Planting a Seed

To last Friday’s groundbreaking ceremony for what will be NC State University’s state-of-the-art Plant Sciences Building, David Lewis brought a seed, likening it to the building. Someday soon, the state representative said, both will bear fruit.

“Nobody knows what the next big thing is that will save and help agriculture, but I can tell you that I am confident that … I know where it will be from,” said Lewis, who is also a farmer. “I have the utmost confidence in this school and its administration. There is no better group of people to take upon this task on behalf of the people of this state.”

The 185,000-square-foot Plant Sciences Building is the cornerstone in a larger initiative aimed at making North Carolina a hub for problem-solving plant sciences innovation. Because of Hurricane Dorian, the groundbreaking was moved from the Centennial Campus construction site to the nearby Hunt Library Auditorium.

Still, the storm didn’t dampen the spirits or keep away more than 400 participants, including North Carolina agricultural leaders, university administrators, students, alumni and agricultural biotechnology company representatives.

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On a stage in front of a big architectural rendering, North Carolina agricultural research station superintendents pose with soil they brought from 18 stations.
Superintendents of North Carolina’s 18 agricultural research stations added soil from their stations to mix with soil from the NC State University Plant Science Building construction site. They were joined on stage by Chancellor Randy Woodson (at podium); Natalie Hummel, assistant director of the North Carolina Agricultural Research Service; and Kaleb Rathbone, research stations division director with the N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services and NC State University
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