Not long ago, Richard Linton, the new president of Kanas State University (K-State), announced ambitious plans for the growth of the K-State College of Agriculture, and the Kansas Soybean Commission wants to make sure it does its part to make those ambitions become a reality.
Linton, just fresh on the job, discussed his vision on August 18 at the Kansas Ag Summit, and I remember thinking to myself, “Wow, I hope this can be accomplished.”
And while the nostalgic alumnus in me wishes places like Weber Hall and Throckmorton Hall could stay just like I remember, that’s not what’s in the best interest of the university or those served by it.
Leader in animal and agronomy sciences
The college recently launched a campaign to build and renovate research, teaching and innovation centers for grain, food, animal and agronomy sciences.
This project is designed to enable the agriculture college to expand its next-generation research, better teach tomorrow’s agricultural leaders and develop and diversify Kansas’ and the world’s food and agricultural economy.
The $125 million project was unveiled a few weeks after Linton, who came to K-State after spending a decade as the dean of North Carolina State University’s College of Agriculture.
That unveiling highlighted plans 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 in a press release that these 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.”
And the Kansas Soybean Commission sees how beneficial this project can be. The commission pledged $4 million to support the K-State College of Agriculture’s Innovation Centers for grain, food, animal and agronomy research.
Kansas Soybean Commission pledges support
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,” Kansas Soybean Commission Chair Ron 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.”
It will be exciting to see how this project develops. I appreciate the university’s leaders for developing this plan, and I appreciate the soybean commission’s commitment to help it come to fruition.