Letter to the Editor: FAARM project needs the help of Legislature

Published 6:58 pm Friday, April 29, 2022

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Did you know the University of Minnesota is working to bring state-of-the-art agriculture and agribusiness facilities to Austin, Minnesota, presenting a great economic and research opportunity?

To make the project a reality, we need the Minnesota Legislature to act and approve the U of M’s $60 million request for this project.

Thanks to a very generous donation of $60 million by the Hormel Foundation, the state legislature has an opportunity to double down on this investment into this overall $220 million project.

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The opportunity is the Future of Advanced Agricultural Research in Minnesota (FAARM) project in Mower County. FAARM will secure Minnesota as a global leader in agribusiness and help retain industry talent here. It is a first-of-its-kind complex that will advance research and innovation at every intersection between people, animals, crops, plants, soil, water, and the environment. It’s also a collaboration with Riverland Community College in Austin and the U of M. Together, they can open opportunities to broaden Minnesota’s agriculture industry, which makes up 30% of Minnesota’s workforce.

As progressive agriculturalists and U of M alumni, we believe FAARM presents a transformational opportunity for Minnesota. It will expand our state’s ability to lead on emerging disciplines in the agriculture industry. It will support existing and emerging researchers, farmers and entrepreneurs. It will be a life-changing economic catalyst. Together, the state of Minnesota, the Hormel Foundation, and the U of M can propel Americans to solve the world’s grandest agricultural challenges.

Pat Duncanson

Partner, Highland Family Farms

B.A. ‘83 CFANS, University of Minnesota

Myah Walker

Director of Quality, Sparboe Farms

B.S. ‘10 CFANS and M.P.H ‘16 School of Public Health, University of Minnesota