Arkansas State University’s College of Agriculture has received $500,000 to expand its laboratory dedicated to livestock research.
The Arkansas Department of Agriculture awarded the $500,000 grant to the college to expand and improve the facility. A-State, along with Williams Baptist University, were the only higher education institutions to receive grants, according to a news release.
A-State received the Arkansas Meat and Poultry Processing Grant Program, and it will place the university on the path to becoming a U.S. Department of Agriculture inspected facility.
“The Arkansas Department of Agriculture looks forward to working with A-State on this impactful project,” Secretary of Agriculture Wes Ward said in a statement. “We know that A-State will help our producers meet consumer demand for locally grown meat products during COVID-19 related disruptions and assist with research to improve skills for our local small producers.”
According to A-State officials, the grant will enable them to improve the laboratory facility to pursue new research opportunities.
“An updated facility provides unique training opportunities for students that are translatable to industry,” Assistant Professor of Animal Science Jerica Rich said. “The grant will open the door to more opportunities for A-State, like the potential to become a USDA inspected meat lab. The updated lab space will promote renewed excitement and creativity, which will set our students apart as they go on to their careers in agriculture and work to improve the industry.”