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Marshfield Ag Station Turning 100!
Wisconsin Ag Connection - 03/12/2012

The Marshfield Agricultural Research Station is turning 100 years old today. The farm was first established on March 12, 1912 when the University of Wisconsin officially took title to 80 acres donated by Wood County and the City of Marshfield.

Staff and friends of the station plan to celebrate during a centennial event on August 16, along with other activities to chronicle the station's long list of accomplishments.

Throughout the decades, the station has hosted a wide variety research on row crops, forages, soil fertility and management, dairy herd management and other topics. It was long the home of land forming research begun to help area farmers cope with the area's heavy, chronically wet soils. The state soil testing lab was established there 60 years ago.

The station, which is located nearly dead center in Wisconsin, also draws thousands of visitors each year to field days and other extension activities.

In the 2000s the operation underwent a shift in both location and mission. The university turned part of the original property back the city for an industrial park, and 620 acres were purchased north of town. The new land is the site of new facilities that house a sophisticated dairy research program, conducted in partnership with the USDA's Dairy Forage Research Center, focused on raising dairy herd replacements and nutrient management.

Creating the Marshfield station was part of a university effort, mandated by the state legislature, to create a network of research farms located on representative soil types that are materially different than that which obtains at the central station in Madison.

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