University of Rhode Island’s New Learning Center Aims to Support Booming Food Industry

In *All, Agricultural Economy, Agricultural Systems by Ag is America

The University of Rhode Island is launching the URI Food Center to keep up with the area’s growing food sector. Growers, researchers, distributors, and consumers are all enthusiastic about Rhode Island’s local foods and are looking for resources to help them continue the market’s growth.

“Rhode Island is the only state in the nation with a director of food strategy, so we’re already ahead of the curve. The timing is perfect for the establishment of this new program, and the University of Rhode Island is the perfect place to host it, said URI President David M. Dooley. “We have the agricultural expertise and the business innovation expertise to help drive Rhode Island’s food economy.”

The university already has acres of agricultural fields they’ve been using for research. Through their new program, URI will be able to expand this area to include laboratory space for testing soil, water, and other elements; a meeting area for convening stakeholders; and office space for URI’s agriculture extension staff.

“We want to focus all of the state’s food assets here at URI, since so many of its resources are already here,” said John Kirby, dean of the URI College of the Environment and Life Sciences, which will administer the initiative. “The Food Center will serve as a portal where stakeholders can have easy access to URI’s agriculture extension professionals, scientists, and business experts, and where our students will have unique opportunities to connect with the industry and get practical experience in the food sector.”

The URI Food Center’s renovations are expected to be completed in about 10 months. Until then, click here to read more about their plans and what this will mean for Rhode Island’s food industry.

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