U of M North Central Research and Outreach Center Starts Up Summer Agriculture Studies
From wildlife to livestock, the University of Minnesota’s North Central Research and Outreach Center (NCROC) in Grand Rapids conducts year-round studies on one of the state’s staples: agriculture.
With the summer season picking up, so does the active research on plants, animals, and everything in between. The NCROC’s mission may be in its name, but those doing research look to use the results from their studies to help those around Minnesota.
“This center … includes crops and cattle forages, we have horticulture research. Your fruits and berries and gardening-type things as well as wild rice research,” said NCROC Director of Operations Dan Braaten. “I don’t think there’s ever an end to the need to do research on our food and crops to help sustain what we grow and need on a daily basis.”
Along with their research comes unexpected obstacles like the weather or recent inflation hikes.
“It’s like any other agricultural operation. We experience the challenges that every farmer does with drought, feed cost, fertilizer costs, costs to do everything, just, are always difficult,” explained Braaten. “Post-COVID costs … have dramatically increased. And so that makes it difficult to operate and do what we need to do.”
Regardless of the obstacles in their way, the active research continues to grow at NCROC, just like their plants and animals. They also hope their research will be of interest to the public as well.
“You can always learn and grow in your knowledge of what’s good for the people,” said Braaten. “There’s a lot of stakeholders for the northeast region … you have your local farmers, cattle producers, gardeners.”
The NCROC will host a Visitor’s Day on July 27 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. in Grand Rapids. More information on the program can be found on their website.