The Fruit Research and Extension Center (FREC) in
Biglerville is situated on 125 acres of fertile land in south-central
Pennsylvania, in the heart of the major tree fruit production area of the state.
The center's total orchard and land holdings include an additional 55 acres
approximately three miles west of Biglerville, near Arendtsville.
The southcentral and southeastern counties of Pennsylvania grow about 80 percent (23,966 acres) of the state's apples and pears and approximately 84 percent (7,774 acres) of the stone fruits (peach, nectarine, plum, and cherry). Located in the area are two major processing companies that manufacture a variety of fruit products such as apple sauce, pie filling, apple juice, and specialty fruit products. Commercial productions of apples, peaches, nectarines, cherries, pears, and plums are valued at approximately $84 million annually.
The center is part of the research and extension division of Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences. In addition to providing site-specific conditions for research, the facility increases opportunities for growers, consultants, consumers, and students to observe experiments and to consult with scientists. Extension specialists apply experimental findings to local conditions, and, in turn, make suggestions to scientists about new research needs.