Winfred Thomas Agricultural Research Station
The Winfred Thomas Agricultural Research Station (WTARS) is a working research farm dedicated to providing the facilities and outdoor laboratories needed to conduct agricultural and environmental research. The Station also provides hands-on educational opportunities for students of all ages and the public through our ongoing outreach events. We are located on 972 acres in Hazel Green, north of Huntsville in Alabama. Research faculty and graduate students from Alabama A&M University and their partner institutions use WTARS for a broad array of research to improve the fields of agriculture, agronomy, genomics, animal science, forestry, soil science, and the environmental sciences. Outreach activities include workshops by Alabama Cooperative Extension Service (ACES); local, regional, and national conferences; ROTC; K-12 school field trips; farm tours for farmers; 4H and FFA events; fundraisers for local nonprofits; and much more.
The facility is overseen by the Dean/Research Director of the College of Agricultural, Life and Natural Sciences (CALNS), under the mandate of the 1890 land-grants mission. Through the USDA, the Evans-Allen program supports agricultural research, along with other resources for extension activities with an emphasis on reaching socially and economically disadvantaged people. As stated in a report by Washington State University in 2009, ‘The Land Grant: What is it?’ “These universities continue to fulfill their democratic mandate for openness, accessibility, and service to people, and many of these institutions have joined the ranks of the nation's most distinguished public research universities. Through the land-grant university heritage, millions of students are able to study every academic discipline and explore fields of inquiry far beyond the scope envisioned in the original land-grant mission”.
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