Long-time District Judge, attorney and farmer, Jimmy Don Robinson, donated his 534-acre farm and two homes in Ballard County, known as Eagle Rest Plantation, to the Murray State University Foundation, Inc. to benefit the Hutson School of Agriculture, students, faculty, staff, and regional and state agricultural initiatives. The farm is donated in honor and memory of Judge Robinson and his late wife, Dr. Charlene Robinson, a long-time and well-respected family physician in Ballard County.
“I am very pleased to make this gift to benefit Murray State University. I have enjoyed working with the Murray State officials during the past year as we addressed the details and future of Eagle Rest Plantation. This is a large, historic farm and it means a great deal to me and my family,” said Judge Robinson. “In addition, this gift will benefit Ballard County, regional and state agricultural programs and students for many years to come. It will be exciting to have Murray State’s physical presence in Ballard County as an educational, agricultural and economic development driver.”
“Eagle Rest Plantation is valued at $2.6 million and is one of the largest gifts ever made to benefit the university and our agricultural programs,” said Dr. Bob Jackson, president of the Murray State University Foundation. “I’ve known Judge Robinson for many years, and we are very grateful for his generosity and vision. In addition, this will be a wonderful legacy for Judge and Dr. Robinson as a marker to recognize their lives of public service in Ballard County and the region.”
Eagle Rest Plantation was originally settled by the Scott family around 1845. In 1998, it was recognized by National Cattleman’s Beef Association as one of the oldest cattle ranches in the United States under continuous family ownership. It has been designated as a Kentucky Landmark and Kentucky Sesquicentennial Farm. Since 1978, it has been the home of Judge Jimmy Don Robinson & the late Dr. Charlene Robinson.
“The gift of this historic farm will allow us to expand our research and numerous agricultural initiatives. It will enhance our many agricultural programs and affords a tremendous opportunity for our students, faculty and staff. This is an institution-changing gift and we are extremely appreciative to Judge Robinson as we continue to advance Murray State University’s Hutson School of Agriculture as a national leader in agricultural education and research,” said Dean Tony Brannon.
Murray State University President Bob Davies stated, “I sincerely appreciate the generosity and the foresight of Judge Robinson for his commitment to Murray State University, the Hutson School of Agriculture and the region. This gift will afford our students immense opportunities for scholarship and research, working together with our faculty and staff on research projects and other hands-on educational experiences which make Murray State a leading student-centered university.”
Judge Jimmy Don Robinson will live in his home at Eagle Rest Plantation for his lifetime. Murray State University will begin work on advancing its agricultural programs and initiatives at Eagle Rest Plantation in the months to come.
A celebration of this gift will be held in Ballard County in the weeks ahead. A notice of this event and location will be made very soon and everyone is invited to attend.