keith.

Keith adds, they hope to study lack of water and how to conserve resources.

“Water is one of our most important resource and is becoming less and less,” said Keith. “Our job in Higher Ed is to figure out ways to increase production while using less input, with water being one of those.”

The ranch is around two miles from WTAMU Nance Ranch.

The land will be leased from the WT’S Foundation by the university.

The family has also established an endowment to support maintenance and improvement of the ranch.

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