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April 13, 2022
The North Carolina State University Plant Sciences Building was dedicated on a picture-perfect spring day April 12 with an official ribbon cutting and tours of the soon to be occupied facility in the heat of N.C. State’s Centennial Camps in Raleigh.
Delivering remarks and cutting the ribbon at the dedication were U.S. Department of Agriculture Research Service Administrator Chavonda Jacobs-Young; North Carolina State Senator Phil Berger; North Carolina State University Chancellor Randy Woodson; farmer and Golden Leaf Board Member Lawrence Davenport; N.C. State College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Dean John Dole, N.C. State Plant Sciences Initiative Executive Director Adrian Percy; and N.C. State Department of Agricultural Engineering graduate student Shelly Hunt, who actually cut the ribbon to officially open the building.
The five-story, $160.2 million, 185,000-square-foot building was designed by Flad Architects with construction by DPR Construction. Among the features of the building are rare growth chambers, 25-foot greenhouses that can house any crop and several core labs that can specialize in mass spectrometry, measuring volatiles or chemical compounds that plants use to communicate, and machinery that can quickly sequence not only plants but also microbes and other living organisms on them.
Planning, fundraising and construction for the building began nearly a decade ago. The plant sciences initiative, or PSI, is unique because it will bring together experts from across disciplines to work in a collaborative environment.
“The opening of this building is a significant milestone in the journey of the North Carolina Plant Sciences Initiative, in the history of this college and the life of this university. It will bring together students, faculty, growers, industry partners together to solve the challenges of agriculture and give North Carolina farmers the innovation they need to stay competitive in the marketplace,” said John Dole, interim dean of N.C. State’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.
During the dedication, Adrian Percy, director of the North Carolina Plant Sciences Initiative, announced that Bayer, BASF, Novozymes and SAS will share space and resources with researchers in the new building. He said this unique collaborative model will expedite solutions to stakeholders and there is still room for other companies to come on board.
“This agreement and our interdisciplinary projects represents the PSI’s greatest strength. We bring people together, those people who otherwise might not have worked together. We want them to solve complex issues together,” Percy said.
The dediation ceremony attracted more than 500 agricultural leaders to the Centennnial Campus with 150 more watching the festivities online. The groundbreaking ceremony for the building was Sept. 6, 2019.
The dediation ceremony attracted more than 500 agricultural leaders to the Centennnial Campus with 150 more watching the festivities online.
Associate Editor, Southeast Farm Press
John Hart is associate editor of Southeast Farm Press, responsible for coverage in the Carolinas and Virginia. He is based in Raleigh, N.C.
Prior to joining Southeast Farm Press, John was director of news services for the American Farm Bureau Federation in Washington, D.C. He also has experience as an energy journalist. For nine years, John was the owner, editor and publisher of The Rice World, a monthly publication serving the U.S. rice industry. John also worked in public relations for the USA Rice Council in Houston, Texas and the Cotton Board in Memphis, Tenn. He also has experience as a farm and general assignments reporter for the Monroe, La. News-Star.
John is a native of Lake Charles, La. and is a graduate of the LSU School of Journalism in Baton Rouge. At LSU, he served on the staff of The Daily Reveille.
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