Kansas Wheat Innovation Center Open House set for April 26
Ushering in a new era of investment in wheat research, the Kansas Wheat Commission will proudly host a Ribbon Cutting and Open House of the Kansas Wheat Innovation Center, April 26 in Manhattan. The event begins at 1:30 p.m. and is open to the public.
“We are excited to share the story of how the Kansas Wheat Innovation Center will lead the way in new wheat research that gives Kansas wheat farmers the tools to produce high-yielding, high-quality wheat varieties that will continue to feed the world,” said Rich Randall, chairman of the Kansas Wheat Commission and farmer near Scott City. “The world population is expected to reach 9 billion people by 2050. The KWIC will play a big role in helping U.S. wheat farmers meet the population’s growing demand for food.”
The $10.3 million Kansas Wheat Innovation Center was built by the Kansas Wheat Commission, through the penny-and-a-half Kansas wheat checkoff. It represents the single largest investment by wheat farmers in the nation. The Center was built on land owned by Kansas State University; the Kansas Wheat Commission has a 50-year lease on the property.
“The KWIC fulfills a vision held by generations of Kansas wheat leaders, that Kansas will always be known as ‘The Wheat State,’” said Justin Gilpin, chief executive officer of the Kansas Wheat Commission.
After brief remarks by wheat growers leaders and staff leaders, the official ribbon cutting will be symbolized by cutting an 8-foot-long loaf of bread. Following that, tours of the KWIC will take place. Refreshments will be served.
If you plan on attending, please RSVP at firstname.lastname@example.org , or call 866-75-WHEAT.
Kansas Wheat Innovation Center in focus
Construction on the $10.3 million Kansas Wheat Innovation Center began in October 2011 and the facility was completed in November 2012. Kansas Wheat staff moved in the last week of November 2012.
The KWIC features 35,000 square feet of space, including:
15,000 square feet of research laboratories. This space is currently occupied by Heartland Plant Innovations, where researchers are developing “doubled haploid” wheat lines, which enable pure lines of wheat to be developed quickly, reducing the time needed to create wheat varieties by about 50 percent. The laboratory section features 13 environmentally controlled growth rooms, in which young plants can be grown in a controlled environment. The laboratories include space that can be used by K-State’s Wheat Genetics and Resource Center.
10,000 square feet of greenhouses. Four greenhouse rooms are used to grow out wheat plants in the doubled haploid process. One of the rooms is air-conditioned, allowing for research to occur even in the summer. All four units have automated controls for shade, ventilation and watering. The greenhouse portion of the building includes a “headhouse” in which soil preparation, potting and seed processing occur.
10,000 square feet of offices. The KWIC is home to four tenants: Kansas Wheat (the Kansas Wheat Commission and Kansas Association of Wheat Growers); the Kansas Wheat Alliance, Heartland Plant Innovations and the Kansas Foundation for Agriculture in the Classroom. The office portion features a boardroom, large meeting space/classroom and a test kitchen. There are 17 full-time and seven part-time/student employees working at the KWIC.