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Main Station Field Lab

 

Main Station ranch viewed from the above.The Main Station ranch, a major research and teaching facility for the University of Nevada, Reno, is one of the last open green spaces in Reno. The property has more than 800 acres of prime farmland on the periphery of the northern Nevada city. Acquired and developed in 1956, the ranch is home to herds of cattle and sheep.

 

Most of the ranch's acreage is irrigated with treated effluent from a nearby waste-water treatment facility. Through an innovative partnership with the City of Reno, the water reuse project allows for 6.5 million gallons of the ranch’s pristine water to be left in the Truckee River during irrigation season. Instead of going back into the river, 4 million gallons of treated effluent are used to grow alfalfa and hay.

 

Students helping out on lamb weaning day.     The ranch is also home to Wolf Pack Meats, one of the most technologically advanced meat processing plants in the region. Students gain hands-on experience at this abattoire in the principles of converting of muscle foods and the processing and packaging of meat products. The meat processing facility is open commercially to the public, and Wolf Pack Meats sells steaks, legs of lamb, gourmet burgers and other meat products.

 

The field lab serves as a research facility for agriculture/hydrology/meteorology - related needs of graduate students, researchers and faculty across a number of disciplines throughout the University. Students participate in meat identification contest.From a research perspective, the ranch showcases science in the areas of cattle health & performance, control & eradication of noxious weeds, alternative agriculture, and air/soil/water quality.

 

Recent additions to the field station include a project intent on finding viable alternative to growing wine grapes in Nevada, a collaboration between Ag Experiment Station and the non-profit group Nevada Wines & Wines. A number of biofuel crop variety trials are underway as well as a few Cooperative Extension project focused on improving urban horticulture.

View of MSFL looking west