June 6, 2023

USACE, USDA and University of Kentucky Break Ground on New Research Facility

Charles Delano

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Louisville District celebrated the groundbreaking of a $65.9 million Forage Animal Production Research Unit with the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and University of Kentucky (UK), May 23, 2023, in Lexington, Kentucky.

The new 52,600 square-foot research facility for the USDA Agricultural Research Service, located at UK’s College of Agriculture, Food and the Environment campus, includes office space, research laboratory space, collaborative areas, a headhouse and eight-bay greenhouses. The facility design incorporates functionality, collaboration and expanded research capacity.

Artist rendering of the Forage Animal Production Research Unit that will be constructed in Lexington, Kentucky. (Courtesy image)

“Partnering with USDA’s Agriculture Research Services (ARS) and multiple stakeholders and non-DoD processes, has been an enlightening learning experience with a unique building program,” said Mark Beville, USACE Louisville District design manager. “Most importantly, we have an excellent collaborative team that resolves the challenges in a professional manner.”

USACE played a key role in facilitating the design and planned construction for the new and modernized building for ARS’s Food-Animal Production Research Unit, which is a hub of innovative ideas and solutions in support of forage-based farm enterprises nationwide.

An artist rendering of the Forage Animal Production Research Unit that will be constructed in Lexington Kentucky. (Courtesy image)
An artist rendering of the Forage Animal Production Research Unit that will be constructed in Lexington Kentucky. (Courtesy image)

“It is very reassuring that we have the project management experience of USACE supporting us,” said Michael Flythe, FAPRU research leader.

Personnel with the USDA ARS and UK will conduct research on the development of sustainable forage systems at the new facility, which is scheduled to be completed in 2027.

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