Letter: Support boosts a cure; Leaders, community’s hard work made expansion possible

Published 10:31 am Wednesday, June 8, 2016

History again was made with the second major expansion in less than eight years at The Hormel Institute, University of Minnesota. Our research — dedicated to finding new answers to prevent and control cancer — is work we do on behalf of our community and the worldwide community.

It is a time to remember who made the 2016 expansion possible. Most importantly, the hard work and successful achievements of Hormel Foods’ employees and the leadership and support of The Hormel Foundation. Without their achievements and vision for progress to benefit all of us, our research in Austin and our expansion would not be possible.

We also thank our elected officials, especially Governor Mark Dayton, Sens. Dan Sparks and Dave Senjem, and Rep. Jeanne Poppe for working so hard on the bill that led to inclusion in the 2012 bonding bill asked for by Jerry McCarthy, Austin Port Authority Board, Mayor Tom Stiehm and the city of Austin, and John Garry and the Development Corporation of Austin. The new jobs and people that will move to Austin indeed will provide an important economic benefit to our community. We thank our federal congressman, Sens. Amy Klobuchar and Al Franken and Rep. Tim Walz for their continual support and working hard to increase the federal research budget.

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Our appreciation is also extended to Troy Doyle and Smythe Company for the creation of The Hormel Institute’s new logo, KSMQ for securing a congratulations message from Sesame Street, HyVee, as well as local media companies for helping to share the story of our expansion and grand opening.

Our sincere appreciation to Gretchen Ramlo and the great team of volunteers she led who assisted with the Grand Opening and seventh China-US Forum for Frontiers in Cancer Research and fourth Hormel Institute International Cancer Research Conference events. Their willingness to help our many visitors and guests from around the world during June 1-4 was needed and appreciated.

We also thank the leadership of the University of Minnesota and our hardworking research scientists whose lives are dedicated to improving human health. While it is a work of passion, the dedicated team of scientists and our support staff work together to make progress in research and growth of The Hormel Institute possible.

To all who support the cancer research of The Hormel Institute through annual fundraisers or participated in the Live Learning Center campaign — “Thank you” for investing in our work. You all are helping to make a difference in the fight against cancer and following our motto of: “Today’s Research, Tomorrow’s Cures.”

Dr. Zigang Dong

Hormel Institute executive director