Center allows students to deal with real world agriculture issues

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COLUMBIA - The University of Missouri cut the ribbon on Thursday for a center to learn the latest theories of biofuel development, food production and energy processing. 

The Archer Daniels Midland Center for Agriculture Development is the newest addition to the University of Missouri College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources.

On top of using the event as a way to celebrate the opening of the center, it was also a time to discuss problems facing the farming industry and how it affects people's daily lives. 

One topic that students will focus on is the ever changing state of biofuels.

"You look at the pumps today, you've got B5, you've got in some places B20, in some places, even more than that, that fuel is the fuel for the future," said Leon Schumacher, the Department Chair for Ag Systems Management.

Another subject of focus is the growing population which requires a growing food supply. 

"The statistic today is that the population of the world is going to reach 9.2 billion or more by 2050, and the other estimate is that we're going to have to increase the food supply by 70 percent, so our students who are working in agriculture and working through this center are going to be working on ways to help increase that food supply, as well as helping it increase it is the distribution of that food, that's going to be a big issue too," said CAFNR Dean Tom Payne. 

When it comes to actual results, Payne said they will not be immediate.

"I think that it'll be a slower increase. A student graduates from here and goes to work in the industry isn't going to immediately change the price of food for you for example, or the supply of food. It's going to be gradual over time."

Despite the grand opening occurring on Thursday, the construction on the center finished in the summer and students began to use the center at the beginning of the fall semester.

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