The board of the North Carolina Soybean Producers Association approved a $1 million grant to North Carolina State University College of Agriculture and Life Sciences to develop the Plant Sciences Center Initiative. The new center will be housed on NCSU’s Centennial Campus and will greatly expand the university’s capacity to work on multidisciplinary, collaborative projects for the benefit of soybean farmers and for producers of a variety of row crops, feed grains, horticultural and ornamental crops. According to NCSPA president Bernard Lennon, the proposed plant center is an exciting and timely idea that will greatly improve NCSU’s research facilities and ability to recruit top scientists. The center will have clear benefits to soy growers in the areas of breeding, yield enhancement and feed grain improvement.
The Plant Sciences Center Initiative began in September 2014 with an ongoing fundraising initiative. North Carolina’s commodity organizations are early supporters and project leaders look to a mix of funding from public and private sources to complete the project.