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State funds $50M agricultural lab at West Virginia State

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(The Center Square) – West Virginia is sending $50 million to West Virginia State University to build a new agricultural lab.

The lab will house laboratory space for both the school and West Virginia Department of Agriculture.

The lab project funding was approved in Senate Bill 1003 and then signed by Gov. Jim Justice.

“Agriculture is a core piece of our state’s history,” Justice said. “The immense need for a state-of-the-art agricultural lab is something I discussed during my State of the State Address. I’m glad to see this project finally get across the finish line, and I cannot think of a better home than West Virginia State University.”

The building will house both laboratory and classroom space for faculty and students as the school creates a new School of Agriculture, Food, and Natural Resources at the university.

West Virginia State is the only land-grant school in the country without a School of Agriculture.

A 2023 report from the U.S. Department of Education and U.S. Department of Agriculture said that West Virginia State has been underfunded by $852.6 million in the past 34 years alone.

“Both Governor Justice and President Cage have big visions, and it’s no exaggeration to say this state-of-the-art facility will have a positive effect on every single person in this state, as we know a country’s food supply is one of the two ways it provides a safe and free economy,” House Speaker Roger Hanshaw said. “Excellent agricultural research is already taking place at WVSU, as well as a strong partnership with the West Virginia Department of Agriculture, and I’m especially proud that in 2023 the Legislature corrected years of inadequate funding for our 1890 land-grant institution to ensure it will always be able to pull down matching funds to continue its robust transformation and growth.”

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