The ADM Agricultural Innovation Center officially opened last week at Purdue University. It's a $4.2 million, 27,000 square foot, steel-frame building located near the existing Purdue Ag and Biological Engineering Building. That is an existing structure built many decades ago.
ADM's name is attached to this building because the company donated $1.5 million to help see it to completion. The building is expected to be used by ag engineering students, and also by students in the systems management option. Although both are housed in the Ag Engineering Building, these are two very separate courses of study designed for very different outcomes. The Engineering option is a typical engineering curriculum.
While still challenging, the ag systems management option prepares students to deal with various new systems of equipment, and with putting the pieces of farm systems together. It is not technically an engineering program.
The new structure caps off an eventful year for the Purdue department. In September U.S. World & News Report named Purdue University's Department of Ag and Biological Engineering as the best undergraduate program in this field in the U.S. The graduate program was ranked as the top ABE specialty earlier in the year by the same entity.
The new structure is basically a 21st century playground for students where they can learn about the latest precision farming systems coming out on new equipment. Larger tractors and equipment which did not fit in the old shop that students had access to will greatly enhance their ability to learn about new systems as they come onto the market, or even before they come onto the commercial market. There are classrooms, shop space and a conference room in the new building, educators say. This will allow students to meet with industrial sponsors and potential employers in a much more modern setting.