The Indiana Corn and Soybean Innovation Center at the Purdue agronomy farm was dedicated Monday, marking the official opening of the first field phenotyping facility in North America. It is a first, and it is an important step in the revolutionizing of agriculture to eventually meet some very important world goals, according to Purdue president Mitch Daniels.
“Agriculture is as high tech as anything we’re doing in the world of the physical sciences or engineering or elsewhere. So this is a great day for Purdue University, but more important we hope it’s a great day in the world’s move to finally conquer poverty, finally conquer hunger.”
As Purdue Dean of the College of Agriculture Jay Akridge explained, there were many contributors to the project, but Indiana farmers through their corn and soybean checkoffs provided the core investment, $4 million total, leading to the naming of the center.
“Nothing could be more appropriate than naming this facility after the farmers in our state. These individuals are ultimately the front line in the global challenge to feed a growing world, and the direct beneficiary of the work that’s going to happen here.”
“This is a legacy project that we believe will help our industry and our farms continue to innovate and lead the world in producing crops,” he told the crowd of roughly 400. “When president Daniels made the announcement that the university was investing in the College of Agriculture and plant sciences, we knew we wanted the Indiana corn checkoff to be a partner in this effort. The opportunity to be at the forefront of this new era, smarter agriculture, supports the mission and vision of corn checkoff, which is to enhance the value of corn for all Indiana farmers.”
“Our investment in not only this facility but also the research endowment started with started with our soybean checkoff dollars truly sets the stage for great things in the future,” he said.
The checkoffs both provided a $1 million endowment for corn and soybean research respectively and $1 million towards equipment or construction of the facility.
What exactly will happen in the center, and what is the perspective of National Corn Growers Association’s Chris Novak? Those questions are answered in part two of the story Wednesday.