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About the Center

The mission of the Middleburg Agricultural Research and Extension Center is to create new knowledge, transform lives, and advance the health and well-being of the horse through the power of discovery, education and outreach.

History of the AREC

The Middleburg Agricultural Research and Extension (MARE) Center was established in 1949 through the generous donation of land and facilities by the late Paul Mellon. The farm covers 420 acres in the heart of Northern Virginia's hunt country, and is home to Virginia Tech's internationally-regarded sporthorse breeding program.  When Mr. Mellon passed in 1999, he left an endowment to the center to fund research, teaching and outreach activities focusing on the horse. 

For more than a decade, the MARE Center has been instrumental in advancing the frontier of knowledge related to the care and well-being of the horse.  Many of today's common practices regarding equine nutrition, growth and development, pasture management and exercise physiology were developed as a result of research conducted at the Center.  Today, we continue the rich tradition of research in pasture-based nutrition, and have expanded our discovery efforts to include additional disciplines of genetics, immunology, reproduction and behavior. 

Researcher and a horse

Carrying Mr. Mellon's vision forward, Virginia Tech faculty host graduate and undergraduate education and community outreach eperiences at the MARE center. The Middleburg site provides immersive learning environment designed for students with a sincere desire to become leaders in the horse industry, academia, or the veterinary sciences. Centered in the heart of Virginia's horse country, Middleburg also provides a unique opportunity for outreach to the wider equine community.