The U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Agricultural Research Service (ARS) and NC State University's College of Agriculture and Life Sciences hosted a groundbreaking ceremony today to celebrate the construction of a new plant research facility. The new facility underscores USDA's commitment to supporting scientific research that addresses agricultural challenges impacting farmers and consumers nationwide.
"This investment in modern scientific infrastructure reflects USDA's commitment to pioneering research and cutting-edge solutions that ensure growers can be more productive, profitable, and resilient," said USDA Chief Scientist and Under Secretary for Research, Education, and Economics Dr. Chavonda Jacobs-Young. "It also underscores the importance of our partnership with NC State to bring state-of-the-art scientific computing to this campus that will help expand the frontier of agricultural science."
This facility will house approximately 30-40 experts from ARS and NC State University who will conduct research on maize, soybean, wheat, cotton, and peanuts. When completed, the 51,296 square-foot, single-story building will feature processing areas, office, and research spaces organized in wings corresponding to their respective crop.
"The impact of agriculture and agribusiness in North Carolina exceeds $100 billion," said NC State University Chancellor Randy Woodson. "We're excited to partner with the USDA's Agricultural Research Service on this facility and its solutions-driven approach for crops that are important economic drivers of the state's economy."
Leaders who spoke during the groundbreaking ceremony included:
- Dr. Chavonda Jacobs-Young, USDA Chief Scientist and Under Secretary for Research, Education and Economics
- Dr. Randy Woodson, Chancellor, NC State University
- Rep. Deborah Ross (D-NC-02)
- Rep. Wiley Nickel (D-NC-13)
- Dr. Simon Liu, ARS Administrator
- Mr. Archie Tucker, ARS Director of Southeast Area
- Dr. Kent Burkey, Plant Physiologist, ARS Plant Science Research Unit
- Dr. Garey Fox, Dean, College of Agriculture and Life Science, NC State University
- Dr. Muquarrab Qureshi, Location Coordinator, USDA-ARS, Raleigh Location