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January 21, 2014

Research, education center continues legacy in sustainable ag, conservation

WATKINSVILLE —

With the dedication of the J. Campbell Sr. Research and Education Center in Watkinsville, the University of Georgia is carrying on a legacy of agricultural and environmental research and outreach. 

“The acquisition of the Campbell property from the U.S. Department of Agriculture will allow the University of Georgia to continue the important research that has been conducted here for decades,” said UGA President Jere W. Morehead at a dedication ceremony for the center Tuesday.

Having served as a USDA Agricultural Research Service research station for 76 years, the 1,055-acre farm and laboratory complex was transferred to the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences in fall 2013 to expand the college’s education, research and outreach programs. The agricultural research that UGA faculty will conduct at the center is key to feeding the world’s growing population and keeping the U.S. food supply safe and secure. 

“This project will allow for vital agriculture research to continue here in Georgia while saving federal tax dollars,” said Rep. Jack Kingston, who helped to dedicate the center. “Agriculture accounts for one out of seven jobs in our state and $76.9 billion annually for Georgia’s economy.  It is a natural fit for UGA to continue leading in agriculture research to protect our safe, abundant, and affordable food supply.”  

The center was founded as the Southern Piedmont Research Conservation Center in 1937 at the urging of Georgia native and then assistant chief of the Soil Conservation Service J. Phil Campbell Sr. Campbell played a vital role in establishing the Cooperative Extension Service in Georgia before taking his role with the USDA in President Franklin Roosevelt’s administration. The center was renamed for Campbell in 1997. 

“Today’s dedication of the J. Phil Campbell Sr. Research and Education Center serves to remind us of Mr. Campbell’s outstanding contributions to education and agricultural research,” said U.S. Department of Agriculture Deputy Secretary Krysta Harden.

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