Agricultural experiment station
||The examples and perspective in this article may not represent a worldwide view of the subject. (December 2010)|
An agricultural experiment station is a research center that conducts scientific investigations to solve problems and suggest improvements in the food and agriculture industry. Experiment station scientists work with farmers, ranchers, suppliers, processors, and others involved in food production and agriculture.
In Canada, about 50 per cent (1988) of the experiment stations are controlled by the Canadian government. The Central Experimental Farm in Ottawa is the headquarters of the federal system. Private industries, universities, and agricultural colleges control the remainder of the stations. Each province has a number of provincial stations. The University of Saskatchewan has extensive agricultural experimental land.
Japan has five agricultural experiment stations of Independent Administrative Institution of National Agriculture and Food Research Organization, former national stations, and many other prefectural stations all over the country.
New Zealand 
United Kingdom 
Sutton Bridge Crop Storage Research in Sutton Bridge, Lincolnshire, is a leading UK agricultural experiment station owned by the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board and operated by its Potato Council division, it engages in a wide range of research disciplines impacting upon crop storage for the British potato industry, including confidential contract research and development.
United States 
The Hatch Act of 1887 authorized the establishment of an agricultural experiment station, to be affiliated with the land grant college of agriculture, in each state (7 U.S.C. 361a et seq.). Research done at these stations underpins the curriculum of the colleges, as well as the programs of the Cooperative Extension System.
The United States of America has more than 50 stations (1988), run by about 13,000 scientists (1988). Each state has at least one main station, usually located at and associated with a land-grant university. Many states have branch stations to meet the special needs of different climate and geographical zones in those states.
The United States Department of Agriculture also directly maintains several experiment stations, including the Henry A. Wallace Beltsville Agricultural Research Center in Maryland and the U.S. Sheep Experiment Station near Dubois, Idaho. The Beltsville station contains the main building of the National Agricultural Library. The United States National Arboretum in Washington, DC is a division of the Beltsville Agricultural Research Center.
The U.S. experiment stations are state institutions. However, the federal and state governments cooperate in funding the research done at the stations. The states provide about 60 percent (1988) of the government money. Additional income comes from grants, contracts, and the sale of products. The stations receive a total income of more than $1 billion a year.
U. S. Virgin Islands 
The University of the Virgin Islands maintains an experiment station  on the island of St. Croix, working on agroforestry, aquaponics, biotechnology, forage agronomy, and tilapia farming, among other areas of research.
Station scientists study biological, economic, and social problems of food and agriculture and related industries in each state. They investigate such areas as crop variations, soil testing, livestock, processing and animal technology, and other advanced technology in food and agriculture. They also work with specialists called extension agents. These specialists help inform famers about developments in agriculture. Most agricultural experiment station scientists are faculty members of the land-grant universities.
And, 1899 act for prefectural agricultural experiment stations supported prefectural movement to establish agricultural experiment stations all over Japan.
United Kingdom 
One of the oldest agricultural experiment stations is the Rothamsted Experimental Station, located at Harpenden in Hertfordshire, England, where the great statistical geneticist Ronald Fisher was inspired to important advances in the theory of statistical inferences and genetics.
United States 
The first state agricultural experiment station in the United States was organised in 1875 at Wesleyan University in Middletown, Connecticut. It was supported by private donations and state funds. Organization and method were modeled upon European stations and the work of state chemists. By 1887 fourteen states had definite organizations and in thirteen others the colleges conducted equivalent work. The Bussey Institution at Harvard University (since 1871) and the Houghton Farm at Cornwall, New York (1876–88), were privately endowed stations. Federal aid for state experiment stations began with the Hatch Act of 1887. The Hatch Act authorized direct payment of federal grant funds to each state to establish an agricultural experiment station "under direction of" its land-grant college. Land-grant colleges had been established under the Morrill Act of 1862. The aid was increased by the Adams Act (1906) and the Purnell Act (1925). The provisions of the original Hatch Act and of later legislation providing increasing funds were combined in the Hatch Act of 1955.
The McIntire–Stennis Act of 1962 authorized forestry research studies at experiment stations. The federal government takes part in the experiment station program through the Cooperative Extension Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The department coordinates research activities among the state stations.
See also 
Further reading 
- Dictionary of American History by James Truslow Adams, New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1940