Main Station Field Lab
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 1,000
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.
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 are developed by students.
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.
From a research perspective,
the ranch showcases science in the areas of animal genetics, cattle health & performance,
control & eradication of noxious weeds, alternative agriculture, and air/soil/water
Sheep on site contribute to internationally recognized research that is expanding
the potential of gene therapy and stem-cell research in humans. By injecting human
stem cells into sheep embryos, scientists have created partially humanized organs
in sheep. Though there is no visual difference from other sheep, the goal is to
develop the potential for treating birth defects and an array of human diseases