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The Gulf Coast Research and Extension Center (formerly known as the Gulf Coast Substation) began operating in 1930 at Fairhope, Ala. Research on seed potatoes obtained from the Midwest served as the primary focus for the substation researchers during the early years. Efforts to increase the phosphorus content of newly cleared acreage also received attention.
Research on other horticultural crops, agronomic field and forage crops and dairy and beef cattle was implemented later. A lagoon waste management and wastewater recycling system in connection with the dairy unit was added in the late 1970s.
The Gulf Coast Substation was one of the first five substations established in Alabama by the legislature to create research facilities in five main areas of the State: Tennessee Valley, Sand Mountain, Black Belt, Wiregrass and Gulf Coast. Three of the five went into operation in 1929: The Tennessee Valley Substation at Belle Mina, the Sand Mountain Substation at Crossville and the Wiregrass Substation at Headland. The remaining two, the Black Belt Substation at Marion Junction and the Gulf Coast Substation at Fairhope, began operating in 1930.
History adapted from the following publications:
Kerr, N.A. 1985. A History of the Alabama Agricultural Experiment Station: 1883-1983. Alabama Agricultural Experiment Station, Auburn, Alabama.
Yeager, J. and G. Stevenson. 2000. Inside Ag Hill: The People and Events That Shaped Auburn’s Agricultural history from 1872 through 1999. Alabama Agricultural Experiment Station, Auburn, Alabama.
Last Updated: October 13, 2011