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About & Experience

The 29,000 square-foot Agricultural Learning Center (ALC) will house classrooms, laboratories, exposition and office spaces, and a kitchen. The facility will increase and enhance opportunities for constituencies throughout the region through innovative learning for students, applied research and partnership within the agricultural industry, and creating economic, educational, cultural and social engagement activities related to food and agriculture.

With approximately 11 percent of undergraduate students enrolled in the School of Agricultural Science, the ALC will increase awareness, develop Northwest’s already robust learning experiences and provide resources for students to join the 98 percent of alumni who have graduated and found employment or continued their education within six months of graduating.

ALC Features

  • The Corteva Agriscience Agronomy Laboratory will offer plant science-based teaching and research activities to introduce students to new areas of plant science with a hands-on approach. Student researchers may conduct experiments and procedures that include climate-controlled plant growth experiments, plant tissue culture, metabolic assays, and genetic and transcriptomic analysis.
  • An animal health laboratory will allow students and faculty to collaborate on research projects and provide profession-based learning opportunities for students.
  • A dairy fabrication laboratory will include holding tanks, a clarifier/separator, pasteurizing equipment, a cheese cat and milk bottling equipment. In addition to having capability to process raw milk into finished dairy products, the laboratory is designed to address challenges faced by dairy producers and provide opportunities for individuals to explore the dairy food industry.
  • A meat fabrication laboratory is designed to provide an environment that supports individualized learning and allow students to connect the animal industry with its consumer. Students will receive profession-based learning experience by interacting with state-of-the-art equipment for processing animals and the creation and distribution of marketable consumer-end products.  
  • A certified commercial processing kitchen will offer opportunities to promote innovation in the value-added food arena and initiatives outlined to foster growth of the value-added supply chain in Missouri. Activities will support regional food systems, advance foods for health and enhance commodity utilization. The facility will serve as a regional hub and could collaborate with the University of Missouri Extension and the Small Business and Development Centers. The kitchen will also support the ideas of regional and local foods system supply chains and regional and local foods access.
  • The Wells Bank Small Classroom and The Goppert Foundation Large Classroom will allow for classes to be located at the R.T. Wright farm. A 100-seat large classroom can be divided into two areas, allowing for flexibility and maximum space utilization. A 42-seat small classroom will be equipped with the latest technology to promote collaborative and interactive learning.
  • A Blackford Family Board Room will offer 16 seats equipped with video conferencing capabilities and serve as a hub for events.
  • An expo center and concessions area named the Robert Bolin Family Kitchen will provide an inviting environment for individuals interested in learning about agriculture. It will allow for profession-based learning experiences, provide a setting to host events aimed at educating youth about the agriculture and food industry, and offer a space for the University to host events such as industry meetings, private celebrations and formal dinners. 
  • The Robert and Alice Barmann Family Study Space will provide space for students to gather and collaborate between classes.
  • The Don and Jody Athen Family Lobby is an inviting space that welcomes students and community members alike to the state of the art facility.
  • An AgriVision Equipment Group Outdoor Plaza and Classroom is designed to be used for informal gatherings, advocacy events and instruction in the agriculture and food industry.
  • The Nodaway Valley Bank Gateway to Agriculture entry corridor.

Events

Students, faculty, staff and community members will have opportunities to use the ALC for meetings, activities, and a multitude of agriculture-related events, such as

  • Producer meetings
  • Industry-related activities
  • School field trips
  • Lunch-and-learn events
  • Community events
  • Educational endeavors
    • Youth in agriculture
    • FFA
    • 4-H