On Friday (Oct. 9) the Purdue University Board of Trustees approved naming the Hall of Animal Sciences and the Center for Experiential Learning - facilities scheduled to open in 2017 - for the Creighton Brothers founders and Land O' Lakes, respectively, in recognition of their gifts.
The Creighton Brothers, a major Indiana egg producer in Kosciusko County, and Land O' Lakes, one of the nation's largest agricultural cooperatives, each gave $5 million toward the new facilities, which will further efforts of Purdue faculty, staff and students to improve the safety and quality of meat, eggs and milk production; advance livestock efficiency; enhance animal health and wellbeing; and develop biomedical knowledge to help combat human disorders and disease.
The Hobart and Russell Creighton Hall of Animal Sciences and the Land O' Lakes Center for Experiential Learning and Purina Pavilion will consolidate the Department of Animal Sciences into a unified complex, fostering greater collaboration among faculty, staff and students in the department and across the university and providing contemporary spaces for teaching, research and Extension activities.
"Purdue's Department of Animal Sciences is uniquely positioned to serve as an independent, research-based resource on food animal production," said university President Mitch Daniels. "These gifts will enhance the abilities of our faculty, staff and students to conduct vital research to boost those systems, reduce food costs, and improve animal wellbeing and human health."
The facilities will be located at the corner of Harrison and Russell streets and are scheduled for completion in October 2017.
A groundbreaking ceremony is planned for Nov. 6.
The nearly 90,000-square-foot Hobart and Russell Creighton Hall of Animal Sciences will serve as the new home of the Department of Animal Sciences. The three-floor structure will house state-of-the-art research laboratories, classrooms designed for interactive and team-based learning, conference rooms for Extension activities, and open collaborative spaces to facilitate faculty and student interactions. It will also contain offices for all of the department's faculty and staff, scientists with the U.S. Department of Agriculture-Agricultural Research Service's Livestock Behavior Unit, and staff of Indiana animal regulatory agencies.
"We are grateful and honored that the Creighton family has chosen to recognize company founders Hobart and Russell Creighton through their investment in this new building," said Jay Akridge, Glenn W. Sample Dean of Purdue Agriculture. "The Hobart and Russell Creighton Hall of Animal Sciences will include facilities that will allow us to provide high-impact instructional spaces for our students to conduct the research needed to help Indiana farmers and the broader industry improve their operations, and to support our Extension and outreach activities to help grow the state’s animal agriculture economy."
The Land O' Lakes Center for Experiential Learning will be an approximately 22,000-square-foot research and teaching space for meat and protein sciences. The adjoining Purina Pavilion will host teaching, Extension, extracurricular and youth-based events on livestock care, handling and evaluation.
Land O' Lakes previously funded the Land O’Lakes Chair for Food and Agribusiness and an endowed scholarship for College of Agriculture students.
"The Land O’Lakes Center for Experiential Learning and the Purina Pavilion will provide much needed leading-edge instructional facilities to help us prepare tomorrow’s leaders to take their places in the animal industries," Akridge said. "We are very thankful for the investment that Land O’Lakes has made in Purdue Agriculture and our students and for the terrific partnership we have with the organization."
The Department of Animal Sciences is home to the largest student body in the College of Agriculture with more than 700 students. Its 35 faculty members have a range of expertise in animal growth and development, nutrition, breeding, genetics, physiology, management, wellbeing and behavior. Research in the department focuses on the efficient and sustainable production of food animals and addresses human health issues using animal model systems.
The department's programs also support Indiana's livestock industry, a $6 billion business, and meat industries that provide a total annual economic impact of more than $18 billion to the state.