US (TX): New vegetable research facility in Weslaco aims to rebuild produce industry

The Rio Grande Valley Vegetable Research and Education Building, part of the Texas A&M AgriLife Research and Extension Center at Weslaco, was dedicated today toward helping Texas regain its dominance of the vegetable production industry.

“Being a net importer of vegetables is not only unacceptable; it’s un-Texan,” said John Sharp, Texas A&M University System chancellor, who led a ribbon-cutting ceremony. “This facility will be dedicated to research that will help restore Texas to its former role as a top vegetable producer both locally and nationally.”

Built in 1994, the repurposed facility once housed honeybee research efforts of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Federal budget cuts in 2012 led to the closure of this and other facilities located adjacent to the center facilities.

For the past year, Texas A&M AgriLife has been remodeling the building to bring it up to university standards for conducting high-tech vegetable research, according to Dr. Juan Landivar, resident director of the center.

“This new facility will support the local and state vegetable industry by conducting research on vegetable breeding and genetics, cropping systems and vegetable marketing and economics,” he said.


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