The University of Nevada, Reno, has put 104 acres of land up for sale for a minimum bid of $20 million. The Main Station Farm sits between Mill Street and McCarran Boulevard.
“Proceeds from the sale will be used for capital improvement projects to benefit students, research and community outreach,” said a university press release. “The more than 700 remaining acres will be preserved and protected for long-term agriculture research and education.”
The 104 acres is approximately 16 percent of the land’s total acreage. The land was annexed in the City of Reno in 2011, and has belonged to the university since 2013.
The university said it has self-funded renovation projects by liquidating some assets for higher value goals as it pursues its goal to be a Carnegie Research University. The classification means that UNR would be one of the top universities in the country for research activity. Only 10 states in the country do not have an R-1 institution, including Nevada, and there are some surrounding states — like Arizona — with two or more.
“We are planning to liquidate these assets to provide funds to renovate critical research lab spaces to be more competitive for research grants,” President Marc Johnson said. “Use of the land for teaching, research and operations by the College of Agriculture, Biotechnology and Natural Resources will continue on the remainder of the land.”
The university received backlash from community members about their commitment to agriculture studies when they announced they were planning on selling the land. However, the university said they still plan to recruit agriculture students and give them access to necessary resources.
“We will continue to serve the agriculture-related needs of students, researchers and faculty across a number of disciplines and to provide educational opportunities to community and service organizations,” Johnson said.
UNR has more than 12,000 acres of land in Nevada dedicated to agriculture studies. This land houses resources such as cattle, greenhouses, alternative fuel sources, an experimental vineyard and more.
CABNR, once known as only the College of Agriculture, was one of the first schools on the university’s campus. It has expanded to include nutrition, veterinary science, biochemistry and more programs.
“As stewards of university assets, it is imperative that we maximize these resources to serve our state through our mission of learning, discovery and engagement. We must use our assets to provide a quality education to students in all colleges and to serve our growing enrollment while keeping pace with business and industry to help build a strong and economically-relevant workforce,” Johnson said.
In 2013, Nevada ranked third in the nation for the largest amount of agricultural land — approximately 3,500 acres. According to the Nevada Governor’s Office of Economic Development, the state’s agriculture industry generates around half a billion dollars annually, with an additional $100 million in exports. The industry provides nearly 1,000 jobs in the state.
To find out more about the university’s agricultural program, visit www.unr.edu/cabnr.
Madeline Purdue can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and on Twitter @madelinepurdue.