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A visit to the Hancock ARS

Felix Navarro

Research Program Manager; Superintendent

University of Wisconsin- Madison

College of Agricultural and Life Sciences

Hancock Agricultural Research Station

(715) 249-5961


Total Time- 2:59

0:14- Mission of the station

0:32- Future of the station

0:44- The history of Hancock Station

1:03- The latest technology

1:40- Station size

2:00- About Felix Navarro

2:49- Lead Out


 Sevie Kenyon: Felix, tell us what the mission of the Hancock Station is.

Felix Navarro: The mission of the Hancock Ag Research Station is to support research projects, student training and outreach activities of the University of Wisconsin College of Agriculture [College of Agricultural and Lie Sciences]. We are excited that [a] couple of years from now in 2016 this station is gonna be having its one hundredth anniversary. It started all the way in 1916 in a different total setup where irrigation wasn’t available and people were just searching for alternative[s]. The most important crops being potatoes, snap bean, and sweet corn, and this station plays a relevant role, a critical role, in the development of technology for those crops.

Sevie Kenyon: Can you give us an example of the latest technology being looked at here on the station?

Felix Navarro: In the case of potatoes, we are essential in developing new varieties and also technological package to improve the production of potatoes. And not only [do we] work in the agronomical part of the deal, we also have an excellent storage facility that can simulate the storage condition that growers have at the commercial level. That helps also to provide a condition of the knowledge to post-harvest operation and conservation.

Sevie Kenyon: Can you give us a little picture of the station?

Felix Navarro: The station has four hundred and twelve acres. And since we are in a rotation, in a four-year rotation schedule, most of the time we’ll be having about three hundred acres in any year devoted to either research projects or some type of production.

Sevie Kenyon: Can you tell us a little bit about yourself? Where are you from, how you got here?

Felix Navarro: I am initially from the Dominican Republic, and got my Masters Degree at the University of Nebraska- Lincoln. And I got my PhD from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. I work on snap bean breeding and develop a number of snap bean varieties that are resistant to root rot, one of the most important diseases for snap beans. For the last seven years, from 2005 to 2012 I worked with the potato-breeding program, and in those functions I helped develop a number of varieties that we will see soon in the marketplace. Vegetable research is something that is a passion to me and this is a great place to work on research. [I can] expand to the limit my capacity and serve the industry, and training and research at the same time.

Sevie Kenyon: We’ve been visiting with Felix Navarro, Superintendent, Hancock Agricultural Research Station, University of Wisconsin in the College of Agricultural and Life Science, Madison, Wisconsin, and I am Sevie Kenyon.