The Darr College of Agriculture has been granted $2 million to build an Agricultural Innovation Hub focused on current technological innovations in the agricultural industry.
President Clif Smart informed Dr. Ken Brown, interim dean of the College, of the grant funds available from the state for university projects focused on innovation in agriculture in August 2022. There was $10 million available with a maximum award of $2 million. Any university in Missouri could submit only one application.
After working diligently with Rachel McGinnis, Ryan Deboef, Dr. John Jasinski, Dr. Jim Hutter, and Dr. Arbindra Rimal, Brown formed a proposal for a facility they named the Agricultural Innovation Hub.
The Hub will allow the College to offer new educational and research opportunities to faculty and students using cutting-edge agricultural technology. In addition, agriculture education majors will learn new, advanced technologies and teach them to high school students.
“We see a need where agriculture changes and is highly technical,” Hutter said. “It will give them [students] a foundation in various technological backgrounds involved in agriculture.”
Students will receive more hands-on technological advancement in education, covering topics such as animal systems, agriculture mechanics, and more.
On Dec. 9, Brown met with President Smart, Deboef, and Dr. Anson Elliott to further discuss raising additional funds for the project.
“Over the long history of agriculture education at Missouri State, we have benefited greatly from the gifts from alumni, donors, businesses, and friends of the College of Agriculture. We look forward to working with these groups to see this project through to completion,” Brown said.
The College looks forward to giving students more opportunities to advance their skills and increase marketability upon graduation. Fundraising efforts to secure the remaining $3 million will begin immediately with hopes to break ground on the facility as soon as possible.