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University Farm — Agricultural Teaching and Research Center

Mission, Values & Vision, Strategic Plan


The purpose of the University Farm — Agricultural Teaching and Research Center is to: discover, demonstrate, and disseminate knowledge of diverse agricultural systems to students, the agricultural community and the general public.

Values and Vision:

  • Support student success through experiential learning (teaching and research)
  • Provide student-centered learning and working environment
  • Provide service-learning opportunities for students
  • Operate a premier demonstration and research farm that will serve as a valuable resource for crop, horticulture, and livestock producers in the Delta region
  • Provide educational opportunities for our community

Strategic Plan:

  • Hire highly-qualified personnel to manage student employees/interns and teaching and research activities
  • Provide well designed and purposeful learning activities that engage students
  • Employ dedicated and hard-working students as part-time laborers and interns
  • Maintain accurate and current farm records (production and financial)
  • Dedicate financial resources annually to maintain and upgrade facilities and equipment


The University Farm and Agricultural Teaching & Research Center (ATRC) is a working farm and field laboratory that services students and faculty of the College of Agriculture.  The mission of this 240+ acre facility is to discover, demonstrate and disseminate knowledge of diverse agricultural systems to students, the agricultural community, and the general public. Two attributes that allow ATRC to accomplish this mission are the one contiguous parcel of land and its close proximity to A-State’s main campus. Regardless of the excellence of teaching and research by the faculty and students, the above mission cannot be accomplished without these two attributes. ATRC also plays a key role in the College of Agriculture’s success in student recruitment, growth and retention by engaging students outside the classroom.


The ARTC maintains approximately 50 head of beef cows (Angus, Herefords and Angus X Herefords; 50 ewes (hair and wool type crosses); 22 sows (Berkshire, Duroc, and Yorkshire X Hampshire); and 9 does (Spanish X Kiko).  The livestock are used for teaching and research, and are marketed to generate farm income.  The ARTC is also home to the Bill and Alice Nix Petting Zoo, which is open to the public for two days each fall and spring. The petting zoo is an outreach activity of the CoA and the University Farm.


Hay is produced for both feeding our livestock and to market.  Approximately 17 acres are dedicated to small plot research, primarily corn, soybeans, and cover crops.  Surplus corn and soybeans are harvested and either used as livestock feed or sold to generate farm income.  A-State also owns a 500-acre row crop farm about 30 minutes north of Jonesboro that is leased to a farmer.  Cover crop research is also conducted at the Walcott farm.

ATRC Facilities and usages



Bill and Alice Nix Petting Zoo

Open to the public two days, each fall and spring

Horticulture Display Garden

Lab for horticulture classes and a Master Gardner’s project

Shop and Equipment Building

Storage of equipment, tools, supplies, and work spaces for repairs and fabrication

Plant Science East

Soils lab, seed storage cooler, biodiesel and engines labs

Plant Science West

Classrooms, plant science lab, and lock-up storage units

Swine unit

Farrowing and nursery modular buildings, breeding barn, grow-out barn, and # acres of gestation and farrowing pastures

Sheep unit

Covered area and barn for working and lambing sheep; # acres of pasture

Show Barn and Roy Aldridge Hippotherapy Center

Used for livestock exhibitions and the hippotherapy program

Feed mill

Feed mixing and storage

Animal Science Classroom and Lab

Classroom, labs, and covered beef cattle working facility