Ted Turner to donate 80,000-acre Nebraska ranch to ecosystem research

Billionaire bison rancher Ted Turner says he’s donating an 80,000-acre ranch in the Nebraska Sandhills to his own non-profit agriculture ecosystem research institute.

In a news release from Turner Enterprises, Nebraska’s largest landowner says he’s launching the Turner Institute of Ecoagriculture, which will work with South Dakota State University to research and develop strategies to conserve ecosystems while raising buffalo and generating income from grazing lands.

Turner is contributing the McGinley Ranch north of Gordon along the Nebraska/South Dakota border.  He owns four other ranches in Nebraska that encompass nearly 500,000 acres and says those properties may be transferred to the Institute in the future.

The release says while the Institute could qualify for property tax exemptions in both states, Turner says the Institute has no intention to apply for the exemption.

The Institute will conduct research in conjunction with land-grant colleges and universities, as well as non-land grant colleges of agriculture and the Center of Excellence for Bison Studies to establish a formal research agreement.  It could include the fiscal and physical sharing of faculty, staff, office and laboratory space, graduate students, teaching and extension, publication, academic and research advisory roles, and field stations for undergraduate and graduate studies.

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