MELOLAND – Congressman Juan Vargas paid the University of California Desert Research and Extension Center a visit Friday afternoon for a chance to see how the facility was faring in its research.
Vargas was treated to a presentation about the facility and its history over the past 101 years of the center’s standing. After the presentation he was taken on a guided tour of the expansive fields that were growing the center’s current projects.
The Desert Research Center began around 1911 when the university system purchased land for research concerning potential farming in the desert, making it the oldest research center in California. The center was created to study the means of agriculture, including insect control, and most importantly, water usage in the area.
Since then it has expanded to 255 acres of land with multiple agricultural and research projects running on the site.
According to Vargas, he was eager to see the latest work of the research center and was grateful for the suggestion by Dr. Barabara H Allen-Diaz, UC Vice President, Director of Agricultural Division, and Director of Cooperative Extension to come visit.
“We’re very proud of this facility,” said Vargas, “It’s been leading the world in technology so it’s terrific to see how wonderfully it’s been working here.”
“This farm has so much history and meaning in this valley, and to showcase it to him was a big privilege,” said Nancy Caywood, the Educational Outreach Coordinator of the center and director of the Farm Smart program.