Fairbanks Experiment Farm


The Fairbanks Experiment Farm, part of the Agricultural & Forestry Experiment Station, is comprised of the Fairbanks Experiment Farm, offices, laboratories, and greenhouses. The farm is located on West Tanana Drive on the UAF campus and it includes 260 acres of cropland and 50 acres of forest land for research and demonstration projects. The Farm houses a red barn, a 65-foot high grain handling facility, a small stationary sawmill used to cut rough lumber for farm structures, feed mill, maintenance shop, combination greenhouse and agronomy lab, visitors' center with a small gift shop, two residences and several storage facilities. The Georgeson Botanical Garden is also located on the farm.

History

  • 1906: Established by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) as an Agricultural Experiment Station to conduct research and promote agriculture in Interior Alaska
  • 1922: University of Alaska opened on a site adjacent to the USDA Experiment Station
  • 1931: USDA Experiment Station was transferred to the University of Alaska for use as an agricultural experiment station comparable to those at other land-grant universities

Forest Management

  • Interior Alaska has approximately 22.5 million acres of productive forest lands
  • Researchers seek environmentally sound methods to diversify local and state economies by producing high yields of quality wood products. Research focuses on:
    • Developing forest ecosystem management
    • Improving forecasts of forest growth and yield
    • Designing cost-effective forest regeneration practices

Animal Science

  • Researchers seek to determine nutritional characteristics of cereal grains developed in Alaska for use in livestock diets in conjunction with by-products from Alaska's fishing industry
    • Current research is primarily with reindeer nutrition and production
    • Past research focused on swine, sled dogs, sheep, and beef cattle

Agronomy

  • Research on soil and crop management to sustain agriculture emphasizes:
    • Breeding and selecting field crops and forages adapted to high latitudes
    • Enhancing soil nitrogen in subarctic conditions by using legumes
    • Reducing pesticide use and determining alternatives for pesticides
    • Developing biological controls for plant diseases
    • Assessing how agricultural practices might impact the production of "greenhouse" gases at northern latitudes in its relation to global change

Resources Management

  • Integrated research involving economics, social, and environmental impacts in resource management includes:
    • Evaluating multiple-use land plans for research in agronomy and forestry
    • Assessing the impact of recreational activities on natural areas
  • Marketing research includes:
    • Improving marketing techniques for farmers' markets and roadside stands using the "Alaskan Grown" logo and program
    • Using sensory panels to determine the characteristics of, and consumer preferences for, Alaska agricultural products

Horticulture

  • Research on horticulture--Alaska's largest agricultural industry--focuses on:
    • Improving annual flowers, native plants, fruit crops, and woody and herbaceous perennial ornamentals for high latitudes
    • Developing management systems for efficiently cultivating these crops
    • Applying research results on light quality, daylengths and temperature to the greenhouse production of horticultural crops
    • The Georgeson Botanical Garden serves as a demonstration garden for research results on annual and perennial horticulture plants
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