A dairy plant addition and a new meat science and muscle biology laboratory are on the drawing board for the University of Wisconsin-Madison, with half the money to build them being raised privately by the dairy and the meat industries, respectively. The naming rights are available for both projects, with the meat lab requiring a $10 million donation, reports the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel.

"These two projects are linked to vibrant state industries," said Heidi Zoerb, a spokeswoman for the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. Industries in other states have stepped up to help build academic buildings elsewhere, she said.

The lab campaign is headed by Kevin Ladwig, vice president of Johnsonville, a sausage company based in Sheboygan Falls.

The existing lab is on the west end of campus, near the Babcock dairy plant. The new lab would be on Observatory Drive, once the Seeds Building and a wing of the Poultry Building are demolished. The existing lab building, originally constructed for the animal husbandry department, would be replaced with a parking lot.

The UW program's mission is to train the next generation of meat industry leaders with cutting-edge technology, support research interests through interdisciplinary collaboration, and provide consumer education and economic development outreach for the meat industry.

"We have an enormous number of meat processing plants in Wisconsin - over 400," Zoerb said.

A new facility would help researchers in several UW colleges collaborate on finding new uses for nonfood products from meat-producing animals, she said.

"Not many (agriculture) schools are on the same campus as a college of pharmacy and a medical school," Zoerb said.

Source: Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel