New Experiential Lab

$1 million gift supports MU student collaboration

Archer Daniels Midland Company (ADM), one of the world’s leading agricultural processors, has given the University of Missouri College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources (CAFNR) a gift of $1 million to support a dedicated laboratory space designed specifically for student experiential learning.

The ADM Center for Agricultural Development, to be located in the Agricultural Engineering building on MU’s east campus, will provide space for valuable student-faculty interactions, enhanced student team learning, and capstone design projects.

“We’re proud of our partnership with ADM and the investment they are making in CAFNR and our students,” said Thomas Payne, vice chancellor and dean of CAFNR. “This gift will enhance opportunities for experiential learning in the classroom and collaborative research. It also will provide dedicated space for capstone projects and competitive student teams. The space will help insure that our students are well trained to move into the industry and make significant contributions upon graduation.”

Torq-N-Tigers’ quarter-scale tractor is used to teach students engineering and communication skills.

One example of a student project that will benefit from the ADM gift is Torq-N-Tigers, a club that designs and builds a quarter-scale tractor to participate in the American Society of Agricultural Engineers’ national design and tractor-pull competition. The club gives students the opportunity to gain practical experience while developing communication, leadership and teamwork skills.

The new space also will be beneficial for students working on senior capstone projects, which are projects required by the university as part of graduation requirements. These projects are designed and created by students with the aid of faculty. They focus on problem-based learning and are derived from real-world challenges in the industry.

“As the global population continues to grow, the world is looking toward agriculture to create viable, sustainable solutions to some of the world’s most pressing needs – like an abundant food supply and advanced renewable fuels,” said Michael D’Ambrose, ADM senior vice president for human resources. “To help our industry meet this challenge, ADM is pleased to invest in the University of Missouri. The ADM Center for Agricultural Development at the University of Missouri will help to develop the next generation of industry leaders.”

CAFNR officials expect the ADM Center for Agricultural Development, which will be renovated from existing laboratory space in the Agricultural Engineering building, will be open for use by the spring of 2014.