Fargo, N.D. — State leaders, agriculturalists, and the North Dakota State University campus community gathered for the Peltier Complex groundbreaking and naming ceremony on Friday, Nov. 19, 2021. This state-of-the-art facility will be a hub for agricultural innovation, product development, and advancing research and education that will provide new economic opportunities for North Dakota, the region, and the world.
“One of the great themes of North Dakota is family,” NDSU President Dean L. Bresciani said. “For generations, [the Peltier family] have been connected to our state, to our leading industry, and to NDSU and have been catalytic to the success of all of those.”
The Peltier Complex will bring together researchers, scientists, students, grower groups, and producers from NDSU, the Northern Crops Institute (NCI), and the industry to advance next generation products developed right here in North Dakota. The new facility will house NDSU’s food science, meat science, and cereal science laboratories along with the NCI and the North Dakota Trade Office, creating more opportunities for communication and collaboration between different research groups, industry representatives, and domestic and international customers who buy the region’s agricultural commodities. The building will provide opportunities for researchers to ensure more value is added to agricultural products and better meet consumer needs as the global demand for agricultural commodities continues to grow.
“What we’re celebrating here is landmark, historic, and game changing,” Bresciani said. “This isn’t an NDSU building, this is a state of North Dakota building.”
In 2021, the North Dakota Legislature gave final approval to $70 million appropriations for the completion of the Peltier Complex and authorized an additional $15 million in private fundraising.
“While private philanthropy makes things work at [North Dakota State University], it takes legislative leaders to understand the impact and the importance of the work that goes on here, and it’s not just for NDSU, it’s for the whole state,” Gov. Doug Burgum said. “It’s going to make an impact on the citizens of North Dakota for generations to come.”
Together, this legislative and philanthropic support will provide the largest academic facility space for NDSU students, faculty, and staff to maximize their research and learning for the benefit of farmers, ranchers, and processors in the state and beyond.
“Today is about saying thank you and congratulations,” Sen. John Hoeven said. “It’s amazing to do something this wonderful in terms of generosity and support for the University, but it’s particularly amazing to do it in a way that’s going to have such a profound impact on so many people in so many ways.”
North Dakota Senate Majority Leader Rich Wardner was instrumental in securing funding for the Peltier Complex and said when the facility is built, it will demonstrate “the Legacy Fund at work in North Dakota.” After touring NDSU’s Harris Hall, Wardner was convinced that NDSU needed an updated facility to showcase North Dakota’s agricultural products that would be “the pride not only of North Dakota, but of the United States of America.”
The Peltier family made leadership philanthropic gifts to support the private fundraising portion of the project and is one of the region’s most longstanding supporters of teaching, research, and extension in agriculture.
“What really makes this special is that this is a local company, this is a local family,” State Sen. Ronald Sorvaag said. “They’ve obviously been successful through hard work, and when that opportunity comes along, what they’ve chosen to do is put it back in their community.”
Keith Peltier ’75 said his late father, Joe ’51, was an excellent promoter of ag products and that his family thought the Peltier Complex would be a great place to honor Joe and his life’s work.
“It’s an honor and a pleasure for our family to be part of the legacy that contributed to the ag products development center, promoting and adding value to North Dakota agriculture, and that we can honor my dad by putting his name on the complex,” Keith Peltier, president and general manager of Proseed, said. “The complex will be a showcase in returning value to North Dakota agriculture and an aid in recruitment to those promoting and adding value.”
In addition to the Peltier family, numerous gift commitments were made by several commodity groups, alumni, businesses, and friends of NDSU and the NCI. These gifts were part of NDSU’s $455 million In Our Hands fundraising campaign, scheduled to conclude Dec. 31, 2021.
For decades, agricultural success in North Dakota, the region, and the world has been shaped by research that has grown out of partnerships between NDSU and the NCI. The Peltier Complex will promote further collaboration while being just minutes away from the fields that yield much of the world’s food.
“By bringing NDSU’s cereal science, food science, and meat science programs together with the NCI, we will capitalize on unique synergies between these programs to drive further innovation and add value to agricultural commodities produced in the region,” Greg Lardy, NDSU’s vice president for agricultural affairs, said.
“Forty years ago, the region’s agricultural leaders and North Dakota elected officials had the vision to create the Northern Crops Institute. They knew that crops and crop quality do not stop at state borders. They knew the potential to change how we position this region’s crops on the world stage,” Mark Jirik, NCI director, said. “Once again, North Dakota agricultural leaders and elected officials have had the wisdom and fortitude to continue to move that vision forward. This is about bringing the world to our door.”
The Peltier Complex will allow NDSU researchers to address current challenges and industry needs. Eric Berg, professor of animal sciences, said the new facility will allow NDSU to address problems and opportunities by providing novel services that create lasting partnerships missing in today’s market.
“By having animal and plant sciences located in the same building, there will be meaningful collaborations that will not only enhance product development but address the most pressing issues of our time, such as agricultural sustainability, food security, and food waste,” Berg said. “We can create better feed varieties for livestock and invent more innovative North Dakota food products that excel in nutrition, taste, and palatability.”
Berg added that the Peltier Complex will point NDSU students to career opportunities and the industry to potential employees by offering new learning and research capabilities to the next generation of agriculturalists and scientists who will feed the world.
“As students, we will undoubtedly benefit from the hands-on experience and be empowered by the versatile, interdisciplinary, and collaborative space that awaits us,” Anna Magallanes López, a graduate research assistant and Ph.D. candidate in NDSU’s cereal science program, said. “The Peltier Complex is the state-of-the-art facility we need in order to fulfill future expectations and keep nourishing the people of today and tomorrow.”
The Peltier Complex will be located in the southwest corner of campus. Construction is estimated to begin in the late spring of 2022 and will take approximately 20-24 months to complete.
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