“It not only helps urban North Carolina, but it greatly helps rural North Carolina,” Dean Richard Linton of NC State’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences says in the accompanying video.
“The North Carolina Plant Sciences Initiative is really a way to be able to engage economic growth in rural North Carolina.”
Linton outlines how support for the effort grew from commodity groups to $85 million in bonds that voters approved in the Connect NC bond referendum in March and a $45 million grant from the Golden LEAF Foundation to build the economy in former tobacco-dependent communities.
He also discusses “building a new student” – a student, often from rural North Carolina, who will be exposed to not just one but multiple disciplines and private industry in a world-class facility.
“How can a student not be better-prepared not only to be a contributor in the workforce, but very quickly be a leader in agriculture?” Linton says. “That’s what we’re trying to produce.”