MSU announces new food research facility

Mississippi State University is expanding their research footprint with the announcement of a new facility in Jackson County.

Jackson County and Mississippi State have joined forces to place a research center near the heart of one of the Coast’s biggest industries. Mary Martha Henson said, “It’ll be focused on the seafood industry, the aquaculture industry, very much what drives a lot of the Gulf Coast.”

The Northern Gulf Aquatic Food Research Center will be built at the Sunplex Technology park along Highway 57 and feature laboratories to assist the state’s seafood workers along with a pilot plant for product development.

Economic development leaders also say that this project and facility will have big impacts for local consumers as well. “Looking at food safety and water quality and all the things that make sure our food supply is safe and clean.”

Teams of scientists from MSU, other universities, and government agencies will conduct research at the new center, resulting in around 40 new jobs. Jackson County Economic Development Foundation Executive Director George Freeland said, “It’s a means by which to pull a talent base, to pull a thought process, and to pull highly-qualified individuals, and highly-trained and educated individuals into the community.”

Freeland says this announcement contributes to the growth of more industry within the county. “A project like this only supplements a well-established manufacturing base in our community, that includes shipbuilding, petrochemical, a broad array of advanced manufacturing features.”

Jackson County leaders will work with MSU to set a timeline and opening dates for each phase of the multi-million-dollar project. “This again is that model of diversifying your economy and making sure we’re prepared for the future.”

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