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Shenandoah Valley Agricultural Research and Extension Center

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Shenandoah Valley Agricultural Research and Extension Center in Raphine, Virginia

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The Shenandoah Valley Agricultural Research and Extension Center includes more than 900 acres of owned and leased land in Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley. Research and Extension programs at the center cover livestock production, forages and forage systems, and small-scale forestry and wood lot management.

The center’s beef cattle programs include breeding, reproduction, nutrition, and management, as well as controlled rotational grazing and forage systems. Sheep programs include ram performance testing and commercial ewe lamb development.

The goal of this work is to help develop a more forage-based sustainable agricultural industry in Virginia and to be a leader in livestock and forage-based research in the mid-Atlantic region of the United States. In the past five years, several small-scale forestry demonstration areas were developed to educate landowners about long-term management of their valuable forest resources.

A two-acre memorial plot at the center pays tribute to Cyrus McCormick and the ingenuity of the McCormick family. The memorial area is designated a National Historic Landmark and Virginia Wayside site, and is toured by thousands of visitors every year.

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Portable and fixed Calan feeding systems
Novel tall fescue systems
Temple Grandin cattle handling facility
Weather station with real-time weather data
Solar-powered SmartScales
Acoustic grazing detection systems


Over 900 acres of owned and leased land
Three barns (bank barn, feeding barn, sheep barn)
A two-acre National Historic Landmark Memorial Plot, including a Grist Mill and Museum

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Forage and livestock industries
Forestry industry


Forestry and silvopasture
Pasture systems research
Ram performance testing
Beef cattle production


The McCormick Farm historic buildings will be closed during State holidays and in the event of inclement weather. The grounds will remain open during daylight hours.

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AREC Fact Sheet

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Grazing professionals practice finding shorts in an electric fencing system during a training at the Shenandoah Valley AREC
Mostly Cloudy Raphine, VA: Mostly Cloudy. 78.0 F (25.4 C) 3:55 pm EDT