The national agricultural research program that works to get regulatory approval for conventional chemical and bio-pesticides will soon be housed at North Carolina State University.
The IR-4 Project focuses on specialty crops like fruits, vegetables, nuts and herbs. The program is moving from Rutgers University in New Jersey where it’s been headquartered since 1963, after university officials said the institution couldn’t afford to host it any longer.
Instead, the project’s headquarters will relocate to N.C. State starting this October. The IR-4 project employs 125 staff members nationwide, with a budget of more than $36 million. Executive Director Jerry Barron said it will take two years to fully transition to the new location.
“We could not just stop doing research,” he said. “It’s critically important that we have people working on projects while at the same time going through the necessary steps of relocating an organization of this size.”
Barron said the program’s goals are a good fit for the College of Agriculture and Life Science given the importance of specialty crops to the state’s agricultural economy and the research already underway at N.C. State.
“It was really, from our point of view, a real win for our program,” said Barron. “Not only do we find a new home, we’re also in a situation where we think we can really contribute to the ultimate growth of North Carolina agriculture.”