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About the Center



Our mission is to support and enhance all aspects of research, teaching, and Extension efforts in cooperation with the university. In doing this we will provide the needed knowledge for sound agriculture management and environmental conservation practices for Southwest Virginia and the Commonwealth, while researching and supplying the information needed by producers to maintain sustainability and profitability.

Vision Statement

Our vision for the Southwest Virginia AREC is to support the research faculty at the university to make the scientific-based agricultural improvements in technology and production management to enhance our facilities research and production techniques. We feel sound and accurate research will lead to the improvements of not only our AREC and Southwest Virginia, but our state, nation, and global agricultural markets. 

Our vision also includes:

  • To improve agricultural and conservation practices to promote grazing and forage benefits our area offers livestock producers, and to make strides toward better animal husbandry and quality assurance for the food and fibers we produce in our area. Also, working to increase producer profits and sustainability for beef cattle and sheep.
  • To promote and conserve the natural resources in our area, and utilize an on-site wetlands learning center.
  • We intend to continue our growth to be a major agriculture research contributor for Southwest Virginia and the Commonwealth, as well as for the university, being one of the closer distances to main campus.
  • To maintain a well-organized, clean, and beautiful site of which Southwest Virginia and the university can be proud.
  • To strengthen our ties with local, state, and national agriculture organizations and educational groups to make the differences in the agriculture communities that need the help and information we provide.

History of the AREC

The Southwest Virginia Agricultural Research and Extension Center at Glade Spring, operated on leased land from 1929 until 1947. In 1952 a 208-acre tract of land in Glade Spring (the present site) was purchased with funds appropriated by the General Assembly following support of Southwest Virginia Agricultural Association, the Virginia Farm Bureau, and the Burley Tobacco Association.

Southwest Aerial photo
Aerial photo of the Center soon after purchase and construction of facilities.