Agricultural experiment station
An agricultural experiment station is a research center that conducts scientific investigations to solve problems and suggest improvements in the food and agriculture
Agriculture is the cultivation of animals, plants, fungi and other life forms for food, fiber, and other products used to sustain life. Agriculture was the key implement in the rise of sedentary human civilization, whereby farming of domesticated species created food surpluses that nurtured the...

 industry. Experiment station scientists work with farmer
A farmer is a person engaged in agriculture, who raises living organisms for food or raw materials, generally including livestock husbandry and growing crops, such as produce and grain...

s, ranchers, suppliers, processor
Food processing
Food processing is the set of methods and techniques used to transform raw ingredients into food or to transform food into other forms for consumption by humans or animals either in the home or by the food processing industry...

s, and others involved in food production and agriculture.


In Canada
Canada is a North American country consisting of ten provinces and three territories. Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west, and northward into the Arctic Ocean...

, about 50 per cent (1988) of the experiment stations are controlled by the Canadian government. The Central Experimental Farm
Central Experimental Farm
The Central Experimental Farm is an agricultural facility, working farm, and research centre of the Research Branch of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada. As the name indicates, this farm is centrally located in and completely surrounded by the City of Ottawa, Ontario, Canada...

 in Ottawa
Ottawa is the capital of Canada, the second largest city in the Province of Ontario, and the fourth largest city in the country. The city is located on the south bank of the Ottawa River in the eastern portion of Southern Ontario...

 is the headquarters of the federal system. Private industries, universities, and agricultural colleges control the remainder of the stations. Each province has a number of provincial stations. The University of Saskatchewan
University of Saskatchewan
The University of Saskatchewan is a Canadian public research university, founded in 1907, and located on the east side of the South Saskatchewan River in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada. An "Act to establish and incorporate a University for the Province of Saskatchewan" was passed by the...

 has extensive agricultural experimental land.


The Benaki Phytopathological Institute conducts experiments pertaining to plant health in many locations throughout the mainland, as well as in Crete and on other Greek islands.


The Agricultural University of Iceland maintains several experiment stations throughout the country.


Japan is an island nation in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies to the east of the Sea of Japan, China, North Korea, South Korea and Russia, stretching from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and Taiwan in the south...

 has five agricultural experiment stations of Independent Administrative Institution
Independent Administrative Institution
An Incorporated Administrative Agency or in lay terms an Independent Administrative Corporation or Independent Administrative Institution is a newly designed type of legal body for Japanese governmental organizations regulated by the Basic Law on Reforming Government Ministries of 1998...

 of National Agriculture and Food Research Organization, former national stations, and many other prefectural
Prefectures of Japan
The prefectures of Japan are the country's 47 subnational jurisdictions: one "metropolis" , Tokyo; one "circuit" , Hokkaidō; two urban prefectures , Osaka and Kyoto; and 43 other prefectures . In Japanese, they are commonly referred to as...

 stations all over the country.

New Zealand

New Zealand
New Zealand
New Zealand is an island country in the south-western Pacific Ocean comprising two main landmasses and numerous smaller islands. The country is situated some east of Australia across the Tasman Sea, and roughly south of the Pacific island nations of New Caledonia, Fiji, and Tonga...

 has agricultural research stations at Ruakura
Ruakura is a semi-rural suburb of Hamilton City, in the Waikato region of New Zealand. The University of Waikato is nearby. The area lies to the east of urban Hamilton and to the west of State Highway 1B .The Waikato region is a major contributor to New Zealand's agricultural-based economy, and...

, Winchmore and Invermay.

United States

The Hatch Act of 1887
Hatch Act of 1887
The Hatch Act of 1887 gave federal funds, initially of $15,000 each, to state land-grant colleges in order to create a series of agricultural experiment stations, as well as pass along new information, especially in the areas of soil minerals and plant growth...

 authorized the establishment of an agricultural experiment station, to be affiliated with the land grant college of agriculture, in each state (7 U.S.C. 361a et seq.). Research done at these stations underpins the curriculum of the colleges, as well as the programs of the Cooperative Extension System.

The United States of America has more than 50 stations (1988), run by about 13,000 scientists (1988). Each state has at least one main station, usually located at and associated with a land-grant university
Land-grant university
Land-grant universities are institutions of higher education in the United States designated by each state to receive the benefits of the Morrill Acts of 1862 and 1890....

. Many states have branch stations to meet the special needs of different climate and geographical zones in those states.

The United States Department of Agriculture
United States Department of Agriculture
The United States Department of Agriculture is the United States federal executive department responsible for developing and executing U.S. federal government policy on farming, agriculture, and food...

 also directly maintains several experiment stations, including the Henry A. Wallace Beltsville Agricultural Research Center
Henry A. Wallace Beltsville Agricultural Research Center
The Henry A. Wallace Beltsville Agricultural Research Center, or BARC, is a unit of the United States Department of Agriculture's Agricultural Research Service. It is located at in Beltsville, Maryland, and is named for Henry A. Wallace, former United States vice president and secretary of...

 in Maryland and the U.S. Sheep Experiment Station
U.S. Sheep Experiment Station
The U.S. Sheep Experiment Station is an agricultural experiment station focusing on domestic sheep which is run by the United States Department of Agriculture's Agricultural Research Service...

 near Dubois, Idaho
Dubois, Idaho
Dubois is a city in Clark County, Idaho, United States. The population was 647 at the 2000 census. The city is the county seat of Clark County.The city was named for U.S. Senator Fred Dubois....

. The Beltsville station contains the main building of the National Agricultural Library. The United States National Arboretum
United States National Arboretum
The United States National Arboretum is an arboretum in Washington, D.C., operated by the United States Department of Agriculture's Agricultural Research Service as a division of the Henry A. Wallace Beltsville Agricultural Research Center...

 in Washington, DC is a division of the Beltsville Agricultural Research Center.

The U.S. experiment stations are state institutions. However, the federal and state governments cooperate in funding the research done at the stations. The states provide about 60 percent (1988) of the government money. Additional income comes from grants
Grant (money)
Grants are funds disbursed by one party , often a Government Department, Corporation, Foundation or Trust, to a recipient, often a nonprofit entity, educational institution, business or an individual. In order to receive a grant, some form of "Grant Writing" often referred to as either a proposal...

, contract
A contract is an agreement entered into by two parties or more with the intention of creating a legal obligation, which may have elements in writing. Contracts can be made orally. The remedy for breach of contract can be "damages" or compensation of money. In equity, the remedy can be specific...

s, and the sale of products. The stations receive a total income of more than $1 billion a year.

U. S. Virgin Islands

The University of the Virgin Islands
University of the Virgin Islands
The University of the Virgin Islands is a public university located in the United States Virgin Islands.-Academics:The university has five academic divisions: Business, Education, Humanities and Social Sciences, Nursing, and Science and Mathematics. UVI offers several graduate degree programs and...

 maintains an experiment station on the island of St. Croix, working on agroforestry
Agroforestry is an integrated approach of using the interactive benefits from combining trees and shrubs with crops and/or livestock.It combines agricultural and forestry technologies to create more diverse, productive, profitable, healthy and sustainable land-use systems.-Definitions:According to...

, aquaponics
Aquaponics is a sustainable food production system that combines a traditional aquaculture with hydroponics in a symbiotic environment. In the aquaculture, effluents accumulate in the water, increasing toxicity for the fish...

, biotechnology
Biotechnology is a field of applied biology that involves the use of living organisms and bioprocesses in engineering, technology, medicine and other fields requiring bioproducts. Biotechnology also utilizes these products for manufacturing purpose...

, forage agronomy, and tilapia
Tilapia , is the common name for nearly a hundred species of cichlid fish from the tilapiine cichlid tribe. Tilapia inhabit a variety of fresh water habitats, including shallow streams, ponds, rivers and lakes. Historically, they have been of major importance in artisan fishing in Africa and the...

 farming, among other areas of research.


Station scientists study biological, economic, and social problems of food and agriculture and related industries in each state. They investigate such areas as crop variations, soil testing, livestock
Livestock refers to one or more domesticated animals raised in an agricultural setting to produce commodities such as food, fiber and labor. The term "livestock" as used in this article does not include poultry or farmed fish; however the inclusion of these, especially poultry, within the meaning...

, processing
Food processing
Food processing is the set of methods and techniques used to transform raw ingredients into food or to transform food into other forms for consumption by humans or animals either in the home or by the food processing industry...

 and animal technology
Animal husbandry
Animal husbandry is the agricultural practice of breeding and raising livestock.- History :Animal husbandry has been practiced for thousands of years, since the first domestication of animals....

, and other advanced technology in food and agriculture. They also work with specialists called extension agents. These specialists help inform famers about developments in agriculture. Most agricultural experiment station scientists are faculty members of the land-grant universities.


Hokkaido Development Commission founded the very first agricultural experiment station of the country in Sapporo in 1871, under the advices of O-yatoi gaikokujin
O-yatoi gaikokujin
The Foreign government advisors in Meiji Japan, known in Japanese as oyatoi gaikokujin , were those foreign advisors hired by the Japanese government for their specialized knowledge to assist in the modernization of Japan at the end of the Bakufu and during the Meiji era. The term is sometimes...

(hired foreign experts).

The first national agricultural experiment station was founded in 1893 in Tokyo
, ; officially , is one of the 47 prefectures of Japan. Tokyo is the capital of Japan, the center of the Greater Tokyo Area, and the largest metropolitan area of Japan. It is the seat of the Japanese government and the Imperial Palace, and the home of the Japanese Imperial Family...

, Sendai, Kanazawa
Kanazawa, Ishikawa
is the capital city of Ishikawa Prefecture, Japan.-Geography, climate, and population:Kanazawa sits on the Sea of Japan, bordered by the Japan Alps, Hakusan National Park and Noto Peninsula National Park. The city sits between the Sai and Asano rivers. Its total area is 467.77 km².Kanazawa's...

, Osaka
is a city in the Kansai region of Japan's main island of Honshu, a designated city under the Local Autonomy Law, the capital city of Osaka Prefecture and also the biggest part of Keihanshin area, which is represented by three major cities of Japan, Kyoto, Osaka and Kobe...

, Hiroshima
is the capital of Hiroshima Prefecture, and the largest city in the Chūgoku region of western Honshu, the largest island of Japan. It became best known as the first city in history to be destroyed by a nuclear weapon when the United States Army Air Forces dropped an atomic bomb on it at 8:15 A.M...

, Tokushima, and Kumamoto under the Edict
An edict is an announcement of a law, often associated with monarchism. The Pope and various micronational leaders are currently the only persons who still issue edicts.-Notable edicts:...


And, 1899 act for prefectural agricultural experiment stations supported prefectural movement to establish agricultural experiment stations all over Japan.

United Kingdom

One of the oldest agricultural experiment stations is the Rothamsted Experimental Station
Rothamsted Experimental Station
The Rothamsted Experimental Station, one of the oldest agricultural research institutions in the world, is located at Harpenden in Hertfordshire, England. It is now known as Rothamsted Research...

, located at Harpenden
Harpenden is a town in Hertfordshire, England.The town's total population is just under 30,000.-Geography and administration:There are two civil parishes: Harpenden and Harpenden Rural....

 in Hertfordshire
Hertfordshire is a ceremonial and non-metropolitan county in the East region of England. The county town is Hertford.The county is one of the Home Counties and lies inland, bordered by Greater London , Buckinghamshire , Bedfordshire , Cambridgeshire and...

, England
England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Scotland to the north and Wales to the west; the Irish Sea is to the north west, the Celtic Sea to the south west, with the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south separating it from continental...

, where the great statistical geneticist Ronald Fisher
Ronald Fisher
Sir Ronald Aylmer Fisher FRS was an English statistician, evolutionary biologist, eugenicist and geneticist. Among other things, Fisher is well known for his contributions to statistics by creating Fisher's exact test and Fisher's equation...

 was inspired to important advances in the theory of statistical inferences and genetics.

United States

The first state agricultural experiment station in the United States was organised in 1875 at Wesleyan University
Wesleyan University
Wesleyan University is a private liberal arts college founded in 1831 and located in Middletown, Connecticut. According to the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, Wesleyan is the only Baccalaureate College in the nation that emphasizes undergraduate instruction in the arts and...

 in Middletown, Connecticut
Middletown, Connecticut
Middletown is a city located in Middlesex County, Connecticut, along the Connecticut River, in the central part of the state, 16 miles south of Hartford. In 1650, it was incorporated as a town under its original Indian name, Mattabeseck. It received its present name in 1653. In 1784, the central...

. It was supported by private donations and state funds. Organization and method were modeled upon European stations and the work of state chemists. By 1887 fourteen states had definite organizations and in thirteen others the colleges conducted equivalent work. The Bussey Institution at Harvard University
Harvard University
Harvard University is a private Ivy League university located in Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States, established in 1636 by the Massachusetts legislature. Harvard is the oldest institution of higher learning in the United States and the first corporation chartered in the country...

 (since 1871) and the Houghton Farm at Cornwall, New York
Cornwall, New York
Cornwall is a town in Orange County, New York, USA. It is located about 50 miles north of New York City on the western shore of the Hudson River. The estimated population in 2007 was 12,827....

 (1876–88), were privately endowed stations. Federal aid for state experiment stations began with the Hatch Act of 1887
Hatch Act of 1887
The Hatch Act of 1887 gave federal funds, initially of $15,000 each, to state land-grant colleges in order to create a series of agricultural experiment stations, as well as pass along new information, especially in the areas of soil minerals and plant growth...

. The Hatch Act authorized direct payment of federal grant funds to each state to establish an agricultural experiment station "under direction of" its land-grant college. Land-grant colleges had been established under the Morrill Act
Morrill Land-Grant Colleges Act
The Morrill Land-Grant Acts are United States statutes that allowed for the creation of land-grant colleges, including the Morrill Act of 1862 and the Morrill Act of 1890 -Passage of original bill:...

 of 1862. The aid was increased by the Adams Act (1906) and the Purnell Act (1925). The provisions of the original Hatch Act and of later legislation providing increasing funds were combined in the Hatch Act
Hatch Act of 1887
The Hatch Act of 1887 gave federal funds, initially of $15,000 each, to state land-grant colleges in order to create a series of agricultural experiment stations, as well as pass along new information, especially in the areas of soil minerals and plant growth...

 of 1955.

The McIntire–Stennis Act of 1962 authorized forestry research studies at experiment stations. The federal government takes part in the experiment station program through the Cooperative Extension Service
Cooperative extension service
The Cooperative Extension Service, also known as the Extension Service of the USDA, is a non-formal educational program implemented in the United States designed to help people use research-based knowledge to improve their lives. The service is provided by the state's designated land-grant...

 of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The department coordinates research activities among the state stations.

Further reading

  • Dictionary of American History by James Truslow Adams
    James Truslow Adams
    James Truslow Adams was an American writer and historian. He was not related to the famous Adams family...

    , New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1940

External links

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