Agricultural Experiment Stations
- College Station - Athens main campus
- Coastal Plain Station - Tifton campus
- Georgia Station - Griffin campus
The College Station in Athens was officially recognized in 1950, though experiments on crops and livestock had been conducted for decades on research farms on and near the University of Georgia campus. In fact, in 1907 the agronomy experimental plots were laid out on South Lumpkin Street, where the coliseum, athletic fields and Hoke Smith buildings are now located.
Headquarters of the UGA Agricultural Experiment Stations, College Station research cuts across every scientific discipline and includes much of the basic, cellular-level research on crops and animals.
College Station scientists use several facilities on the main UGA Athens campus to support their teaching and research programs. These facilities include the Plant Genome Mapping Laboratory, Soil, Plant, and Water Lab, Feed and Environmental Water Lab, and Pesticide and Hazardous Waste Lab.
Current research projects at the College Station include food packaging improvement studies, genetic engineering of new pest and disease resistance crops, livestock cloning research and biological control of insect pests. Crop and animal breeding research at the station results in crops, poultry and livestock that carry the genes for higher yields, greater disease resistance and improved offspring.
Coastal Plain Station
In 1918, the Georgia Land Owner's Association, a coastal plain organization led by Captain H.H. Tift and William Stillwell, successfully lobbied the state legislature to create an agricultural experiment station in the state's coastal plain. The autonomous station would be affiliated with the state's land-grant College of Agriculture located at the University of Georgia and would provide research-based information on coastal plain agriculture.
Generous donations of land and facilities from Captain Tift helped Tifton win the bid for the new experiment station. Opening in 1919 under the direction of S.H. Starr, the 206-acre Coastal Plain Experiment Station became the first experiment station in the nation's vast coastal plain, which stretches from Delaware to Texas.
Coastal plain farming has undergone many changes since those early days, but agriculture remains the backbone of the region's economy. South Georgia farmers produce about 80 percent of the state's row crops and are among the nation's leading producers of peanuts, cotton, tobacco and pecans. The research conducted by the faculty and staff of the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences has helped farmers grow the traditional crops in a more efficient and environmentally friendly way and given them many other options like new turfgrass varieties, nursery plants, fresh market vegetables, fruit and nut trees, and beef and dairy cattle, to name a few.
As an integral component of the Tifton Campus research, extension and teaching efforts, the Coastal Plain Station now includes 7,000 acres in south Georgia with research farms and centers at Attapulgus, Camilla, Lyons, Midville and Plains. UGA researchers also collaborate with USDA Agricultural Research Service scientists based at the station, a partnership that dates to 1924.
For more than 100 years, the Georgia Station, located on the Griffin Campus, has played a leading role in the development of modern agriculture in the South. The Georgia Experiment Station was established in 1888 as a result of the federal Hatch Act. The residents of Spalding County successfully lobbied for the experiment station to be located on what was then the Bates Farm.
Early research focused on fertilizers and soil erosion, but soon a complete program of agricultural and environmental research developed. Georgia Station scientists helped revolutionize agribusiness and farming statewide by solving many persistent crop problems. The deep-furrow method of planting winter oats, pioneered here around 1900, saved southern farmers millions of dollars. Researchers have bred numerous crop varieties, such as Empire cotton, which had major impact on Georgia cotton growers in the 1940s. Griffin scientist, Dr. Jasper Guy Woodroof, contributed greatly to early food science research by developing the technology for frozen foods.
Today, the Georgia Station is one of the premier agricultural research centers in the region and is poised to address research, extension and teaching needs of the 21st Century. The Griffin Campus lies in the heart of one of the nation's fastest growing areas. Just 30 miles south of Atlanta's Hartsfield International Airport, the campus is easily accessible by visitors across the nation and the world.
Campus programs work toward the state land grant university mission: to teach, to inquire and to serve. To fulfill this mission, the research, extension and education programs at the Griffin Campus focus on the following areas: Food safety and quality enhancement; biotechnology and genetics; crop and pest management; environment and natural resources; and urban agriculture.