A new Advanced Genetics Research wing, an addition
to ARS's existing laboratory and office building in the southeastern Idaho
community of Aberdeen, will provide much-needed laboratory space for
researchers who develop new and improved potatoes, and "small grains"
such as oats, barley, and wheat.
Groundbreaking Today for High-tech Expansion at USDA
Grain Research Facility
By Marcia Wood
March 30, 2005
ABERDEEN, Idaho, March 30--A
groundbreaking ceremony was held here today for a new high-tech addition to the
U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA)
Small Grains Germplasm Research Facility in Aberdeen, Idaho.
"The new laboratory addition will provide much-needed space for our
scientists and their University
of Idaho counterparts and partners involved in plant genetics and plant
breeding experiments," said Edward B. Knipling, administrator of USDA's
Agricultural Research Service (ARS). ARS is USDA's chief in-house scientific
"These scientists excel in finding plant genes that provide prized
traits, such as superior resistance to disease. Their studies have resulted in
better barleys, more nutritious oats, superior potatoes for baking or
processing, and wheats ideally suited for growing on western farmland,"
The 12,000-square-foot addition will be called the Advanced Genetics
Laboratory. Scheduled for completion in about a year, the $5.1 million addition
will match the exterior design of the main laboratory, which was completed in
1987 and is located within a research compound owned and managed by the
University of Idaho. ARS has a 99-year lease for two acres within the compound.
Scheduled speakers at the event include Senator Larry E. Craig of Idaho;
Rodney Brown, USDA Deputy Under Secretary for
Research, Education and
Economics; and ARS Associate Administrator Antoinette A. Betschart.
In addition to breeding superior potatoes and grain-bearing plants, the ARS
scientists at the lab manage a renowned collection of the world's wheat, rice,
oat, barley, rye, triticale and other grassy plants that collectively are known
as small grains. This unique assortment includes these species' rare and wild
relatives, and safeguards the genetic diversity of these plants.