University of Missouri officials plan to make a $6.5 million investment in the Missouri Agricultural Experiment Station, which includes 15 facilities statewide. Among them is the Fisher Delta Research Center in Portageville, which focuses on rice, cotton and irrigation.
The investment will enhance the university’s ability to share next-generation agricultural technologies developed by MU researchers with Missouri’s farmers and ranchers.
“CAFNR’s world-class animal and plant researchers use these centers to translate research from the laboratory and evaluate its impact under real field conditions,” MU Chancellor Alexander Cartwright said. “Because these projects oftentimes include an educational component, our students also use the research centers for essential field studies. Needless to say, these centers are critical to our ability to deliver innovative applications to Missouri’s farmers and ranchers.”
Cartwright, along with other university leaders, made the announcement during the recent Fisher Delta Research Center Field Day Breakfast. The joint investment comes from the University of Missouri System; MU; College of Agriculture, Forestry and Natural Resources; and MU Extension.
The Agricultural Experiment Station operates a system of Agricultural Research Centers across Missouri to meet the regional needs of agricultural producers and natural resource managers. With nearly 14,000 acres, these research and demonstration facilities host more than 35,000 people each year for field days, Extension activities and other community events.
The Agricultural Experiment Station takes research discoveries involving plants, animals and natural resources from the lab to the field. Many recent advances in Missouri agriculture and natural resources can be traced back to the work conducted at the research centers.
The investment complements CAFNR’s newly launched strategic plan, Drive to Distinction, and its focus on Empowering Missourians, in addition to current efforts underway by MU Extension and Engagement to meet agricultural challenges facing rural Missourians.
The immediate impact of new construction and renovation of the research centers stimulates both regional and state economies by hiring construction workers and contractors, equipment suppliers and others to perform on-site improvements.
Agricultural Experiment Station leaders will help determine priority investment areas, such as equipment or facilities, at the network of centers. A new facility currently under construction at the Southwest Research Center in Mount Vernon is one example of the type of project helping to modernize research center infrastructure.
The University of Missouri contributed this article.