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What PSI Supporters Are Saying About Day of Giving

NC State Day of Giving 03.20.24. Our Wolfpack. Our university. Our vision for the future.

As we approach North Carolina State University’s 2024 Day of Giving on Wednesday, March 20, two alumni and a retired staff member who are donors to the N.C. Plant Sciences Initiative shared their thoughts on the initiative and why they chose to be part of the #GivingPack.

Alan Ayers: ‘Giving back is the least I can do.’

“When you have stakeholders, industry, government and the university working together, as they do with the Plant Sciences Initiative, nothing’s impossible. I really see the benefits of what they’re doing now with collaborative research and the Center of Excellence for Regulatory Science in Agriculture, or CERSA, and I would really like to see the PSI and NC State become the go-to university as a productive platform where stakeholders can come and sit down and work through issues collectively.

“I’ll will never be able to pay back NC State for all the things they have given me in the way of academic training for a successful career in the agricultural chemical industry, as well as the great business and personal relations I have with CALS and stakeholders. Giving back is the least I can do.”

Alan Ayers (B.S. Zoology 1974 and Ph. D. Plant Pathology 1985)

Ayers, retired executive from the agricultural chemical and biosciences industry, serves as a board member for both the N.C. Agricultural Foundation and N.C. Agricultural and Life Sciences Research Foundation.

David Peele: ‘Graduate students are the engines of research.’

“The whole concept of PSI is that we should be doing breakthrough agriculture and research and development in agriculture that benefits people. If that knowledge stays in the Plant Sciences Building, I think they need to tear the building down. And what better way can you get the knowledge out? To me, it’s by teaching graduate students who are going to go to other universities, maybe even work in Extension, and be able to help the program.

“Graduate students are the engines of research at the university, and I wanted to provide support to help retain graduate students. I just think it’s the right thing to do.”

David Peele (B.S. Agricultural Engineering 1973 and Ph.D. Crop Science 1994)

Peele a retired farmer, researcher and agribusiness executive also serves as a board member of both the N.C. Agricultural Foundation and N.C. Agricultural and Life Sciences Research Foundation. He’s contributed funds to help build Plant Science Building greenhouses and supported the PSI’s Extension Agent Network.

Stephen Briggs: ‘We want to start the ball rolling.’

“My efforts as the launch director have evolved into wanting to support the funding that’s critical to running the programs. It’s one thing to build the building, and we’re thankful for the General Assembly and the taxpayers, the Golden LEAF Foundation and North Carolina Farm Bureau and everybody who stepped forward and helped us fund the building, but it takes a good size chunk of money to do research and to put on seminars and to attract and retain great faculty.

“So I think that’s where my heart and Vicki’s heart are – we want to start the ball rolling for others to contribute, recognizing that the funding apparatus for research and other activities needs to be an ongoing effort.”

Stephen Briggs, retired launch director of the N.C. PSI