Syngenta held a grand re-opening for its newly expanded Woodland, Calif., research and development (R&;D) and seed production facility. The $11.2 million expansion represents a significant investment in the local economy and demonstrates Syngenta's continuing commitment to R&;D and seed production in California.
The Woodland location is home to important cereals, corn and vegetable R&;D, and vegetable seed production. One of the unique aspects of the facility is a significant emphasis on research for cucurbits (i.e., watermelons, melons and squash) and its role as host to the Global Cucurbits Center of Excellence at the R&;D and production Woodland station.
Syngenta employees were joined at today's ribbon cutting by customers, government officials and civic and agricultural leaders. According to Jim Houston, undersecretary of the California Department of Food and Agriculture, private investments in R&;D infrastructure are critical to the state's economic development.
"Agriculture is a source of stability and strength in the California economy, Houston said. "That's why private investments in research and development, like the one we are celebrating here today, are so important. With 80,500 farms and ranches, California agriculture is a $46.4 billion dollar industry that generates at least $100 billion in related economic activity. This enormous achievement is possible through a combination of tradition and innovation that has secured California's status as the most productive agricultural state for more than 50 years, thanks to communities like Woodland and companies like Syngenta.
The Syngenta Woodland expansion includes:
- New greenhouses and specialized plant growth environments
- A new plant pathology laboratory
- Expanded work space for research and development activity
During peak season, the site has approximately 110 full-time employees and seasonal workers, an increase of more than 35 percent due to the expansion. Consistent with The Good Growth Plan, research conducted at Woodland will enable Syngenta to bring innovations to market more quickly and help farmers grow more from less.
Sean Knapp, North America head of Vegetables Seed Product Marketing, at Syngenta, said the Woodland expansion demonstrates Syngenta's commitment to R&;D innovation and global leadership in product development.
"The challenges associated with feeding a growing global population in an environmentally sustainable way require that we think differently about how we help growers create efficiencies and improve their productivity, Knapp said. "This facility – and the Global Cucurbits Center of Excellence located here – will provide an exciting opportunity for innovation and collaboration across a wide variety of crops, including cereals, corn, cucurbits and tomatoes.
The Global Cucurbits Center of Excellence is a physical representation of the strong emphasis Syngenta places on thinking like a grower, targeting individual farming challenges and taking a more holistic approach to developing and delivering integrated crop solutions. Most notably, this newly-expanded facility is enabling Syngenta to bring together its entire North American cucurbit R&;D leadership under one roof. Woodland also continues to be an important seed production facility.
According to Craig Spielman, Syngenta trialing and site manager, vegetable seed produced at Woodland is shipped to countries around the world. "We are proud to be expanding in Woodland, conducting important research here and serving as a global seed resource, Spielman said. "This expansion reinforces our commitment to our customers, and to Yolo County.