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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

About Us and Directions

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The Plains Area is one of five administrative regions under the U.S. Department of Agriculture's national Agricultural Research Service (ARS). As the chief scientific research arm of the department, ARS is finding solutions to agricultural problems that affect Americans every day, from field to table. Here, at the PA, we contribute to that effort through the work of our many talented scientists and their support staffs at our 22 research locations across ten states and at the Area Office in Fort Collins, CO.

Our mission and our values guide us in designing and organizing our research efforts, and keep us mindful of the needs of our customers. We seek their collaboration in both evaluating new research efforts and in sharing the results of previous work. Our scientists and technology transfer support staff also work diligently to speed the delivery of new products developed through our research to our customers. Please see our Partnering and Technology Transfer sections for more information.

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Our Directors:

The PA Area Director is Dr. Larry Chandler. He is aided by Dr. John McMurtry(Associate Area Director), Dr. Bryan Kaphammer (Associate Area Director), the Western Business Service Center Directors, and the entire Area Office Staff.  Please see the Area Director’s Office for additional information.

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To Reach Us:


Natural Resources Research Center
2150 Centre Ave
Building D, Suite 300
Fort Collins, CO 80526



Directions to the Area Office (Google Maps) *

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Our Mission and Values:

"Research Excellence:  Meeting Customer Expectations"

ARS conducts research to develop and transfer solutions to agricultural problems of high national priority and provide information access and dissemination to:

  • Ensure high-quality, safe food, and other agricultural products
  • Assess the nutritional needs of Americans,
  • Sustain a competitive agricultural economy,
  • Enhance the natural resource base and the environment, and
  • Provide economic opportunities for rural citizens, communities, and society as a whole.

Area scientists are nationally and internationally recognized leaders whose research programs address the entire Agency’s mission and all of its goals. We implement the Agency’s national programs and assure they are coordinated with similar research in the Agency and in Universities, other Federal agencies, public entities, and private and international sector institutions. We provide administrative, technical and budget coordination for the Research Units located throughout the Area.

We Value:

  • Our Employees, Partners, Customers & Their Ideas – We Believe Our Success Is Driven By Our Employees Commitment To Excellence
  • Research That is Relevant, Has Scientific Merit & Is Outcome Oriented
  • Demonstrated Accountability To Customers, Stakeholders, Partners & Congress- We Strive To Exceed Their Expectations
  • A High Ethical Standard & Science Integrity
  • Quality Scientific Capacity
  • Technology As A Key To Our Future Success

We Advocate:

  • A Quality Work Environment That Fosters A Diverse Work Force
  • Partnerships & Teams
  • A Commitment To Continuous Improvement
  • A Flexibility To Accommodate Change
  • Doing The Right Thing In The Right Way

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To Join Us:

The PA has more than 1000 full time employees and numerous part time and seasonal staff in ten states working to help solve agricultural problems, both in the Plains and across the nation. If you are interested in joining that effort, please see our Careers page for current openings.

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Last Modified: 9/25/2015