University of Minnesota
August 4, 2011
Innovation drives Minnesota’s economy forward, Kaler says
By Bill Magdalene
University of Minnesota president Eric Kaler toured southern Minnesota August 2-3, stopping for visits in Marshall, Worthington, and Lamberton, and attending Farmfest near Redwood Falls.
At the Marshall Rotary Club on Tuesday, Kaler said that agricultural innovation continues to be key for Minnesota. "When you innovate, you drive the economy forward," he said, stressing the importance of higher education and research: "We can’t sit back and watch great institutions of learning dry up."
In Worthington, Kaler toured Newport Laboratories, the nation’s largest private diagnostic lab and manufacturer of “pinpoint” biologics for swine and cattle. He said it was “fantastic” how people applied fundamental science in such practical and important ways.
Farmfest in the morning, then University on the Prairie
Kaler began Wednesday early at the 30th annual Farmfest—the state’s largest farm-related gathering. He attended the Minnesota Farm Bureau’s breakfast, toured the research exhibits, and talked with visitors. He also gave a short speech in the forum tent, climbed into an ethanol race car, and checked out U of M climatologist Mark Seeley’s new book.
In the afternoon, he visited the Southwest Research and Outreach Center, in Lamberton, and talked with kids who were taking part in University on the Prairie, a three-day science education program. The students had spent two days studying the Cottonwood River and the prairie landscape. On Wednesday they were working on soil. They presented President Kaler with a research sample.