Research and Outreach Centers
The University's Research and Outreach Centers (ROCs) represent its mission to respond to the needs of all Minnesotans. They are strategically located throughout the state to provide research and outreach appropriate to each area.
Each ROC has developed its own character and strengths in responding to local needs. Every ROC has evolved as new research needs have developed.
The links below will take you directly to the websites for the individual ROCs where you can learn more about their specific missions, current research, and any upcoming public events.
The Southwest Research and Outreach Center has been an important part of the landscape in southwest Minnesota. Many aspects of the SWROC have grown and are continuing to expand. Traditionally, it has been the organic research center of the University and much of the University's organic research is still done here.
Primary research areas include: agronomy, pest management, organic and prairie ecology, soil and water management, and conservation
The Southern Research and Outreach Center in recent years focused primarily on aspects of enhancing crop and animal production efficiencies. While that focus remains today, it has expanded to include added values such as human disease prevention and therapy, bio-based products and renewable energy, environmental health, ecological service, and other opportunities for empowering the landscape in a viable and strong bio-based economy.
Primary research areas include: agronomy, dairy, swine, horticulture, nematology, soil science, and water quality
The Cloquet Forestry Center is the primary research and education forest for the University of Minnesota. The Center’s 4,100 acres are home to trees of many ages, sizes and species. Its northern Minnesota location is also a natural habitat for diverse wildlife.
Primary research areas include: tree harvesting, reforestation and ecology, entomology, tree pathology and genetics, and wildlife studies
Adjacent to the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum, the Horticultural Research Center is focused on research amongst the beautiful landscapes of the arboretum. Here University horticulturists develop and study hardy landscape plants, ornamental grasses, and high quality grapes, berries, and fruit trees, and investigate methods for restoring wetland and prairie ecosystems.
Primary research areas include: landscape plant breeding, fruit breeding, and wetland restoration
The West Central Research and Outreach Center sits on the edge of a prairie. Its location gives researchers the unique opportunity to manage organic farmland, harness the power of the wind, and conduct studies under regional conditions. Perhaps most recognized for their efforts in renewable energy, the researchers at Morris continue to push the boundaries on sustainable farming.
Primary research areas include: agronomy and soil science, dairy, swine, horticulture, and renewable energy
The Northwest Research and Outreach Center serves the prairie and adjacent land area of northwestern Minnesota. The center provides analytical, biological, and field laboratories to University of Minnesota faculty, staff, and students to conduct research and demonstrations that will enhance the efficient use of agriculture and natural resources in northwest Minnesota.
Primary research areas include: soil science, small grains, entomology, plant pathology, sugarbeets, and natural resources
The Sand Plain Research Farm provides an important site for research on agronomic and horticultural crops under primarily irrigated conditions. About 45 acres of research plots are irrigated using water from four wells running through 28 miles of pipe and 1,600 rotating sprinklers.
Primary research areas include: irrigation management, pest management, fertilizer management, nutrient leaching, and crop trials
The North Central Research and Outreach Center is characterized by the diversity of its research activities. The unique soil, climate, social and economic environment in north central Minnesota provides opportunities to conduct research that contributes to sustainable economic systems and improves the quality of life for Minnesotans.
Primary research areas include: horticulture, agronomy, animal science, tourism, forest management and economics, and forest biology
The Rosemount Research and Outreach Center is home to approximately 600-900 acres of prime agricultural land. An oasis located just 25 miles east of the southwest Twin Cities, UMore Park offers a unique opportunity for researchers to study the impact of urban development on farmland and provides easy access for students requiring hands-on experience.
Primary research areas include: agricultural production, agronomy, animal science, environment, renewable energy, and horticulture
The Hubachek Wilderness Research Center is a 350 acre, well-preserved forest bordering two lakes in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area. University scientists plan to use the space for research on the effects of climate change on northern forests. The work is important for understanding Minnesota's forests in particular and more broadly for the Great Lakes forests.
Primary research areas include: climate change, forest development, forest resources, forest management, and wildlife conservation