The Nancy M. Cummings Research, Extension and Education Center is located in Carmen, just north of Salmon on U.S. highway 93. The center is operated by the University of Idaho College of Agricultural and Life Sciences through the Idaho Agricultural Experiment Station.
The center encompasses 1,044 acres along the Salmon River. Irrigated pasture and hay land comprise 83 percent of the property. The research herd consists of 330 cows and 110 replacement heifers.
Projects underway or recently conducted at the center include:
- Animal identification systems
- Genetic improvement
- Reproductive efficiency
- Forage production
- Grazing practices
Additional projects are being conducted in collaboration with Rock Creek Ranch.
The center has cattle working, reproduction and laboratory facilities, including a 200-head capacity GrowSafe cattle feeding and monitoring system. Dorms and a classroom building support student interns, visiting students and other educational efforts.
The center is used for environmental education for public school students; as a site for research by scientists, undergraduate and graduate students; and an opportunity for clinical experiences for veterinary students.
The former Hot Springs Ranch was donated to the University of Idaho in 2005. It spans more than 1,000 acres along the Salmon River.
The Auen Foundation of Palm Desert, Calif., donated the property to honor the late Nancy Cummings’ love for the Salmon River Valley, her entrepreneurial spirit and her desire to expand educational horizons for the valley’s residents.
The Idaho Cattle Association provided strong support for the center’s mission by helping the university acquire its research herd.