Located in St. Louis, Missouri, the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center was founded in 1998. The independent, nonprofit research center was the result of Dr. William H. Danforth, Founding Chairman, and his vision that scientific knowledge, when applied to solving critical challenges, has the potential to lift families, communities and nations from poverty and empower people everywhere to enjoy better health and a higher quality of life. The Center was named after Dr. Danforth’s late father, Donald Danforth, the onetime leader of the Ralston Purina Company. Ralston Purina grew rapidly under his leadership and was a pillar of American agriculture as a major producer of breakfast cereals and feed for farm animals and pets.
The original Danforth Center building was constructed in 2001. On April 15, 2016 the William H. Danforth Wing was dedicated in honor of the Founding Chairman. The Danforth Center is committed to enhancing the St. Louis region as a world center for plant science and creating new jobs for future generations. The most visible result of this commitment is the Bio Research & Development Growth (BRDG) Park located on the north eight acres of the Center's campus. In 2008, the BRDG Park building was constructed on the north end of the Danforth Center campus, and houses approximately 15 companies and organizations that contribute to the growing bioscience and ag tech ecosystem in the region.