DECATUR, ILLINOIS, U.S. — Archer Daniels Midland Co. (ADM) announced on April 8 a $1.5 million gift to Purdue University for the construction of the ADM Agricultural Innovation Center.

Totaling 27,000 square feet, the ADM Center will provide enhanced classroom and laboratory space, allowing for more advanced research work by the nearly 400 undergraduate and graduate students of Purdue University’s College of Agriculture.

“As the global population continues to grow, the world is looking toward agriculture to create viable, sustainable solutions to some of the world’s most pressing needs — like an abundant food supply and advanced renewable fuels. To help our industry meet this challenge, ADM is pleased to invest in Purdue University,” said Craig Huss, ADM senior vice-president and president, agricultural services.

“The ADM Agricultural Innovation Center at Purdue University will bring additional laboratory space and state-of-the-art technology to Purdue’s College of Agriculture to help develop the next generation of industry leaders,” said Huss.

The project is an extension of a longstanding partnership between Purdue and ADM to prepare students to lead innovation in agriculture, said university President France A. Córdova. Over the past three years, ADM has recruited more students from Purdue than any other university.

“This will provide even greater opportunities for Purdue students to engage in projects that will enhance their education in the development and manufacture of agricultural machinery,” Córdova said.

Construction of the ADM Agricultural Innovation Center is scheduled to begin in early May, and is expected to be completed during the 2011 fall semester.

Spread over three years, ADM’s $1.5 million contribution is being funded through ADM Cares, the company’s social-investment program. ADM Cares funds initiatives and organizations that drive meaningful social, economic and environmental progress worldwide.