Kentucky State University rededicates the Rufus B. Atwood Agricultural Research Center
Kentucky State University rededicated the Rufus B. Atwood Agricultural Research Center with federal, state and local officials on hand, as well as members of the Kentucky State University Board of Regents and other distinguished guests.
The building, which was previously used as a cafeteria and later for research, has been renovated with help from a $7.5 million USDA facility grant program that was included in the most recently passed Farm Bill. The renovations include modern classrooms, labs, offices and ample seating for studying areas, as well as designated study rooms.
“Today, as Kentucky State University rededicates the Rufus B. Atwood Agricultural Research Center, we would like to thank United States Congressman Andy Barr for his continuous support of Kentucky State University and its land-grant mission,” President M. Christopher Brown II said. “We would also like to thank Senior Advisor Rocky Adkins, Representative Derrick Graham, Franklin County Judge/Executive Huston Wells for their continued support. This state-of-the-art agricultural research center will increase Kentucky State’s capacity for innovative teaching, research and service opportunities for our faculty and students, contributing greatly to the economy of the Commonwealth and the United States.”
Barr said with this investment, Kentucky State is contributing materially to American competitiveness.
“With this investment, Kentucky State is creating unbelievable opportunities for students and contributing to the important mission of making America more competitive,” Barr said.
Dr. Elaine Farris, Kentucky State University Board of Regents Chair, was in attendance for the historic occasion.
“This renovation represents more than just the state-of-the-art classrooms and teaching laboratories for the College of Agriculture, Communities, and the Sciences,” Farris said. “It represents the hope of our future and unlimited opportunities for our faculty, and most importantly, our students.”
Rocky Adkins, senior advisor to Kentucky Governor Andy Besehear, was also in attendance.
“This is a big day for the Commonwealth of Kentucky,” Adkins said. “What an opportunity for faculty and what an unbelievable opportunity for students.”
Dr. Scott Hutchins, USDA deputy undersecretary of research, education and economics, provided a video message for attendees.
“Your innovative scientific research, community-minded Extension programs, with grants funded by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture, have helped keep U.S. agriculture strong and productive,” Hutchins said.
Dr. Ryan Quarles, Kentucky Commissioner of Agriculture, proudly discussed his Kentucky State roots. His mother taught for years at Kentucky State.
“You have my commitment that whenever we have an opportunity to grow together, Kentucky State will come to mind and I’ll think of my mom,” Quarles said.
Representative Derrick Graham, a Kentucky State alumnus, was also in attendance.
“I am forever grateful for the federal funding that made this possible,” Graham said. “At the same time, we can all agree, cannot put a price on what this facility will mean to those who use it. It will pay back its costs many times in decades ahead. I cannot wait to see what work is done here. This is a moment that will define us for generations to come.”
Franklin County Judge/Executive Huston Wells provided a video message.
“This is a proud moment,” Wells said. “These new facilities will provide hands-on training for cutting edge research.”