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North Dakota State University proposes $60M research center

October 2, 2018

FARGO, N.D. (AP) — North Dakota State University is proposing a $60 million research facility on its Fargo campus to house the school’s food-related science departments.

The Animal Sciences Department is crafting plans for the proposed Agricultural Products Development Center, which would be the new location for the university’s Meat Lab, the Bismarck Tribune reported.

The Meat Lab conducts research on areas including pre-harvest, food safety and slaughter and processing techniques. Students learn about meat quality and muscle biology in the lab, which is currently situated in the university’s decades-old Shepperd Arena. The facility also offers training for people in the meat industry.

The proposed center would help students gain an advantage in the job market by working at major processing companies, said Greg Lardy, the university’s associate vice president of agricultural affairs.

“It would allow us to do so much more in this area,” said Lardy. “North Dakota is so good about raising these foods, but we need to be better about helping students see opportunities for further value-added activities.”

Students trained at the new facility could return to ranches to implement better selection in their breeding programs, said Lardy. The new facility also may spur entrepreneurs to develop new products, he said.

“We think this facility would also have opportunity for those with ideas for new food products to do consumer sensory testing,” Lardy said. “If they want to test a new recipe, this facility would have the capability of doing so.”

The state Board of Higher Education authorized the university to begin private fundraising of up to $6 million for the center.

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Information from: Bismarck Tribune, http://www.bismarcktribune.com

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