With the announcement that the new World Business Center for crop protection and traits for Dow/DuPont will be headquartered in Indianapolis, Indiana State Department of Ag director Ted McKinney gave credit to the work of many in the state, including Purdue University.
Dean of the Purdue College of Agriculture Dr. Jay Akridge is hopeful that their automated plant phenotyping research and education facility under construction now was part of the attraction to Indiana, but there were other factors too.
“The phenotyping facility and the work that’s going to happen there is exciting but we’re right in the middle of hiring 10 new plant biologists in the college and then there’s a new controlled environment, so greenhouse phenotyping facility that we’ll be working on here in the coming months. So hopefully this broad-based investment and our focus, not only in the college but across the campus was something they found helpful. We’ve been trying to work with AgriNovus Indiana and the state department of Ag to position Indiana as a real center for innovation and we believe we’ve got real strengths in crop agriculture. I think as companies make decisions they want to be at places that can bring people and facilities and a broad passion for the area to bear, and hopefully that’s what they found in Indiana.”
Collaboration is often talked about, but is there a better example of farmers, higher education, business and government getting important results through collaboration?
“I’m really biased but in my mind no,” he said. “We have great partners in this state and lines of communication are open and it’s not just talk. You see tangible examples like our Indiana corn and soybean farmers investing $4 million in that phenotyping facility. You see our livestock industry stepping up in a major way to help us put the animal sciences building together. We certainly work to try to be responsive to state and ag business and farm needs in our state. We can always elevate those collaborations, but you’ve got AgriNovus out there helping stitch people together, so to me it’s a really exciting time for agriculture in our state, and this announcement is another piece of that. Having another presence here with this center is in my mind a very important step as we look to the future.”
Edward D. Breen, chairman and chief executive officer of DuPont thanked the leaders of each state for a “highly constructive, cooperative process to achieve the best possible approach that leverages key advantages in each location.”