Greetings from NDSU Agriculture!
I’m excited to share that the North Dakota Legislature approved additional funding for North Dakota State University’s Agricultural Products Development Center (APDC) in its 2021 session, bringing the total state funding for the joint APDC and Northern Crops Institute (NCI) facility to $70 million. The Northern Crops Institute is a state agency operating within NDSU. Its mission is to support regional agriculture and value-added processing by conducting educational and technical programs that expand and maintain domestic and international markets for northern grown crops.
The Legislature also authorized up to $15 million of private funding for the project should it materialize. Philanthropic support for the APDC/NCI will be needed to equip and enhance lab spaces and complete the classroom spaces throughout the building. Your gift will help our students learn in state-of-the-art laboratories and classrooms where they will pursue their dreams of careers in the food industry. In addition, your gift will help transform the facility so that our scientists are able to work in 21st-century environments to maximize their research for the benefit of farmers, ranchers, and processors in our region and beyond.
For decades, the partnerships between NDSU, NCI, industry, grower groups, and producers have resulted in industry-leading advances that have fueled agriculture in this region. Agricultural success in North Dakota, the region, and the world has been shaped and, in part, led by the research that has grown out of these dynamic programs. The co-location with NCI will further this synergy.
I cannot overemphasize the role these updated spaces will have in increasing the functionality for researchers. While the APDC will transform the space, named faculty endowments give researchers the resources they need to provide greater opportunities for agriculturalists as the global demand for agricultural commodities continues to grow. Philanthropic support for our faculty ensures NDSU can recruit and retain world-class faculty across the agricultural industry.
Below, you’ll find comments from several stakeholders attesting all the APDC/NCI facility will make possible.
“The work we do in our traditional areas of strength continues, and we look to expand it in other areas to ensure that all crops in this region are represented,” Mark Jirik, Northern Crops Institute director, said. “This new facility will assist in our endeavor to grow feed and food markets both domestically and abroad with the ultimate goal of growing value for our farmers and communities we serve.”
“The APDC will greatly increase our capabilities to teach and conduct research in meat quality and safety,” Rob Maddock, professor of animal sciences, said. “With more space to work on different research projects, and increased room for teaching, we’ll be better able to help meat and livestock producers supply safe and high-quality products to consumers.”
“The APDC will be a hub for innovation,” Eric Berg, professor of animal sciences, said. “We learned so many lessons from COVID relating to food production. People renewed their interest in cooking at home and we need to figure out how to retain that demand and interest in wholesome foods. This facility will be a place where ideas come into fruition.”
“Classrooms and laboratories will be designed to allow for changes in room configuration that will promote group interaction and laboratory safety. Technology will allow students, faculty, and scientists here and from other organizations to interact,” Frank Manthey, professor of plant sciences, said. “The new building will bring researchers involved in basic and applied research together in one facility, which will promote communication, collaboration, and increase synergy among the different research groups. The new facility will also allow for nearly all cereal and food science courses to be taught under one roof — providing students access to equipment and expertise.”
“The Northern Pulse Growers Association is very excited to support the construction of the Ag Products Development Center,” Shannon Berndt, executive director of the Northern Pulse Growers Association, said. “While we have seen a significant increase in market opportunities for pulses, there still remains a significant amount of work to be done regarding quality and utilization. This new facility will not only benefit the pulse industry but the entire agricultural industry by ensuring producers can successfully compete and showcase quality North Dakota products in the global marketplace.”
“Research pays big dividends, especially ag research, and is a great return on your money, but it’s not a short-term return, it’s a long-term return — an investment in the future,” Keith Peltier, president of Proseed, said.