The University of Minnesota is planning a $220 million research complex near Austin, Minnesota, to study precision agriculture. The university says the goal is to put the state on the cutting edge of farm and food technology. Plans for the Future of Advanced Agricultural Research Minnesota (FAARM) center includes fields, research and innovation space, and workforce development efforts. “This will expand our vision and scope for the work we already do,” says Brian Buhr, Dean of the College of Food, Agricultural, and Natural Resources. Research at the complex will pursue scientific solutions to adapt and delve into artificial intelligence, robotics, and other technologies alongside a focus on “health intersections between people, animals, crops, plants, soil, water, and the environment.” The project already has a $60 million funding commitment from Hormel Foods and will look for a combination of state, public, and private funds to cover the rest of the cost. Development is expected to take five years.
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