Upper Marlboro Facility
This 202-acre area known as the Upper Marlboro facility is located in Prince George's County. This facility focuses on the development of alternative crops to replace the declining tobacco crop in Maryland.
One of the primary emphases at this facility, during the past few years, has been to provide support for the research and Extension initiatives investigating alternative agricultural opportunities for Southern Maryland. In that regard, College of Agriculture and Natural Resources (AGNR) faculty have been investigating horticultural and agronomic crops that may offer an alternative to tobacco production. Studies of note have included cut flower production, investigations with various vegetable crops, melons, pumpkins, and raspberries, malting barley production potential for Southern Maryland, and a research project looking at the performance of edible soybeans in this region.
A recent addition to the facility has been the Applied Poultry Research Laboratory (APRL) facilities which were relocated from their long-time College Park campus site to the Upper Marlboro Facility in 1996. At present, there are two broiler grow-out houses that can be adapted to handle a variety of research activities ranging from nutrition to physiology to animal behavior, a combination feed handling/shop/storage/office building, and a machinery shed. The APRL is regularly used by five Animal and Avian Science Department research faculty and their graduate students.
Along with University of Maryland College Park’s Dining Services and Office of Sustainability, AGNR is a partner for the newly formed Terp Farm Project. Two acres are utilized at the Upper Marlboro Facility to grow peppers, tomatoes, lettuce, squash, broccoli, kale, collards, and other produce. A high tunnel allows for production year-round. The fresh produce is used for preparation of meals by 251 North, Green Tidings mobile dining food truck, South Campus Dining Hall, and The Diner. Another important aspect of the Terp Farm is that 5-10 percent of the harvest is shared with a local food bank. When not in class, students from many campus departments work at the farm, making a connection to the land and learning exactly where their food comes from. Classes and interns from the Plant Science & Landscape Architecture Department and the Institute of Applied Agriculture learn about agriculture through hands-on training.
A total of 32 AGNR faculty use Upper Marlboro on either a regular or a periodic basis for their research, instructional, and/or Extension programs. These faculty represent the Department of Plant Sciences and Landscape Architecture, Department of Entomology, Department of Animal and Avian Sciences, Department of Environmental Science and Technology, and University of Maryland Extension. In addition, there are generally 2-3 USDA-BARC research faculty that use the facility annually.