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UMES acquires farm for agricultural research

PRINCESS ANNE — Organic and sustainable farming are among the areas that will be studied at a 365-acre farm recently acquired by the University of Maryland Eastern Shore for use as an agricultural research facility.

Crop and livestock research and environmental studies will also be conducted at the farm, which is next to a Chesapeake Bay tributary, university officials said.

“We want to conduct research beneficial to farms here on the Eastern Shore,” Moses Kairo, dean of the School of Agriculture and Natural Sciences, told The Daily Times of Salisbury.

UMES is starting a new urban forestry program and natural areas of the farm can be used for research in that area, university officials said.

The university, which acquired the farm with a $1.55 million grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, plans to begin using the property in January, said Ronnie Holden, UMES’ vice president for administrative affairs.

The acquisition marks the first major expansion of the Princess Anne Campus since 2006, when UMES opened a marine research center. Later this year, the university will break ground on a new classroom building. That project is tentatively scheduled to be finished by 2015.