$15 Million awarded to Texas A&M AgriLife Research Center in Vernon

Published: Nov. 17, 2023 at 6:13 PM CST
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WICHITA FALLS, Texas (KAUZ) - $15 million was allotted to a Texas A&M AgriLife Research Center in Vernon.

This comes after their facility was hit by a tornado last year in May.

The storm severely damaged both the research center as well as the Foundation Seed.

The research center shared that these dollars were needed to keep the facility functioning.

For more than a year, this research center has been moved to another facility in Downtown Vernon, and workers at the Foundation Seed have been using the limited resources the storm left behind.

Director of the AgriLife Center Dr. Richard Vierling said the money is going to keep the center’s head above water, and it will help update everything that was previously outdated or destroyed.

“Without the 15 million, we’d be shutting this place down, to be honest with you. The $15 million is going to be used to rebuild the research center. It’s going to be completely gutted, and new roof and new offices and new laboratories, and were going to go from 4 laboratories to 6 laboratories so that is really going to help the faculty,” Vierling shared.

It will also mean more job opportunities once reconstruction is complete.

Those dollars will also go toward getting new peanut wagons, lifts, and new tractors damaged by the tornado at the Foundation Seed.

Repairs to that roof are already being made.

Veirling said that this grant was a confirmation to the department that the Texas A&M System sees just how much of an impact the Foundation Seed has on the agriculture economy.

Officials hope to have construction finished by Fall 2024.