Kansas State University receives $25M matching award from Kansas Legislature

he Kansas Legislature has awarded Kansas State University (K-State) a $25 million matching grant for its Agriculture Innovation Initiative. This funding follows the university’s successful campaign to raise $25 million in private donations, meeting the state’s one-to-one matching challenge issued in January. With this latest contribution, K-State has now raised $176 million towards its $210 million goal for agricultural infrastructure improvements.

The Agriculture Innovation Initiative at K-State focuses on upgrading, expanding, and constructing new facilities to advance education, research, and industry partnerships in grain, food, animal, and agronomic sciences. These efforts aim to provide enhanced teaching spaces for over half of the students enrolled in the College of Agriculture.

“Over the past year, we have made significant progress with groundbreaking ceremonies for the Agronomy Research and Innovation Center, the Bilbrey Family Event Center, and most recently, the Global Center for Grain and Food Innovation,” said Ernie Minton, Eldon Gideon Dean of the College of Agriculture and Director of K-State Research and Extension. “We extend our heartfelt thanks to all our donors, partners, Governor Kelly, Secretary Toland, and the Kansas State Legislature for their support and belief in the future of our university and the state’s agricultural industry.”

These new facilities will enhance K-State’s ability to attract students and faculty dedicated to pioneering next-generation research and fostering closer collaborations with private industry.

“K-State is immensely grateful for the unwavering support from our university faculty and staff, state officials, industry partners, alumni, and donors,” said Richard Linton, President of Kansas State University. “Agriculture is Kansas’ largest and signature industry, and the advancements made through these facilities will bolster the economy and create jobs statewide. This marks a significant milestone as our first major infrastructure project in interdisciplinary research and education, enhancing our world-class programs and solidifying our position as a global leader in the agricultural industry.”

Agriculture is a cornerstone of Kansas’ economy, generating approximately $81 billion annually and employing about 13% of the state’s workforce, according to a recent Kansas Department of Agriculture survey.

“Agriculture innovation is crucial for securing a sustainable future for our food system,” said Greg Willems, KSU Foundation President and CEO. “This project allows K-State to pursue groundbreaking agricultural solutions by engaging experts from various disciplines. We are grateful to our generous supporters who recognize the immense potential of this initiative.”

The construction and renovations under the Agriculture Innovation Initiative are scheduled for completion by the end of 2027. For the latest updates on the initiative’s progress, please visit the K-State website.