Beverly Hills billionaires give UC Davis $50 million to build agricultural research hub
By DAVID LIPPMAN
12 September 2015
The Beverly Hills billionaire John C. “Jack” and his wife, Susan, both donated $50 million to the UC Davis Agricultural Research Center (ARC) in the form of a loan and a gift of land in the form of a conservation easement.
The donation will build a multi-million dollar research hub that will serve many purposes; in addition to serving as a research and development facility, it will also serve as a venue for lectures, meetings and other community affairs.
The $50 million loan will be drawn down over 30 years to become zero interest, with annual interest payments ranging from zero to $3 million, while the gift of land will become a conservation easement, with annual payments of $50,000.
The property on which the research centre will be built is a large portion of an oil-rich parcel of land belonging to the Kayser family. It comprises an estimated 19,000 acres of farmland that the Kayser family has managed since the 1970s and is estimated to sell at $10-12 million each year.
While the land that the C. & S. Kayser company operates as an oil and gas company is currently under water in the Davis-Kern oil field, a new pipeline system will be connected by 2018 to carry the new oil to East Bay refineries, cutting the cost of transporting the oil.
Because of the high value of this acreage, it is thought that the development of the ARC will be the only opportunity for the family to sell one acre of farmland for more than $50 million, since all other land sold within the next five years is valued in the range of $36 million. The value of the entire 20,000 acre parcel is likely to be around $300 million.
The C. & S. Kayser company has been operating in the California oil and gas field since the 1970s, and the family owns a string of oil and gas wells across the state.
After the California Supreme Court ruled in December that oil and gas companies must compensate