Clif Bar & Company Announces $1 Million Endowment for Organic Agriculture Research with University of Wisconsin-Madison

EMERYVILLE, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Today, Clif Bar & Company announced that the University of Wisconsin-Madison was the recipient of a $1 million endowment to support the advancement of organic agriculture through research programs and dedicated awareness raising. As the largest funder of private biological research in the United States, this investment is part of Clif Bar’s commitment to create endowed chairs at land-grant universities and is the second to be awarded to the ‘University of Wisconsin. Since 2003, Clif Bar has purchased over 1 billion pounds of organic ingredients. Today, over 80% of all ingredients in Clif Bar products are organic or certified sustainable.

“Clif Bar has been committed to investing in organic for nearly 20 years because we recognize the benefits for people, communities and the planet,” said Sarah Beaubien, senior director of sustainability impact at Clif. Bar & Company. “With agricultural research receiving less than one percent of public funding, this endowment program is intended to fund the best and brightest minds to help advance the organic industry and meet growing consumer demand for organic food.”

The endowment capitalizes on a “Morgridge Match” opportunity at the university, doubling the donation to $2 million. In fall 2014, UW-Madison alumni John and Tashia Morgridge pledged $100 million to match new donations to endowed faculty at the university.

The new endowment will support the cutting-edge work of Dr. Erin Silva, a renowned organic agriculture expert in the university’s College of Agricultural and Life Sciences. Dr. Silva’s research and outreach efforts focus on improving organic and sustainable cropping systems, with particular emphasis on no-till organic production and cover crops. She also directs the university’s Organic Grain Information and Resource Network (OGRAIN), a comprehensive program aimed at providing educational support to new, transitioning, and experienced organic grain farmers. This investment will enable the creation and long-term support of a network of multi-state researchers to guide organic farmers to become successful providers of small grains and food-grade organic seeds and leaders of thriving rural communities.

“Public/private collaborations are key to driving innovation in agriculture. Funding from Clif Bar provides the flexibility for a talented and creative teacher like Dr. Silva to expand their work to a wider audience,” said Kate VandenBosch, Dean of UW-Madison CALS. “This generous donation will allow Erin to increase the number of farmers she works with and increase the number of current students who can learn more about organic farming.”

In 2015, Clif Bar awarded the first endowment to the University of Wisconsin-Madison focused on organic corn breeding. Since then, the company has provided endowments to support organic grain breeding research at Washington State University (2018) and helped establish the University’s Organic Agriculture Institute. of California (2019).

About Clif Bar & Company

For nearly 30 years, Clif Bar & Company has been manufacturing nutritious, organic foods for the CLIF®, CLIF Kid® and LUNA® brands. Family-owned and employee-owned, Clif Bar is committed to supporting its people, community, planet, brands and business. For more information, please visit, check us out on Facebook, Instagram, Twitterand YouTube.

Lana T. Arthur