The Russell E. Larson Agricultural Research farm at Rock Springs, about 10 miles southwest of University Park comprises 2,000 acres of land. The research center is broken up into four farms (Agronomy, Entomology, Plant Pathology, and Horticulture) and a site for the annual Ag Progress Days. Ten acres were certified organic in 2007 and another 15 acres will begin to transition to organic in the spring of 2010.
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. 4 acres began the tranistion to organic in 2005 and consist of Gold Rush and Enterprise trees. 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.
The Lake Erie Regional Grape Research and Extension Center (LERGREC) in North East PA focuses on applied research in entomology, horticulture, and plant pathology. In 2006, a mature 0.84 acre vineyard of Concord grapes at the LERGREC began the 3 year transition to certified organic. Our first organic crop was harvested in 2008, and the vineyard is being used to provide research based information to an evolving set of guidelines on organic grape disease management that will assist interested growers.