Officials with the University of Minnesota are optimistic about moving ahead with a state-of-the-art ag teaching and research hub. Brian Buhr is Dean of the College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences (CFANS) and says Mower County is the proposed site for the Future of Advanced Agricultural Research in Minnesota (FAARM) complex:
“As we get that (location) confirmed, that’s kind of go, a no-go point. As that moves along, we’re going to move to a predesign stage.”
Buhr says the public-private partnership aims to put Minnesota at the forefront of emerging food and ag research to help transform how food is produced and how the environment is protected:
“We know that we’ll have swine, turkey, dairy, and beef cattle operations. The land base, that’s a key part and some of those interactions of crop systems. We’re carefully looking for what those characteristics are and identifying that.”
The $250 million project has received a $60 million pledge from the Hormel Foundation and Buhr says the legislation has been introduced in St. Paul requesting matching funds relative to Hormel. Buhr is hopeful construction of the FAARM complex could begin by 2025.