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Funding started for new research facility at Western Ag Research Center


Last updated 11/17/2021 at 8:53am

From Montana State University

Situated on 29 acres east of Corvallis, the Montana State University Western Agricultural Research Center is investing in new research and educational facilities with the funding approved by the Montana State Legislature this spring and kicking off the fundraising drive with donations from the Advisory Committee.

During the 2021 Montana State Legislature, $1.2 million in funding was approved to build a new office, lab and education facility to replace the current buildings that are outdated, unsafe and undersized. Montana State University has pledged to raise $300,000 in donations from individuals and industry to support the new facilities.

How to successfully grow the best tasting, most nutritious and reliable fruits and vegetables and how to manage pests and diseases on small, local, and organic farms and at home has been the mission for the MSU-WARC for over 108 years. Meanwhile interest in supporting small farms and producers has exploded over the last decade and the demand for this research is expanding also. Research at the center has helped pioneer development of new agricultural opportunities for farmers based on growing high-value, small-acres horticulture crops such as vegetables, grapes, apples and berries. It remains as the state’s only research center focused on horticulture and corresponding vital extension education.

“To ensure success and a return on this investment, fruit and vegetable growers need to know that what they’re planting will be productive and profitable,” MSU-WARC Director Zach Miller said.

MSU-WARC helps growers identify which types of specialty crops can thrive in Montana’s varied climates and how to manage these crops and their pests successfully. The Western Ag Research Center partners with MSU Extension faculty and professors from across MSU and the country meet these find solutions and share them with growers across the region. And, they support current and future farmers build more profitable farm enterprises and healthy rural communities.

“The unique asset of having an MSU Agricultural Research Station right here in western Montana is why we on the advisory board have all joined together to pledge financial support to the fund drive for critical long-term improvements to the station,” said Mike Pflieger, Advisory Committee member and owner of Lakeland Feed and Supply in Hamilton and Dillon. “The station’s focus on high-dollar specialty crops should have everyone in Montana excited to support this effort.”

The advisory committee consists of farmers, ranchers and local residents dedicated to supporting the agricultural industry, both large and small.

Donations checks can be made out to MSU Alumni Foundation and have “93627 — Western Ag Research Center Improvements” written in the notes of the check. The mailing address is MSU Alumni Foundation, PO Box 172750, Bozeman, MT 59717.

The online donation link is https://www.msuaf.org/give-warc.


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