CELEBRATING A CENTURY OF PROGRESS!
The Piedmont Research Station is located in Rowan County, nine miles west of Salisbury. Originally established as the Piedmont Test Farm in 1904 near Statesville, the station was moved in 1954 to its present site on 1,044 acres. In 2004 the station celebrated “A Century of Progress” by hosting an event to recognize the achievements of the station’s first 100 years. Research at the station is divided into four research units: dairy, poultry, field crops and horticultural crops. In addition to both crop and livestock research, the station hosts an ECONET weather reporting station that feeds onsite data to the State Climatology Office headquartered at the Raleigh campus of North Carolina.State University and to the National Weather Service offices in the region.
The structures and facilities at the Piedmont Research Station are varied to support the diverse research program. The dairy unit consists of a recently upgraded milking parlor with electronic equipment to track each cow as she enters the parlor to be milked. A station building was renovated into an on-site lab to aid researchers in collecting and analyzing data. The poultry unit has also been renovated and has been utilized in ovarian cancer research. The most recent addition to the station is a 22,500 square foot tunnel greenhouse aiding in the expansion of the horticulture program to include strawberries and tomatoes. Research involving raspberries has also been added to the station program. Grants from the North Carolina Tobacco Trust Fund Commission are currently supporting both strawberry and raspberry production research.
The Piedmont Research Station is a vital part of the agriculture community and provides avenue for numerous activities. The facilities are used by other state agencies for trainings and workshops such as waste management, small grain production, pesticide handling and emergency preparedness. Educational programs including training sessions and tours are held on the station annually. 4-H, FFA and other youth programs use the dairy and poultry units to train and prepare students for judging events. The Piedmont Research Station is working with local organizations such as soup kitchens and shelters to provide gleaning opportunities. The station also supports the local community through disaster relief efforts by providing manpower, equipment, storage space and other needed services.
The Piedmont Research Station hosts a variety of events each year. Field Days to share research projects include a small grain field day and a dairy field day. Other station events have included a Bio-fuels Workshop that shared the stations involvement in the production of biodiesel using a small on-site processing unit.