About the Agricultural Experiment Station
The University of the District of Columbia is a land grant institution. As a result of the Land Grant Act —The Justin Morrill Act of July 2, 1862, the Agricultural Experiment Station was established with the passage of the Hatch Act of 1887 by Congress.
“It is the duty of the Agricultural Experiment Station to conduct original and other research, investigations, and experiments basic to the problems of agriculture in the broadest sense … or as may be deemed advisable, having due regard to the varying conditions and needs of the respective state.”
As a totally urban land grant institution, the D.C. Agricultural Experiment Station (AES) has the responsibility of finding solutions to urban problems.
Thus, AES conducts research that focuses on urban problems such as health and nutrition improvement; food quality and storage; water quality; pesticide management; urban gardening, soil improvement; and composting methods.
Muirkirk Research Farm
Muirkirk Farm is the research site for some of the Agricultural Experiment Station projects. The farm is located in Beltsville, Maryland on Old Baltimore Pike, about one mile south of Muirkirk Road. The administration building, greenhouse, tree nurseries, and a storage facility are located on 143 acres of land. Presently, seven (7) acres are cleared and used for sustainable agricultural research. The low input sustainable agricultural research includes the use of soil amendments such as biosolids compost and composted leaves. The vegetables used include leafy vegetables and legumes. These vegetables are grown using different application rates of the soil amendments.
Through research, investigational activities, teaching, and engagement, AES seeks to assist in producing sustainable, healthy environs and communities. Our Urban Agricultural Initiatives include socio/economic concerns, environmental, stewardship, resource conservation, water quality, urban gardening, food productivity, pest management, and community vitality.