ISU Ag Engineering/Agronomy Research Farm Marks 50th Anniversary

September 11th, 2014

AMES, Iowa — Iowa State University Research and Demonstration Farms celebrated the 50th anniversary of its Agricultural Engineering/Agronomy Research Farm Sept. 10.

“The farm, located between Ames and Boone on Highway 30, has become a hub of Iowa State agricultural research activity since it opened in 1964,” said Mark Honeyman, coordinator of the Research and Demonstration Farms. “It was set up well to expand as research needs and machinery have grown over the years.”

The AEA Research Farm, as it’s called, consists of about 1,160 acres located between Ames and Boone on Highway 30. It is devoted to mainly agronomy and agricultural and biosystems engineering department research projects, with other Iowa State academic departments, centers and Extension and Outreach, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Iowa Crop Improvement Association participating.

Several Iowa State facilities have been added around the AEA Farm in recent years:  the BioCentury Research Farm, Livestock Environment Buildings Research Complex and the Field Extension Education Laboratory.

A variety of research projects are conducted on the farm, including crop breeding and physiology, soils, tillage, forage production, biomass crops, water quality, power and machinery development. The farm is co-managed by Richard VanDePol and Mike Fiscus.

In 1955, a group of farmers formed the Iowa Crops and Soils Research Association that sought funding from the Iowa Legislature for a farm to replace the Agronomy Farm near the Iowa State campus. The legislature provided funds to purchase land in 1959 and, in 1961, to construct buildings.

A booklet about the farm and its origins was produced for the celebration. It is available by contacting the ISU Research Farms office, 103 Curtiss Hall, ISU, Ames 50011, calling (515) 294-5045 or emailing Sally Medford at


Mark Honeyman, Research and Demonstration Farms, (515) 294-4621,
Ed Adcock, Agriculture and Life Sciences Communications Service, (515) 294-2314,