State Legislature Approves $50 Million for Construction of new Agricultural Laboratory at West Virginia State University

State Legislature Approves $50 Million for Construction of new
Agricultural Laboratory at West Virginia State University
CHARLESTON, W.Va. – The West Virginia Legislature has approved a $50 million appropriation for the construction of a new state-of-the-art agricultural laboratory to be located at West Virginia State University (WVSU).

The cutting edge facility will house laboratory space for both WVSU and the West Virginia Department of Agriculture. It was first announced by Gov. Jim Justice during his State of the State Address in January and included on the list of appropriations to be considered during the recent legislative special session. It was approved by the State Senate on Sunday and by the House of Delegates on Monday.

“This is another huge win for the people of West Virginia,” Gov. Justice said. “The immense need for a state-of-the-art agricultural lab is a topic I highlighted during my State of the State Address, and I’m glad to see this project finally get across the finish line. Additionally, I cannot think of a better home than West Virginia State University. We all know this is something that will create a huge impact for the agricultural industry and community in the Mountain State for generations to come."

“We are thankful to Gov. Jim Justice, Senate President Craig Blair, and House Speaker Roger Hanshaw for this transformative investment to provide cutting edge research facilities for the state of West Virginia,” said WVSU President Ericke S. Cage. “Agriculture is a tremendous part of our state’s economy and this new facility will play a vital role in educating the workforce of tomorrow while supporting the agricultural research and development that is already underway. I look forward to working with Gov. Jim Justice’s office and State Agriculture Commissioner Kent Leonhardt as we bring this important facility to life.” 

The new facility will provide laboratory and classroom space for WVSU faculty and students while also playing an important role in the creation of a new School of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources at the university. The laboratory will also help build on WVSU’s Agricultural Research portfolio which includes: Aquaculture; Bioenergy and Bioproducts; Environmental Microbiology and Biotechnology; Horticulture and Specialty Crop Production; Urban Forestry; Soil, Water, and Natural Resources Management; Vegetable Genomics and Disease Resistant Plant Breeding; Foodborne Pathogens; Value Added Food Products; Sustainable Food Packaging Technologies; Native Pollinators; and Environmental Engineering and Water Systems Modeling. 

“This new agricultural research laboratory will provide outstanding experiential learning opportunities for our students, faculty, staff and researchers while delivering vital services to the state of West Virginia,” President Cage said. 

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West Virginia State University is a public, land-grant, historically black university, which has evolved into a fully accessible, racially integrated, and multi-generational institution, located in Institute, W.Va. As a “living laboratory of human relations,” the university is a community of students, staff, and faculty committed to academic growth, service, and preservation of the racial and cultural diversity of the institution. Its mission is to meet the higher education and economic development needs of the state and region through innovative teaching and applied research.
- WVSU -
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