Should UNR Sell the Farm?
If you are interested in the UNR Mail Station Farm remaining as an experimental farm under the auspices of the College of Agriculture, Biotechnology & Natural Resources, please read the following article that appears in the ThisIsReno newspaper April 18, 2018.
April 18, 2018 ThisIsReno
By Jerry Snyder
On March 26, 2018, ThisisReno reported that the University of Nevada, Reno (UNR) issued a request for proposals seeking bids to purchase a 104-acre parcel of the University’s Main Station Farm, an experimental farm located on the east side of McCarran Boulevard, north of Mill Street.
UNR said that minimum bids of $20 million had to be submitted by April 5, 2018. It is not clear whether any conforming bids have been submitted.
UNR President Marc Johnson said that the proceeds from the sale are to be used “to provide funds to renovate critical research lab spaces to be more competitive for research grants.”
While the improvement of UNR research facilities is a laudable goal, the use of College of Agriculture, Biotechnology, and Natural Resources (CABNR) assets to fund this goal undermines CABNR’s proud tradition as part of a land grant institution and is contrary to well established and clearly articulated University policy.
In 1887, Congress passed the Hatch Act, which created a mechanism through which the federal government granted money to state land-grant colleges for the purpose of creating a number of agricultural experimental stations. States are required to at least match funds provided under the Hatch Act to set up and operate such experimental stations.
In 1917, in order to take advantage of Hatch Act funds, the Nevada Legislature enacted Chapter 145, authorizing the issuance of $43,000 in bonds. The money raised from the sale of these bonds was to be placed in the “university experiment farm fund.”
The Act further directed UNR to use the funds raised to purchase certain real property and water rights from D.C. Wheeler. In 1917, the University of Nevada Board of Regents voted to approve the purchase of the Wheeler Farm.
In 1944, Major Max Fleishmann supplemented UNR’s agricultural holdings by purchasing the Ladino Dairy farm, located about seven miles south of Reno, and donating it, along with the cattle, equipment, and water, to UNR.
In 1955, the Board of Regents concluded that the existing Wheeler Farm was not sufficient to serve the long term needs of the College of Agriculture, and accepted an offer by Le Vere Redfield to purchase the South Virginia Street Farm (the Wheeler Farm) for $700,000, with the proceeds to be used to purchase a larger property that would, as former UNR President Stout said, “enable the University to improve on what it is now doing in the way of agricultural research and in assisting the citizens of the state engaged in agricultural.”
In voting to approve this transaction, then Regent Roy Hardy wrote that his vote was conditioned on “a proviso that a suitable replacement outdoor farm laboratory is first obtained for the Agricultural College; also, with the understanding that any differences in the amount realized from the sale and the amount expended to purchase a new farm . . . would accrue to the Max C. Fleischmann College of Agriculture.”
The article above is re-posted as a courtesy to our members. To read the original, visit: From Experimental Farm to UNR’s Mill Street ATM: A Brief History of the Main Station Farm (Opinion) on ThisIsReno.com
To voice your objections to sale, contact the Board of Regents and President of the university.
- President Marc Johnson: (775) 784-4805
Board of Regents:
- Kevin Page: kevinjpage@NSHE.NEVADA.EDU
- Jason Geddes, Ph.D: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Dr. Andrea Anderson: andreaanderson@NSHE.NEVADA.EDU
- Dr. Patrick Carter: patrickcarter@NSHE.NEVADA.EDU
- Carol DelCarlo: caroldelcarlo@NSSH.NEVADA.EDU
- Mark Doubrava, M.D.: markdoubrava@NSHE.NEVADA.EDU
- Trevor Hayes: trevorhayes@NSHE.NEVADA.EDU
- Sam Lieberman: samlieberman@NSHE.NEVADA.EDU
- Cathy McAdoo: cathymcadoo@NSHE.NEVADA.EDU
- John Moran: johnmoran@NSHE.NEVADA.EDU
- Allison Stephens: allisonstephens@NSHE.NEVADA.EDU
- Rick Trachok: ricktrachok@NSHE.NEVADA.EDU (Washoe County)