The National Agricultural Genotyping Center, located in Fargo, N.D., held its first open house this week to welcome representatives of government and industry to tour the new facility.
The Center will translate scientific discoveries, such as the information from the maize genome project, into solutions for production agriculture, food safety, functional foods, bioenergy and national security.
It brings together the Los Alamos National Laboratory, a premier research institution with a proven track record in developing high-throughput genotyping technology, and the National Corn Growers Association.
During the tour Tuesday, the Center's board of directors established priorities and assigned responsibilities for the coming year.
"This facility is the first of its kind for a farmer-led association, giving growers more influence on research agendas," said Dr. Richard Vierling, director of research at NCGA. "NAGC will help growers increase production and lower costs.
"With so many stakeholders on hand and actively expressing interest, it was apparent to all present that the exciting potential for innovation is enormous and will lead to concrete results that can strengthen the bottom line for U.S. farmers," he said.
Ideas for the Center were first publicized in 2012, when NCGA and Los Alamos said its creation was to ensure high-throughput genotyping is available to everyone.
In 2014, NCGA announced that Fargo would be the building site for the Center, citing expected cooperation with North Dakota State University, North Dakota Corn Growers and the state's congressional delegation.
The same year, the Center also announced it was taking on an additional partner, the Ag Innovation Development Group.
Learn more about the National Agricultural Genotyping Center online.