The Ag Services Department is divided into two components; Management of the research plots on the St. Paul Campus and the Vehicle and Equipment Maintenance Shop. The department has four full-time employees, one three-quarter-time employee, and one seasonal student employee.
Management of Research Plots
The St. Paul campus of the University of Minnesota is unique in the fact that it has research plot land available in a major metropolitan area for conducting outdoor field research. The fields provide a critical extension of classroom and laboratories for research and teaching. It is the Ag Services Department that is responsible for managing this resource.
There are approximately 160 acres of land available on the St. Paul campus for plant research. This land is divided into 93 individual plots, ranging from 1/2 acre to 5 acres. This land may only be used by University research faculty and students. To request space, researchers must use the online form.
Ag Services prepares the research plots, applies fertilizer, herbicides, and does the required tillage. Maintenance of fence lines, grass, and gravel roadways are also responsibilities of the department. Requests for services are managed by Tom Warnke. Ag Services also manages the animal waste from the livestock research on campus. Hauling livestock, grain, and supplies are also jobs that can be completed by Ag Services.
Vehicle and Equipment Maintenance Shop
The second component of Ag Services is the Vehicle and Equipment Maintenance Shop. This shop also supports the plant and animal research on campus and provides a repair and maintenance service to all departments within the Colleges of Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences, Veterinary Medicine, and Biological Sciences.
We currently have one mechanic, Steve Ziertman, working for the shop. His duties include the maintenance of the Ag Services tractors and field preparation equipment, as well as the trucks and trailers used for hauling livestock and grain. Other services include the repair and maintenance of research and plot equipment owned by other U of M departments and individual research projects within the departments. Examples of this would include combines, planters, tractors, trailers, threshers, skid steers, as well as trucks and vans. This area is also known as Outside Services.
Both components of the Ag. Services Dept. are ISOs and charge an hourly rate for labor and equipment.