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Future UK Ag Research Building to bring animal life inside

UK Ag Research Building Groundbreaking 06-14-24
Stu Johnson
UK Ag Research Building Groundbreaking 06-14-24

The future of research at the University of Kentucky when it comes to plant, animal, soil, and farmer issues will change in the years ahead. A ceremonial groundbreaking Friday emphasized that point.

Work is expected to begin soon on the $285 million Agricultural Research Building. The central research hub will serve as home to Animal and Food Sciences; Entomology; Horticulture; and Plant and Soil Sciences. UK Plant and Soil Sciences Department Chair Rebecca McCulley said it will be a unique design.

“So, it’s gonna have a vivarium for active animal works. We’ll actually have livestock in the building for research purposes,” said McCulley.

McCulley said it will also have a similar arrangement for insects plus greenhouses on the roof. Compared to age-related structural challenges in the Ag-North building, UK College of Agriculture Dean Nancy Cox said the new facility will be night and day different with its features. Cox said scientific gains often come indoors before being taken outdoors.

“People think about the College of Agriculture a lot of times as doing research out in the field but we also do a lot of research in the laboratory. We do research on basic mechanisms that it might be ten years before get out into the field,” said Cox.

Rebecca McCulley, meanwhile, said faculty time previously lost on insurance claims, equipment replacement, and disaster abatement can now be spent on writing new grants, mentoring trainees, creating novel ideas and pursing projects with potential to transform Kentucky.

Here's more with UK Plant and Soil Sciences Dept Chair Dr. Rebecca MuCulley:


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Stu has been reporting for WEKU for more than 35 years. His primary beat is Lexington/Fayette government.
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