Ground will be broken at Purdue University on Friday (Nov. 6) for two buildings that will equip faculty, staff and students with the latest technology to help them meet increasing need for innovation in animal sciences research and education. A ceremony marking the start of construction of the Hobart and Russell Creighton Hall of Animal Sciences and the Land O’Lakes Center for Experiential Learning will be at 2:30 p.m. EST on the West Lafayette campus site at 270 S. Russell St. at the corner with Harrison Street. The event is open to the public. The buildings, scheduled to open in 2017, are being named in recognition of gifts of $5 million from each company. “These two new facilities will represent an investment in the future of Purdue students to better prepare them for careers in agriculture and the biosciences,” said Alan Mathew, head of Purdue’s Department of Animal Sciences. “The state-of-the-art laboratories and classrooms will foster innovations that will significantly advance our programs that directly serve Indiana stakeholders and the animal industries nationally and globally.” Speaking at the ceremony will be Purdue President Mitch Daniels; Eddie Creighton, chairman of the board of egg producer Creighton Brothers LLC of Warsaw, Indiana, and a second-generation family owner; Chris Policinski, president and CEO of agricultural cooperative Land O’Lakes Inc. of Arden Hills, Minnesota; and Jay Akridge, Glenn W. Sample Dean of Purdue Agriculture.
The buildings will further the efforts of scientists to improve the safety and quality of meat, eggs and milk production; advance livestock efficiency; enhance animal health and wellbeing; and develop biomedical knowledge to help find solutions to human disorders and disease. The nearly 90,000-square-foot Hobart and Russell Creighton Hall of Animal Sciences will be the new home of the Department of Animal Sciences. The three-floor structure will house research laboratories, classrooms designed for interactive and team-based learning, conference rooms for Extension activities, and open spaces to facilitate faculty and student interactions. The Creighton building also will contain offices for all of the department’s faculty and staff, scientists with the U.S. Department of Agriculture-Agricultural Research Service’s Livestock Behavior Unit, and staff of Indiana animal regulatory agencies.
The gift from Creighton Brothers recognizes the valuable resource Purdue’s Department of Animal Sciences has been for the company since its founding in 1925, Creighton said. “There is always a great need to update facilities and stay on the cutting edge of technology if we hope to compete for the best and brightest students,” he said. “With this capital project nearly underway, we’ll continue to be the premiere place for excellence for not only the poultry students of the future but all of animal agriculture.”
The Land O’Lakes Center for Experiential Learning will be about 22,000 square feet of research and teaching space in support of the meat and protein sciences. The adjoining Purina Pavilion will host teaching, Extension, extracurricular and youth-based events on livestock care, handling and evaluation. The facilities will be used by the nearly 700 undergraduates and 70 graduate students who study animal sciences at Purdue. Land O’Lakes, one of the nation’s leading food and agricultural businesses, is a longtime strategic partner of Purdue University and Purdue Agriculture and has a broad-based relationship with the campus. “At Land O’Lakes, we recognize the need for the next generation of talent and support of the work of key universities to develop students engaged in food and agricultural studies,” Policinski said. “This donation represents one portion of our holistic relationship with Purdue University. We look forward to continuing to develop the next generation of talent.”