Plant-to-plate research cropping up at the Arboretum’s Red Barn Farm

Thursday, March 15, 2018 - 9:15am

A $250,000 gift from Land O’Lakes cultivates visibility among 500,000 Arboretum visitors a year and reinforces the company’s commitment to agriculture and feeding the world

It’s a natural pairing for Land O’Lakes to get behind a new initiative at the U of M’s Minnesota Landscape Arboretum that explores plant-to-plate agricultural research and education. An effort to shine the light on farming is coming together at its Red Barn Farm, thanks in part to support from Land O’Lakes.

What’s new, what’s next: This gift will help the Arboretum create experiential exhibits, education materials, and “Best of Minnesota” demonstration plots for horticulture, field, and forage crops grown with innovative planting methods. The project will get underway this spring with the planting of the first demonstration plots, culminating with the renovation of the iconic Red Barn in 2019.

Why it’s important: Director Peter Moe believes the initiative will demonstrate the complexities of feeding worldwide communities, and will highlight plant and water conservation, environmental education, growing and harvesting food, and plant research, while expanding the pipeline of talent for the horticultural and food industries.

“I am excited about working with terrific partners such as Land O’ Lakes and other generous donors to create demonstration plantings and provide educational materials showing innovative techniques, many developed at the University of Minnesota, that farmers are implementing to produce more food while protecting soil and water in Minnesota and around the globe.

Consumers are much more interested in how their food is grown, and the Red Barn Farm will provide accurate, research-based, information at the same site where crops such as corn, soybeans, alfalfa, grapes, and apples are growing.”

--Peter Moe, Director, Minnesota Landscape Arboretum

photo: Minnesota Landscape Arboretum