RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – A new center for sustainable agriculture is now open in Research Triangle Park. It aims to educate the public about where their food comes from.

“We take for granted sometimes where our food comes from,” Paul Rea said, the BASF senior vice president of agricultural solutions for North America.

Rea believes it’s more important than ever to build connections between growers and consumers. That’s what he hopes the new *BASF Center for Sustainable Agriculture can do.

“This is a venue where farmers can connect with consumers and engage in dialogue on what it takes to produce that food,” he said.

The center will host educational tours and talks between those in agriculture and consumers. Outside, a garden features more than 100 species of plants, trees and shrubs for visitors to learn about.

“Farming and agriculture has been important to the state’s economy for a long time,” Machelle Baker Sanders said, the secretary of commerce for North Carolina.

She said the state has more than 45,000 farms occupying millions of acres of land.

“We have to have more accessible, affordable, nutritious food and food that is environmentally friendly,” Sanders said during a ribbon-cutting for the company on Monday.

Sanders said this will become even more important as the world’s population is expected to reach 10 billion by 2050 (United Nations).

With the population only rising, even more is being expected of farmers and what they are being asked to produce.

“(Farmers) know everyone’s counting on them to do what we call ‘the biggest job on Earth’ and it’s only going to be more challenging in the future as there are more mouths to feed,” said Rea.

At the same time, he said more people are worried about our farmers’ footprint on the planet.

“Consumers should take away farmers really care about the environment,” Rea said.

He hopes this facility will bridge the information gap.

“I’ve seen some tremendous change in agriculture, but I also know some of our brightest days are ahead of us,” Rae said.

The center is located at 2 T.W. Alexander Drive in Research Triangle Park. It is open to the public by appointment only. Click here to make an appointment.

*Editor’s Note: BASF was the full name given to CBS 17 for the center.