OARDC Outlying Agricultural Research Stations
Jackson Agricultural Research Station

Jackson Agricultural Research Station

Jackson Research Station Impacts Flier

2014 Beef and Forage Field Night Flier


OARDC's Jackson Station is situated in the rolling hills and lowlands along Little Salt Creek in southeastern Ohio. The station was established in 1968 when OARDC leased 337 acres from the Jackson County commissioners. Two additional parcels were later purchased, which increased the size of the station to 502 acres.

Initially, research at this station focused on fruit crops, ornamental landscape plants and agronomic crops in addition to beef cattle and forage production. Cultivar trials with apples, peaches, strawberries and thornless blackberries were conducted. Scientists also analyzed tillage and rotation schemes for agronomic crops.

In the more recent past, research conducted at Jackson has played a significant role in developing standard estrus synchronization protocols, which are now widely accepted in the beef industry. Specifically, Jackson was one of the key sites in the United States in the development of estrus synchronization protocols using a progestin-releasing device, known commercially as a CIDR. Other research has focused on matching feed resources to cow milk production and calf weaning age.  Researchers have found that weaning spring-born calves earlier (~100 days) than in conventional cow calf production systems (~200 days), leads to decreased forage demands during late summer months and increased cow body condition entering the winter months and at the subsequent calving and breeding times. A recent study on the economic viability of management-intensive grazing evaluated orchardgrass-legume combinations in a 26-acre, six-paddock grazing cell.     

Presently, the main research effort at Jackson focuses on efficient beef cattle and forage production. Researchers continue to look for ways to increase reproductive efficiency in beef cattle, including the refining of current estrus synchronization protocols. Additional projects are focusing on the effect of weaning strategy on calf health and feedlot performance. Forage studies using small replicated plots  are ongoing. Variety trials are under way to evaluate yield, quality and persistence of alfalfa, red clover, birds-foot trefoil and fescue. Scientists continue to evaluate new ways to shorten the winter feeding period, reducing the need for mechanically harvested forage, and in turn reducing feed costs. Other projects focusing on Christmas tree variety and weed control evaluation, and carbon sequestration/biomass production are also under way.

The location of the Jackson Station also provides a unique opportunity to study the interaction of beef production and the environment.  Station personnel are moving forward with plans to restrict cattle access to streams, with the intent of minimizing our effect on water quality and the stream bank environment. Fence construction, low-water crossings and tree plantings are all part of the process.  

The Jackson County OSU Extension office is housed next door to the station office, providing a great opportunity for collaborative research and demonstrations. Management and Extension personnel work closely with an Advisory Committee composed of local stakeholders, to ensure that work done at the Jackson Station meets the needs of local clientele.

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2 miles southeast of Jackson on SR 93 (Jackson County, Ohio) Larger Map/Directions


019 Standpipe Road
Jackson, OH 45640
Phone: 740-286-3803  Fax: 740-286-1578


495 acres


Scott Payne, Manager - Animal Herd
Justin Spengler , Agricultural Technician 1
Ken Scaife, Assistant to the Director, Field Operations

Cathy Chenevey, Office Associate
Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center
228 Research Services Building
1680 Madison Avenue
Wooster OH 44691
Phone: 330-263-3771 FAX: 330-263-3710