The Idaho state Board of Education recently approved the University of Idaho's plans to sign a five-year agreement with J.R. Simplot Co. that will keep the cash-strapped Parma agricultural research center open until 2014.

The center, which was founded in 1925, was one of three the university had planned to close to help narrow a budget deficit.

Under the agreement,J.R. Simplot Co. would give the research center in southwestern Idaho $300,000 each year, according to a news release.

In exchange, the university will share facilities with Simplot researchers and allow the company access to up to 50 acres for crop studies and development.

The university's research at the Parma site focuses on production, storage and solving problems related to vegetables, forage, cereals, hop, mint, fruit and seed crops.