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100 years of the Hancock ARS – Audio

Hancock Agricultural Research Station. Sevie Kenyon UW-Madison CALS photo

Felix Navarro, Superintendent
Hancock Agricultural Research Station
UW-Madison College of Agricultural and Life Sciences
(715) 249-5961


2:55 – Total Time

0:17 – The Hancock Research Station
0:43 – Researchers by the hundreds
1:13 – The early research at Hancock
1:38 – Productive sandy soils, irrigation
2:16 – Potato and vegetable storage research
2:46 – Lead out


Sevie Kenyon: One hundred years of the Hancock Agricultural Research Station we’re visiting today with Felix Navarro Superintendent of the Hancock station, University of Wisconsin-Madison in the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences and I’m Sevie Kenyon. Felix, tell us a little bit about the Hancock Agricultural Research Station.

Felix Navarro: The Hancock Research Station has 412 acres, of those, about half of them we planted of potatoes, 13% of the research acres we planted of snap bean, about 10% of soybean, about 10% of corn, and about 10% of sweet corn and other vegetables.

Sevie Kenyon: Felix, give me an idea of how many different researchers work here and how many people are employed here?

Felix Navarro: So in the way we operate we provide basic service with those people and then the research itself is the responsibility of each one of 25-30 research groups. Each one of those research groups you might have five or six people, between students and staff and the faculty. We count researchers here by the hundreds.

Sevie Kenyon: Felix, this station has been here a hundred years, what was it like a hundred years ago?

Felix Navarro: At that time there was an important effort from the soil science department, searching for the value of agriculture in sandy soil. People around Hancock saw value of connecting with the university and bringing that soil fertility and soil conservation research to this area.

Sevie Kenyon: What would you call the most significant discoveries made here on the station?

Felix Navarro: There has been a number of them in several areas. A. R. Albert defined that soils in central Wisconsin could be productive, right after about 1950 Champ B Tanner was doing research here. Doctor Tanner actually brought to life the theory on how the soil-plant relationship works and he was extremely important for the development of irrigation and the precision water management.

Sevie Kenyon: Felix, you have a very distinct partnership facility here, can you describe that for us?

Felix Navarro: That will be a storage research facility and Wisconsin Potato Vegetable Growers Association serve to follow the interest of both the growers association and individual growers to build that building. It’s a state of the art facility, it has eighteen compartments. Nine compartments are there to simulate what happens in potato storages in this region.

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