CHARLESTON, WV (LOOTPRESS) – During his State of the State Address tonight, Gov. Jim Justice announced $50 million for West Virginia State University (WVSU) for the construction of a new state-of-the-art agricultural laboratory to be located on the school’s Institute campus.
The new facility will house state-of-the-art laboratory space for both WVSU and the West Virginia Department of Agriculture (WVDA), which is in critical need for modern facilities.
“We are extremely thankful to Gov. Jim Justice, Senate President Craig Blair, House Speaker Roger Hanshaw, and Senate Economic Development Committee Chair Glenn Jeffries for this transformative announcement tonight that will provide cutting-edge facilities for research, education and extension programs on our campus,” said WVSU President Ericke S. Cage. “This new lab will significantly enhance our land-grant mission and play a vital role in educating and empowering West Virginia’s agricultural workforce.”
The new laboratory will support the WVDA’s work in ensuring the safety and quality of the food supply, from testing for foodborne illnesses and pesticide residues to analyzing controlled substances, while also providing laboratory and classroom space for WVSU faculty and students to train and conduct research.
Investment in the new laboratory will keep more than 300 jobs in the Kanawha Valley while also driving agricultural education and research at WVSU, the governor said in his remarks.
“One of my priorities as president of West Virginia State University is the creation of a School of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources,” President Cage said. “Tonight’s announcement by Gov. Justice is a significant step in the creation of that school and truly underscores the critical role that agriculture has played and will continue to play in growing our state’s economy.”