Kansas State University’s plan to build and renovate agriculture infrastructure on its Manhattan campus continues to build momentum.
University officials have announced that the Kansas Soybean Commission has pledged $4 million to support the K-State College of Agriculture’s Innovation Centers for grain, food, animal and agronomy research.
The $125 million project was unveiled in early September to improve or build facilities near the current Weber Hall and the property known as the North Farm that contains many of the university’s crop and livestock facilities.
Ernie Minton, dean of K-State’s College of Agriculture and director of K-State Research and Extension, said new facilities will help the university meet emerging demands of agriculture.
“The impact of our innovation centers will resonate across Kansas’ agricultural industry, as the opportunities and challenges we face are increasingly complex,” he said. “Our vision for these facilities is to bring the best minds to the table with different skills and knowledge to collaborate, integrate and develop new solutions and products – and prepare the next-generation workforce needed to move agriculture forward.”
Kansas Soybean Commission chair Ron Ohlde said the university’s plan is a good match for the organization.
“Investing in our state’s land grant university fits right into the (soybean) checkoff’s mission because we are investing in the future of agriculture,” Ohlde said. “Modernizing K-State’s College of Agriculture facilities opens so many opportunities to be competitive in the agricultural industry and increase collaboration among key industry leaders.”
Kaleb Little, CEO and administrator for Kansas Soybean, said building innovative facilities helps to secure K-State’s standing as “a leading agricultural institution.”
“K-State agriculture students are the next generation of industry leaders, and the Kansas Soybean Commission supports investing in facilities to match their level of talent,” he said. “We are proud to join with the other agriculture organizations across the state in supporting these important efforts.”
K-State President Richard Linton has called the university’s infrastructure project “visionary,” saying it will be built specifically to support interdisciplinary science teams from across the College of Agriculture and other colleges.
“We see this (improved) infrastructure being an incubator for a strong pubic-private partnership where industry can work hand-in-hand with K-State researchers to leverage ideas and funding to move forward and develop students of tomorrow,” Linton said.
“This is the vision of a next-generation land grant university.”
More information on K-State’s agricultural infrastructure project and the Kansas Soybean Commission’s support is available online from the KSU Foundation.