As a land-grant institution, Auburn University has a long history of doing practical research and communicating the results of that research to the public. Research activities are located across campus, from fishponds and research labs on the north side of Auburn to the National Center for Asphalt Technology track on the south.
Auburn University also staffs the Alabama Agricultural Experiment Stations and Extension offices around the state. Auburn has a meat processing facility as well as USDA labs and a partnership in a pilot produce processing facility in Chilton County, Al., and a feed mill.
The food system encompasses every aspect of the complicated, interrelated system to feed a population, including growing, harvesting, processing, packaging, transporting, marketing, consumption and disposal of food and food-related items.
Research is ongoing into both food quality and food safety, and a complete center is dedicated to developing efficient ways to monitor food for dangerous pathogens. Auburn has engineers looking for ways to recycle poultry litter as a fuel source. Auburn even has its own hotel and restaurant where students learn about the hospitality business, thanks to an innovative partnership with the West Paces Hotel Group.
Auburn’s commitment to advancing research is best exemplified by the Center for Advanced Science, Innovation and Commerce (CASIC), now under construction in the university’s Research Park. The $14.4 million dollar facility, with 68,000 square feet of space and 21 labs, will contain five multidisciplinary research clusters, bringing scientists together from a variety of disciplines across campus. CASIC research clusters will be devoted to food safety, aquaculture development and sustainability, water and environmental quality and bioenergy technologies. Anticipated completion is Summer 2013.