University Of Maryland Acquires 720 Acres Of Springfield Land

October 9, 1969

A total of 720 acres of Springfield State Hospital farmland at Sykesville has been acquired by the University of Maryland’s Agricultural Experiment Station.

The property includes three barns, four housing units, three silos and a limited amount of farm machinery.

“This land” says Dr. I.C. Haut, Director of the University of Maryland’s Agricultural Experiment Station, “will enable us to increase our beef cattle and sheep herds to numbers necessary for well-designed research and represents a much needed improvement in our average cattle research program.”

For many years part of Springfield State Hospital farm operation at Sykesville, the land was recently transferred to the University State policy adopted some two years ago called for the “gradual phasing out” of farming activities by state institutions such as Springfield Hospital.

In announcing plans for the farm. Dr. Edgar P. Young head of the University’s Animal Science Department said: “we will work primarily with beef cattle and sheep and conduct research in general areas.”

“The terrain at Springfield is well adapted for forage utilization studies–our primary concern–” he continues, “and we will give top priority to evaluation of pasture management and crop varieties as measured by animal response.”

Dr. Young points out that the second area of research will concentrate on seasonal pasture management and the third on the improvement of animals through selection and breeding.

Future plans include research on methods of employing artificial insemination in beef cattle and nutritional studies on finishing cattle and lambs.

Dr. Emory C. Leffel and Dr. John Buric, both of the University’s Department of Animal Science will supervise research at the farm. Operation is expected to begin this winter.

Besides aiding in research, acquisition of the new farm will replace the Experiment Station’s reduction reduction of farmland at other sites.

Recent losses include 20 acres at the College Park campus and 55 acres at the Otten farm near Ellicott City.

“With this new farmland” says says Dr. Young, “we will now be able to conduct research that was impossible before.”

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