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Nov. 1, 2012 Volume 34, No. 11

CAFNR receives $1 million gift for student learning


Center expected to enhance collaborative research

A leading agriculture processor headquartered in Decatur, Ill., has given the MU College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources (CAFNR) a gift of $1 million to support a dedicated laboratory space designed specifically for student experiential learning.

The gift from Archer Daniels Midland Company (ADM) will help finance the ADM Center for Agriculture Development, which will be located in MU’s Agricultural Engineering building. The center is expected to enhance opportunities for experiential learning in the classroom and collaborative research.

“We’re proud of our partnership with ADM and the investment they are making in CAFNR and our students,” said Thomas Payne, vice chancellor and dean of the College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources. 

One student project that will benefit from the ADM gift is Torq-N-Tigers, a club that designs and builds a quarter-scale tractor to participate in the American Society of Agricultural Engineers’ national design and tractor-pull competition. 

The club gives students the opportunity to gain practical experience while developing communication, leadership and teamwork skills.

The new space also will be beneficial for students working on senior capstone projects, which are projects required by the university as part of graduation requirements. These projects are designed and created by students with the aid of faculty. They focus on problem-based learning and are derived from real-world challenges in the industry.

“As the global population continues to grow, the world is looking toward agriculture to create viable, sustainable solutions to some of the world’s most pressing needs, such as an abundant food supply and advanced renewable fuels,” said Michael D’Ambrose, ADM senior vice president for human resources. 

The ADM Center is expected to open in spring 2014.