Ag Tech Center to be Pioneer Farm "front door"

November 6, 2002

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PLATTEVILLE-Welcoming students, researchers and guests to the Pioneer Farm, the University of Wisconsin-Platteville anticipates breaking ground for a new agriculture technology center this fall.

The 8,800 sq. ft. facility, located immediately south of the current swine center, will house administrative offices, a large classroom, a reception area and a conference room. The classroom will be flexible, allowing it to be set up in a variety of ways for student use, presentations, workshops and outreach activities such as 4-H meetings.

"In many ways the ag tech center will become the central hub and 'front door' of the Pioneer Farm," said Duane Ford, dean of the College of Business, Industry, Life Science and Agriculture. "The primary use of the facility will be for our farm administrative team, students and researchers, but we also anticipate the ag tech center to be the first place people stop when visiting the Pioneer Farm."

The center will also feature a classroom with the latest technology for distance education purposes. The distance education room will have the capabilities to receive and transmit interactive television, electronic conferencing and audio teleconferencing.

"We'll be able to deliver and receive pictures and content from all over the world," Ford said. "And since the distance education room will be at the farm, we'll be able to video things that are actually happening at the farm, at that time."

The cost of the new facility is estimated at $1.6 million. The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources will provide $1 million of funding for the project through a stewardship fund. The remaining $600,000 will be funded through state resources. Once construction of the facility has begun, Ford said completion of the center will take approximately nine months.

"The new agriculture technology center will provide students with a new learning facility featuring state-of-the-art distance education abilities to help bring the Pioneer Farm another step closer to its goal of developing economically feasible and environmentally sound farming practices," Ford said.

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