Published on 12/17/97

New UGA Laboratory will Focus on Agriculture and the Environment

Governor Zell Miller, University of Georgia President Michael Adams, and other state officials dedicated the new $6 million National Environmentally Sound Production Agriculture Laboratory (NESPAL) on the Tifton Campus of the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences on Friday (Dec. 12).ÿ

"Agriculture is a $38 billion business in Georgia," said Governor Miller. "With the type of research done here and at facilities like this, farmers in Georgia can remain competitive."ÿ

This laboratory, the only one of its kind in the nation, brings together scientists from varying disciplines to find solutions to production agriculture issues.ÿ

These scientists work to find ways to improve agricultural production in ways that are safe for the environment.ÿ

During the dedication ceremony, NESPAL Chairman Craig Kvien said the new laboratory is an experiment in experiments.ÿ

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NEW LABORATORY DEDICATED Georgia officials and University of Georgia leaders cut the ribbon at the National Environmentally Sound Production Agriculture Laboratory in Tifton, Ga. on Friday. "If you ate breakfast or put on cotton clothes today," said Governor Zell Miller, "you need to thank a farmer and the researcher that helped him raise a better crop."ÿ Pictured are, left to right, Michael Adams, UGA President; Gale Buchanan, Dean and Director of the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences; Zell Miller, Governor of Georgia; Tony Smith, farmer; Craig Kvien, NESPAL chairman; Phil Utley, Assistant Dean at the Coastal Plain Experiment Station; and James Blanchard, Chairman of the Board, Georgia Research Alliance. (Photo courtesy the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.) "We're working together here at NESPAL and with scientists from around the globe to find ways to help farmers produce food and fiber for the world," he said.

Cooperative funding from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the Georgia Research Alliance and private and public grants helped pay for the new building.

"So many of the problems facing agriculture and farmers today can't be adequately solved by individual scientists working alone," said Gale Buchanan, dean and director the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.ÿ "We couldn't complete this project alone either. Our partners throughout the state helped make this laboratory a reality."

The 40,000-square-foot NESPAL facility houses 14 offices, 12 laboratories, conference rooms and seminar space. Architects designed the building with the environment in mind. It's nestled into a soil berm and topped by a reflective white roof. Solar collectors heat water for the building, and motion-sensitive and light-sensitive switches control the lighting.