Lab born in layoffs finds formula for success
BROOKINGS, S.D. – At perhaps their darkest hour, as the unexpected announcement about job cuts and a century-old venture being closed down still reverberated in the room, Regina Wixon pushed a note across the table.
Staff in the Olson Agricultural Analytical Services Lab on the South Dakota State University campus couldn't believe their ears. Caught in a budgetary pinch sparked by the national recession, the university decided to lay off dozens of faculty and staff – and even shut down entirely its venerable and highly respected ag services lab.
Seventeen people at Olson would lose their jobs. Amid the disbelief in the room, lab manager Nancy Thiex stared at the piece of paper. "Let's start our own business," it read.
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