Centers that are part of the Tucson Agricultural Centers
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Campus Agricultural Center
West Campus Ag Center
CALS Campus Greenhouse Facility
Red Rock Ag Center
Santa Rita Experimental Range
Page Ranch

Campus Agricultural Center (CAC) is based on 180 acres located about 3 miles north of the University's main campus. Facilties include three greenhouse complexes (including the Controlled Environment Agriculture Center),Campus Ag Center at Campbell Avenue & Roger Road a 300-animal dairy research center, a meat sciences complex, an equine teaching/research facility, a new animal physiology research complex, facilities for beef cattle research, a covered show arena, the Karsten Turfgrass Research Facility, an entomological research laboratory, the Pima County Cooperative Extension center, a publications distribution center (CALSMart), four residences for farm supervisory personnel, maintenance/office/conference facilities, and support buildings for many of the academic departments in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALS). Structural space maintained at CAC totals over 270,000 square feet.

CAC is used extensively by researchers, teachers, students, extension personnel & clientele, neighbors, and local community organizations. Most of the facilities management personnel for the Tucson Area Agricultural Centers are based at CAC, and several hundred other professional and volunteer workers regularly use the facilities at the Campus Agricultural Center for their educational and research activities.

The main strength of this center is its proximity to the hub of University activity and to a very large population of service clients. This has particular significance because of recent shifts in the College toward providing services for campus-based biotechnological research and toward serving more urban clients.

West Campus Agricultural Center (WCAC) is located approximately 5 miles west of CAC. With 70 acres of land located along the Santa Cruz River and within a 10-minute drive from the main campus, this center has also experienced a recent expansion in both facilities and usage. Facilities include a large animal necropsy building, the Arizona Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory, six buildings housing the Aquaculture Pathology Research Program, a feed mill, experimental feedlots, about 15 acres of pasture, approximately 12 acres of field research plots, two houses for residential personnel, and various support buildings. Structural space totals over 40,000 square feet.

Desert-raised shrimpWCAC is mainly used by researchers from the veterinary and animal sciences, plant sciences, entomological sciences, and the Department of Hydrology and Water Resources. The Veterinary Diagnostics Laboratory serves both urban and rural clients throughout the state of Arizona.

Like the Campus Agricultural Center, this center offers ready access to campus-based personnel. However, WCAC provides opportunities for research of a more industrial nature. With the recent addition of a high-capacity sewage disposal system and the expansion of the water delivery system, this center offers excellent opportunities for both structural and field-based facilities expansion.

campus greenhousesCampus Greenhouse Facilities - Our campus-based greenhouse facilities are also maintained for the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALS) by the Tucson Area Agricultural Centers organization. The CALS Campus Greenhouse Facility provides controlled environmental growth rooms and greenhouse space for studies in plant-related sciences. The facility currently offers 5,760 square feet of greenhouse space, with plans to expand to a total of 14,000 square feet. Support space totals 6,100 square feet, and includes four "head houses," several utility rooms, a central office, and two large walk-in growth rooms.

Red Rock Ag Center- Red Rock Ag Center is located 36 miles north of the University campus. Red Rock is currently being developed and will offer opportunities for field research on 440 cultivated acres. Two full-time employees will provide research support and farm commodity income for the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. Cotton Boll

The convenience of conducting large-scale field research projects within less than an hour's drive of the main campus is the chief strength of this facility. It provides an excellent site for research in plant breeding, weed control, plant pathology, insect management, fertility & nitrogen management, soil conservation, alternative crops, and other areas of agronomic interest.

Santa Rita Experimental Range - (SRER) is located 40 miles south of Tucson. Established in 1902, it is the oldest experimental range in the country. SRER includes more than 80 square miles, spanning Sonoran Desert at less than 3,000 feeet elevation and receiving less than 10 inches of percipitation, to semi-arid grassland scrub at 4,500 feet elevation and receiving about 18 inches of annual precipitation. Contiguous to SRER is Wilderness Area in the Santa Rita National Forest, presenting a total gradient of protected land from less than 3,000 to over 9,000 feet elevation.

HummingbirdSRER was founded to study range recovery from drought and overgrazing, as well as sustainable grazing practices. Livestock grazing has been studied by university and government scientists at SRER for over 80 years. Parts of the rangeland have been excluded from grazing since 1903 and many ecological and wildlife studies have been conducted on grazed and ungrazed areas at SRER. A unique scientific resource is the archive of repeat photos, some as old as 1902.

SRER is available for research and education, and the Florida Canyon HQ includes both administrative buildings and lodging available for students and researchers. For more information, please visit these web resources:

  1. http://cals.arizona.edu/SRER - SRER web site, including historical and ecological information, bibliographies, maps, and other data.
  2. http://cals.arizona.edu/aes/cac/farmserv.htm and select Santa Rita Experimental Range Services Agreements for applications to conduct research.
  3. http://cals.arizona.edu/aes/cac/facilityuseforms.htm and select Santa Rita Experimental Range "On-Line Reservation Form" for lodging reservations.
  4. http://www.obfs.org and select "Stations" to link to the SRER for more information on the station and its resources and comparisons to other field biology stations.

You may also contact SRER Range Manager, Mark Heitlinger, (520) 625-2121.

Page RanchPage Ranch - 640 acres near the town of Oracle, used mainly as a field site for teaching soils and engineering programs. The College is scaling back activities at this center because of budget considerations.

  Page last revised or reviewed November 2011