About Us

Centennial celebration Thursday, July 28

The agenda for July 28, 2016:
9:00 am – 12:00 pm: Centennial celebration, part I. Festivities include time to visit with researchers past and present, view research posters, and hear a number of presentations covering 100 years of accomplishments at the station.
12:00 – 1:00 pm: Lunch. A complimentary lunch, featuring burgers and brats, will be provided courtesy of the WPVGA.
1:00 – 4:00 pm: Potato and Vegetable Research Field Day. The field day begins with a look at potato storage research 10 years after the dedication of the Wisconsin Potato and Vegetable Storage Research Facility. Field research topics that afternoon will include weed and disease management, soil nutrients, insects, and potato and vegetable breeding.
4:15 – 5 pm: Centennial celebration, part II. The centennial festivities continue with comments from Justin Isherwood, a fifth-generation farmer with Isherwood Farm and award-winning author; Nick George, president of the Midwest Food Processors Association; Tamas Houlihan, executive director of the Wisconsin Potato and Vegetable Growers Association; and Kate VandenBosch, dean of the UW-Madison College of Agricultural and Life Sciences.
5:00 pm: Dinner. A complimentary dinner, featuring chicken and ribs, will be provided courtesy of the WPVGA.
The Hancock Agricultural Research Station is located at N3909 County Road V, Hancock, WI 54943. For more information, contact Felix Navarro at (715) 249-5961
Phone: 715-249-5961 Fax: 715-249-5850 Email: hancock@cals.wisc.edu
Click for printable PDF schedule

The Early Days

Research began at the Hancock Research Station in 1916 by the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences on land belonging to the Hancock Development Company. The intent of the research was to aid general livestock farmers in their attempt to make a living on the droughty sands of central Wisconsin. It was six years later when the Board of Regents purchased 95 acres from this private company, and by 1934 they had acquired two more adjacent parcels to bring the farm to 223 acres. Research efforts for the next twenty years were directed towards dairy feeding, pasture utilization, soil fertility management, and studies with coniferous and deciduous shelterbelt plantings for wind erosion control.

A New Beginning

Irrigation possibilities came to the forefront in the late 1940s with aluminum pipe becoming available and the discovery of an ample, easily accessible water supply underfoot. Irrigation brought renewed hope to the people of the area and redirected the college’s research efforts. Studies began to reveal two-, three-, and sometimes four-fold increases in crop productivity when irrigation was used. Seventy acres were added to the station in 1962 to aid in irrigation research, provide low fertility land, and help offset acreage lost by Highway 51 relocation.

Current Information

The College of Agricultural and Life Sciences had the foresight to acquire an adjacent 120 acres in 1971 to add to the station’s land resource. This modestly priced purchase came with an irrigation well and was soon equipped with center pivot irrigation.

The research data generated at the Hancock Research Station by the college faculty has had a major impact on the development of the Central Sands of Wisconsin.