DREC Centennial

Dickinson Research Extension Center Celebrating 100 Years +

On March 2, 1905 North Dakota Senate Bill 62 passed the North Dakota Legislative Assembly establishing the Dickinson Experiment Station, which is now the Dickinson Research Extension Center . This makes DREC the first and oldest branch station of the North Dakota State University Experiment Station. The goal was to develop research on crop production for farmers of the region and to improve native and introduced forages for livestock producers. During the first year of its operation L.R. Waldron, the first director of the Dickinson Experiment Station, seeded many firsts including trees. The first cereal grains, first alfalfa, first forage grass, and first corn planted at Dickinson were made that year. In addition, the first building built at the Center was a barn in 1905 followed shortly by the farmhouse/office and then a seed house. The original trees and the barn have long since gone, the seed house evolved into an office used by staff, but the mission of the Center remains.

The Center has changed to meet the challenges of the times. Over the years the Center has grown from the original 160 acres at the edge of the city limits to the current 4,916 acres, 3,259 acres are at the ranch unit north of Dickinson where range and beef research are conducted. Today the Dickinson Research Extension Center has a unique blend of staff and programs. Staff include animal, crop, range, and nutrient management scientists who focus on grass production, rangeland management, weather influences on dryland agriculture, beef genetics, nutrition, management, disease control and waste management, crop variety testing and development of profitable cropping systems for the region as well as some testing and demonstration of lawn, garden, and tree crops suitable for the region. Concepts developed here and in cooperation with NDSU and other universities and research organizations have benefited people regionally, nationally, and internationally.

The Dickinson Research Extension Center will be hosting a Centennial Field Day Celebration on Thursday, July 13. Participants will have a chance to see demonstrations of cereal grain varieties and beef cattle breeds from past decades to present as well as have a glimpse of future developments such as perennial wheat, corn, and sunflower, spatially managed farms, alternative energy, and horticultural demonstrations. In addition, an open house for the new office building, the first one built specifically to house staff in 100 years, will be dedicated during the Celebration. Normally we have about 1,200 people attend field day at the Center, but with the notoriety of the occasion DREC staff are expecting to host 2,500 people at this year's event. Dickinson area business, farm organizations, and others, have supported DREC and the work it does throughout it's history. For additional details of the Centennial Field Day activities contact Frank Kutka or Roger Ashley at the Dickinson Research Extension Center 483-2348.


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