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MnDRIVE Initiatives: Researchers Develop Chemical Method to Improve Animal Feed Produced by the Corn Ethanol Industry

According to the Minnesota Department of Agriculture, Minnesota is the 3rd largest swine-producing state in the United States and the 12th largest poultry producer. Most locals know that Minnesota is also the number one turkey producing state in the country, raising 45 million birds annually. That’s a lot of manure! Excretions of this quantity are sure to have an environmental impact.

MnDRIVE Initiatives: Deep Winter Greenhouses: An Eco-Friendly Solution for All-Season Crop Production in Minnesota

Minnesota faces unique environmental challenges when it comes to crop production, with its harsh winters and changing seasons. Yet in a 2018 study, Minnesota was ranked the sixth most environmentally friendly state in the country based on three criteria: overall environmental quality, eco-friendly behaviors and climate-change contributions. The University of Minnesota is a driving force in leadership and innovation in this area, largely due to grant-funded research by MnDRIVE initiatives.

MnDRIVE Initiatives: Helping MN’s Aquaponics Industry Produce Safe Food and Find Economic Sustainability

Dr. Nicholas Phelps directs the Minnesota Aquatic Invasive Species Research Center (MAISRC) at the University of Minnesota, but on the research side of his position his lab group has worked to identify and overcome threats to wild and farm-raised fish. He and teams of researchers from across the St. Paul campus were awarded two MnDRIVE grants to study some of the biggest issues facing producers in the Minnesota aquaponics industry: food safety and economic sustainability.

MnDRIVE: Food Safety Research Leads to Multiple Technology Breakthroughs

In 2015, the MnDRIVE initiative approved funding for a research project in Professor Abdennour Abbas’ laboratory to pursue food safety innovations. This research not only yielded ground-breaking technologies for rapid detection of bacteria to prevent food poisoning, but also the development of packaging that informs users if their food is safe to consume, the creation of a spin off company for clean water technology, and numerous benefits to our local community and to Minnesota. 

James Bradeen: Repositioning Minnesota’s Crop Sciences

There are approximately 250,000 acres of oat grown in Minnesota, and almost half of that can easily be destroyed by a plant pathogen known as oat rust. It is a major problem affecting the oat and milling industries. Oat production is projected to increase globally over the coming years, and seeing as most of the North American production is happening right over the border in Canada, the University of Minnesota is motivated to bring more oat fields back home.

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