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The Sustainable Agriculture Project (SAP) at UMD

History of the Research Center


UMD Farm 1948


The UMD Research and Field Studies Center has its beginnings in 1912 as one of six University of Minnesota Agricultural Experimental Stations across Minnesota, administration of which was headquartered on the University's St. Paul campus.

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ApplesThe Northeast Experimental Station, as it was called initially, remained active in applied agricultural research, education and technology transfer through 1966, and some activities continued into the mid 1970s (read more about the remaining five experimental stations in Minnesota). As the focus on 'productivist' conventional agriculture intensified within the US and land grant universities, the 'red drift' region in which the UMD Research and Field Studies Center lies was deemed superfluous to this project and was closed in 1976. The administration and ownership of the property was devolved to the University of Minnesota, Duluth.

The homestead grounds include buildings originally used for dairy, chickens and pigs. Three homes were originally part of the homestead, which contained offices and residences. The buildings are now mostly used for storage of equipment and supplies. Currently, the UMD Biology Department uses parts of the homestead area for botanical research, and the UMD Facilities Department uses areas of the property for storage.