Nestled in southeastern Virginia, a hotbed of row crop production, the center serves as a vital link between university resources and the regional agricultural industry. Dubbed “TAREC” for short, the 412-acre facility is one of Virginia Tech’s eleven agricultural research and extension centers, or “ARECs,” situated around the state. Employing an in-house suite of specialists, each AREC hones in on work which improves regional agricultural production systems.
At its launch 102 years ago, the station was staffed by one person and a mule; as time passed, row crop production became its main priority. Today, in keeping with their mission to support local needs, the faculty and staff at TAREC carry out work related to soybean, peanut, cotton, grain, and swine production, focusing on agronomic challenges and pest management issues. “The Extension and outreach programs focus on making growers in the area successful. Success is measured through economic and environmental sustainability,” explains Dr. David Langston, the center’s director who also specializes in diagnosing diseases of vegetables and row crops.