Fairbanks Experiment Farm

104-119 West Tanana Drive

Fairbanks Experiment Farm
UAF photo by JR Ancheta

In 1906, the federal government created the Fairbanks Experiment Farm as part of a network of agricultural experiment stations across Alaska. The Fairbanks location was later chosen to serve as Alaska’s first university, which opened to students in 1922. In 1931, the Fairbanks Experiment Farm was turned over to UAF to manage and eventually became part of the Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station.

Today, the Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station is administered by UAF and includes the Fairbanks Experiment Farm, the Matanuska Experiment Farm and Extension Center, the Delta Junction field research site, and various labs across the Troth Yeddha’ Campus.

The Fairbanks Experiment Farm today has 260 acres of cropland and 50 acres of forestland. The complex on West Tanana Drive includes facilities typical to a working farm, including a barn, maintenance shop, feed mill, grain bins, grain dryers, hay storage, loafing shed, old barn silo and machine shed. It also has a horticulture lab and office building, a farmhouse, a controlled environment agriculture laboratory, seasonal greenhouses and even three wood-fired pottery kilns used by the Art Department. The Georgeson Botanical Garden is also located on the farm. 

The UAF site conducts research that benefits local, state and national interests. The farm’s croplands and botanical gardens are home to research projects where scientists investigate crops and cultivars for regional growers, test grains for successful growth in the far north, measure soil health, research pest and invasive species management,  and investigate the success of genetically modified grains for use in Alaska. Forestry research, including wood-harvesting studies, also uses farm facilities.