A state-of-the-art vegetable research facility dedicated in Charleston, S.C. recently should give scientists with the U.S. Department of Agriculture and Clemson University the tools to continue bringing new and improved varieties to breeders and consumers.

The new complex provides research and office space for 20 scientists — 13 from the Agricultural Research Service's U.S. Vegetable Laboratory located here, and seven from the university.

“Combining the regional USDA and Clemson research staffs into one facility will optimize the use of equipment and other resources, and will stimulate cooperative interaction between the department and the university,” said Rodney J. Brown, USDA deputy under secretary for Research, Education and Economics, during a dedication ceremony with state and local officials.

“The Clemson Center and the U.S. Vegetable Laboratory are already internationally recognized for their distinguished research programs on important vegetable crops. The new facility will further expand scientists' capabilities.”

U.S. Vegetable Laboratory researchers include plant geneticists, physiologists, pathologists, entomologists, nematologists and weed scientists.