News

November 7, 2019

A unique, hands-on learning experience will be available in the Spring of 2020 for undergraduate students at the WCROC. A course entitled “Diversity of Agricultural Production Systems” has been developed with the primary objective of demonstrating to students the wide variety of agricultural production systems, and the opportunities for fulfilling, well-paying careers in the large number of disciplines related to agriculture.

October 29, 2019

The U of MN and WCROC lost an incredible faculty member last week. Dr. Rob Gardner passed away on October 23, 2019. An enthusiastic and passionate teacher, Rob was an Assistant Professor at the WCROC as well as with the U of MN Department of Bioproducts and Biosystems Engineering. His major area of research was utilizing the many properties of algae for production of biofuels and bioproducts.

July 17, 2019

On July 10, 2019, during the Midwest Farm Energy Conference Keynote Program, Morris, Senator Torrey Westrom was presented with a Lifetime Leadership and Service Award.  The award was given in recognition of Senator Westrom’s exemplary vision for renewable energy research and the unwavering support he provided as a founding member of the University of Minnesota West Central Research and Outreach Center’s (WCROC) Renewable Energy Program. 

July 19, 2019

“Everybody is different, and every farm has its own characteristics when it comes to energy use,” reports Brad Heins, WCROC dairy scientist to Dairy Herd Management. The WCROC has 200 cows that graze whenever the grass is growing on the western Minnesota prairie. As such, only 7% of total energy use is needed for barn ventilation in the non-grazing months. The station’s major energy use comes in heating the milking parlor (31%), heating water for cleaning (22%) and cooling milk (11%).

Fertilizer from the Wind

2014 LiveBIG: Wind Fertilizer Feature (Minnesota)

 
The WCROC is home to the only production plant of its kind in the world: producing fertilizer from the wind. Mike Reese, director of renewable energy, and his team have developed a method to combine hydrogen and nitrogen to create ammonia that can be used as fertilizer. Not only does this interdisciplinary approach help to solve important challenges facing the agricultural industry, but also serves to reduce the carbon footprint. The Big Ten Network showcased Fertilizer from the Wind on LiveBIG in January 2014.

WCROC named Outstanding Conservationist for 2011

The West Central Research and Outreach Center (WCROC) in Morris was named Outstanding Conservationist for 2011 by the Stevens County Soil and Water Conservation District. This recognition was based on the ROC's research and educational programs in horticulture, water quality, renewable energy, dairy, swine, and crop production.