Agricultural programming at Lethbridge College will benefit from a record-setting $3.1 million gift from a family whose Alberta roots go back to its earliest days as a province, the college announced today.
The planned-giving philanthropic gift from Lloyd and Dorothy Mueller will transform the college’s agricultural programming and shape the future of the agricultural industry in the region, province and beyond, the college says.
The $3.1 million gift will be supplemented with $1.9 million from Lethbridge College to establish the Mueller Program in Irrigation and the Mueller Applied Research Chair in Irrigation Science at Lethbridge College, supporting the college as it moves to focus on data-driven productivity in agriculture.
The college’s president and CEO, Dr. Paula Burns, says that two-thirds of irrigated land in Canada is in Alberta, of which more than 70 per cent is in the Lethbridge region alone. “Thanks to the Muellers’ gift, we are establishing the college’s first fully funded research chair.”
The gift will support the college’s Possibilities are Endless campaign, an effort to raise $25 million from the private sector to support a variety of goals and projects, including emerging priorities such as agriculture. The college has raised more than $20 million of its goal. The Mueller gift is the second major gift to the college this year that will benefit agricultural programming. In June, the college announced the Cor Van Raay Southern Alberta Agribusiness Program in partnership with the University of Lethbridge.
About the Muellers:
The Mueller family has been present in the province since its earliest days. Lloyd Mueller’s father came to southern Alberta from Wisconsin in the early 1900s. Lloyd, one of 10 children born on the farm near Warner, always loved to learn and was largely self-taught. After serving in the Canadian Air Force during World War II, he returned to Lethbridge and became involved in several business ventures, from farming to running a garage to stock trading. He achieved much of his financial success in this last venture. He and Dorothy, who worked in administration at St. Michael’s hospital for 35 years, married in 1954 and lived the rest of their lives in Lethbridge. Lloyd Mueller died in 2009 and Dorothy Mueller died in 2013. Having no children of their own, Lloyd and Dorothy always welcomed their more than 25 nieces and nephews into their home and were ardent supporters of education.