Page Banner

United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service


Location: Rangeland and Pasture Research

Title: The dawn of the Southern Plains Range Research Station)

item Fisher, Deena
item Springer, Timothy

Submitted to: Society for Range Management Meeting Abstracts
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 9/14/2012
Publication Date: 2/8/2013
Citation: Fisher, D., Springer, T.L. 2013. The dawn of the Southern Plains Range Research Station. Society for Range Management Annual Meeting, Oklahoma City, OK, Feb. 2-8. Abstract #32.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: On 31 October 1913, U.S. Senator Thomas P. Gore announced that Woodward would be the site of the government experiment farm in western Oklahoma. This marked the beginning of a century of USDA agricultural research on the southern Great Plains. A 160 acre parcel of land located southwest of the city was leased by the Division of Dry Land Agriculture of USDA to construct the experimental farm. The land was described as very sandy and devoid of trees except for one lone cottonwood tree (Populus deltoides). In November of 1913, Mr. E. C. Chilcott, the Chief of Dry Land Investigations for USDA, visited the site and marked the location for a new administration building near the lone cottonwood tree. Mr. E. F. Chilcott, the son of E. C. Chilcott who also worked for the Division of Dry Land Agriculture, oversaw the establishment of the Dry Land Field Station in the winter of 1913-1914 and served as the stations first superintendent. The construction of the station’s first buildings began in March 1914, which included an administration building, a horse barn with tack and feed rooms and a hay loft, and an equipment shed for horse-drawn equipment. The first field crops planted at the newly formed station were sorghum and broomcorn (Sorghum bicolor) and wheat (Triticum aestivum). The Southern Plains Range Research Station developed many agricultural products and practices that met the needs of 20th Century agriculture and will continue in this rich tradition throughout the 21st Century and beyond.

Last Modified: 05/28/2017
Footer Content Back to Top of Page