Letter: Institute poised for future

Published 9:46 am Monday, June 2, 2014

This week, I saw firsthand how the University of Minnesota and this community are working together to solve some of Minnesota’s most pressing challenges. The visit with my fellow U of M Regents was both informative and inspiring.

A Friday tour of The Hormel Institute, University of Minnesota in Austin proved why it’s a cornerstone of the university’s research enterprise. Led by Dr. Zigang Dong and employing some of the world’s leading cancer research scientists, the Institute is poised to continue its more than 70 years of cutting-edge work with an expansion to double its current size beginning this month. By combining resources and strengths with industry and local leaders such as The Hormel Foundation and Austin Port Authority, the Institute is making a difference for people everywhere through accelerating cancer research progress.

This expansion will also provide more commercialization opportunities in Austin and southern Minnesota, something our state will benefit from. I am grateful the state, the city and the business community recognize how important The Hormel Institute is to all Minnesotans.

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On Thursday, we visited the Dairy Education Center in Nicollet County where the U’s College of Veterinary Medicine and Davis Family Dairies have created a unique partnership serving both academic and business missions. Additionally, we explored the 926-acre Southern Research and Outreach Center (SROC) in Waseca — one of six U of M research and outreach centers statewide. Here, research is aimed at finding efficient and effective production practices and developing new technologies that have positive impacts on food production systems, human health, renewable energy and the environment.

The passion and expertise we saw prove what so many at our university already believe: our state has a bright future.

Richard Beeson,

Chairman of the University of Minnesota’s Board of Regents