Caldwell R&E Center
The Caldwell Research and Extension Center is the oldest off-campus center in the University of Idaho's Experiment Station system. Mr. Elias Nelson, an irrigationist, arrived in 1905 and was the first individual at the station. He was followed in 1906 by L. C. Aicher, an agronomist, and superintendent. The Caldwell Research and Extension Center has been in continuous operation since its establishment in 1906. The Center was originally established to study the slick or alkali spots prevalent in the area south of Caldwell. The slick spots are areas of clay that pack tight and do not allow crops to grow.
Research on the slick spots indicated a need for animal manure as a cure for these problems. In response to these needs, a dairy cattle program was established to provide manure for the agronomic research. Dairy research was fully established in 1914 under the direction of O.D. Center. Discontinued a few years later, the dairy work was reinstated in 1945 at the request of the dairy industry. During the 1960's the dairy research program was moved to the Moscow campus. A swine program began in 1916. It was later discontinued, but in 1960 a swine testing program was developed in cooperation with the Idaho Swine Growers. The program was active for about ten years.
Cattle feeding research was initiated in 1919 by J.E. Norby. Nutrition research and beef cattle management was conducted until 2002, and was the main emphasis of the Caldwell Research and Extension Center for 20 years. Much of the early research on feeding potatoes to beef cattle was conducted at this center.
Sheep research was initiated in 1920 by Dave Stubblefield. Much of this work was continued under the direction of Reuben Johnson during the time he was superintendent. The sheep work continued until 1976, when it followed J.J. Dahmen's transfer to the Moscow campus.
A veterinary research program was started about 1965 at the location across from the present Vallivue School. Research on livestock diseases continued there until the work was incorporated into the Caine Veterinary Research and Teaching Center.
Up until November 2006, The Caldwell Research and Extension Center consisted of 320 acres located south of Caldwell. About 240 acres were farmed each year, producing feed for livestock research and extension programs. Crops grown included alfalfa hay, grain, and corn silage.
In November 2006, the faculty and staff were relocated to the University of Idaho's Caldwell Complex, located in downtown Caldwell, at 1904 E. Chicago Street, Suite AB, Caldwell, ID 83605. Also housed at the complex are the university's Business and Technology Incubator and the Food Technology Center. The Complex also includes a classroom with state-of-the-art technology, capable of video-linking conferences and classes.
Research and extension work in range economics, beef production, dairy production, 4-H, and computer support are the main emphasis of faculty programs.