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USDA Rural Development Announces Investment in Soil and Water Research Laboratory
To Help Researchers Reduce Analysis Cost, Improve Productivity, and Complete Laboratory
Submitted by Shinae Young, USDA Rural Development Community Development Specialist
COLUMBIA, Mo., Nov. 9, 2023 – Today, U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development and Missouri State Director Kyle Wilkens announced a $100,000 Rural Business Development grant will be given to the Lee Greenley Jr. Memorial Research Farm. This investment will be used to purchase an ICP (Inductively coupled plasma optical emission spectrometer) with a discrete analyzer for the soil and water testing laboratory at the University of Missouri’s Lee Greenley Jr. Memorial Research Farm.
“The completion of this project ensures that agriculture producers are able to test soil and apply only what is needed thus saving valuable time and money. I am thrilled to be here to celebrate the Lee Greenley Jr. Memorial Research Farm laboratory completion. My team and I are incredibly humbled to share in their successes.” Wilkens said.
A soil and water testing laboratory at the farm is critical for advancing research and education opportunities in northern Missouri that will serve rural communities and enhance economic opportunities in the region. It is environmentally and economically important to test new crop production practices, especially when inputs such as fertilizer are expensive or in shortage. Having a soil and water testing laboratory on-site will reduce the cost of analysis for testing soil and water samples in the region. Reducing the cost of sample analysis will allow for more samples to be tested on-site and increase productivity. Lee Greenley Jr. Memorial Research Farm has several projects that are evaluating runoff water quality as well as subsurface leaching. The ability to test nutrient loss from fields under production helps in developing management practices that have the least impact on our environment and our water resources. Having soil and water testing labs complete with this grant will have a significant impact on the rural community.
Background: Rural Business Development Grants
The Rural Business Development Grant program is designed to provide assistance for rural small businesses. The program is available to rural public entities including, but not limited to, towns, communities, state agencies, authorities, nonprofit organizations, institutions of higher education, federally recognized Tribes, and rural cooperatives (if organized as a private nonprofit corporation). This program is authorized by the Consolidated Farm and Rural Development Act (ConAct). This Rural Business Development grant will mark the completion of the soil and water testing laboratory at the University of Missouri’s Lee Greenley Jr. Memorial Research Farm and help to promote agricultural research and education opportunities in northern Missouri.
Contact USDA Rural Development
Information on programs available through USDA Rural Development is available by visiting www.rd.usda. gov/mo, by calling (573) 876-0976, or by emailing RDMissouri@usda. gov. Stay current by following @RD_Missouri on Twitter.
USDA Rural Development has 25 offices across the state to serve the 2.2 million residents living in rural Missouri. Office locations include a state office in Columbia, along with local offices in Butler, Charleston, Chillicothe, Clinton, Dexter, Eldon, Farmington, Higginsville, Houston, Kennett, Kirksville, Maryville, Mexico, Moberly, Neosho, New London, Poplar Bluff, Richmond, Rolla, Sedalia, Springfield, St. Joseph, Troy, and West Plains.