Food Giant General Mills, SDSU Partner for Oats Research




SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) — The maker of Cheerios cereal, Nature Valley bars and Yoplait yogurt has chosen South Dakota State University as its partner in an effort to improve the quality of oats and make the crop more sustainable.

A new research laboratory will focus on the grain that's found in more than a quarter of the Minneapolis-based General Mills' products, and provide a place for the company's scientists to collaborate with the Brookings university's plant breeders, grain, environmental and seed experts, student researchers and others.

“Oats are an absolutely essential part of General Mills' portfolio,” Jim Kirkwood, vice president and chief science and technology development officer at General Mills, told The Associated Press on Friday, a day after the laboratory was unveiled. “… South Dakota and North Dakota for the last 150 years have been a source of some of the best oats that we use in our products. Since we founded the company we've been buying oats from that area, and the university there is one of the leaders in oats breeding.”

General Mills will relocate an oat breeding scientist to Brookings. The lab will focus on improving the nutritional qualities of oats, developing oat varieties with higher yields and helping farmers improve practices to increase sustainability.



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Source:  Associated Press



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