Auburn University will be receiving $43.3 million in federal funds to construct a new U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Agricultural Research Service (ARS) National Soil Dynamics Laboratory as part of the agency’s capital improvement strategy, U.S. Senator Richard Shelby announced Monday.
“I am proud to have secured funding for the new ARS facility in Auburn,” Shelby aid. “The soil lab will serve as an outlet for the USDA to complete research that will improve crop and livestock production for Alabama and the entire nation. I look forward to the work that will result from the partnership between Auburn and the USDA, and I am confident the project will continue to enhance our state’s thriving agriculture industry.”
The $43.3 million in funding for the new ARS National Soil Dynamics Laboratory was provided through the H. J. Res 31: the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2019, the final Fiscal Year 2019 appropriations package signed into law on February 15, 2019. Research done at the facility will focus on improving the productive and sustainable use of soil and water resources for increased crop and livestock production. The funding will allow for relocation and construction of the new facility, which will take the place of the current laboratory at Auburn.
“The new facility will further Auburn’s drive to inspire through life-changing innovation,” said Auburn President Steven Leath. “Auburn will deepen its relationship with the USDA, more opportunities will emerge for our students and faculty and Auburn will be in a better position to solve real-world problems. Once again, Sen. Shelby has proven himself a champion of science and research that improves quality of life and fosters economic opportunity for farmers in Alabama and across the nation. We’re grateful to him for making it happen.”
Agriculture is Alabama’s top revenue producing industry, generating an annual state-wide impact of over $70 billion. With over nine million acres of farmland and more than 48,500 farms, the state is a national leader in food production and a global competitor in the poultry, catfish, timber, cotton, and livestock industries.