Agricultural Research and Education Center (AREC)

Applying Research in Agriculture

The 124-acre Agricultural Research and Education Center is located approximately 5 miles southeast of Ashland City, TN on the banks of the Cumberland River. The center is designed as a teaching and learning facility with applied research in agro forestry, aquaculture, small ruminant management, vegetable and small fruit production, sustainable agriculture, organic production, pesticide storage and handling, post harvest handling and environmental stewardship/water quality.

Our Goals

  • Provide innovative educational programs and leadership for limited resource clientele
  • Provide applied research information on alternative agriculture for small-scale farmers
  • Provide cutting edge technology
  • Provide outdoor classroom environment for hands-on- learning for students
  • Provide leadership development and team building using challenge ropes course
  • Meet changing needs of clientele

Replicated Applied Research Trials

  • Pigeon peas
  • Turf grass
  • Black Berries (variety test)
  • Blue Berries (variety test)
  • Peaches (variety test)
  • Loblolly Pine
  • Multi-species grazing/rotational grazing Organic vegetables (to be started in 2009)

Soil Maps of Ashland City AREC

Engagement Vision

The Agricultural Research Education Center in Cheatham County is centrally located in a 10 county mid Tennessee region that is rapidly urbanizing.   While the  focus is on sustainable agriculture and natural resources,  the long term  goal is to offer a diversity of classes, learning and engagement opportunities consistent with the TSU  land- grant  mission and vision while meeting  the needs of the surrounding mid state counties.  When the master plan is completed, we plan to provide up to 180 programming days a year for school groups, college students, individuals, organizations, small farmers, master gardeners, home owners, out of state visitors etc.

Current Educational Programs

The Agricultural Research Education Center is currently used for a variety of educational programs including the following:

  • Third Friday Field Days and Workshops
  • In-service Training for Extension Agents
  • Workshops for Small-Scale  Farmers and Rural Land Owners
  • Browsing Academy
  • Small Ruminant College
  • Leadership and Team Building
  • Small Farm Expo/Small Farmer Recognition Program
  • 4-H Fall Festival

Future Educational Program

4H SET Outdoor Classroom

An Agricultural and Environmental Discovery Experimental-Learning Program Designed to Support Teaching/Learning Goals for Elementary, Middle and High Schools

Recommended Learning Stations:

  • Water Resources - E
  • Soils- E
  • Small Fruits and Vegetables - Ag
  • Agro forestry- Ag
  • Small Ruminants - Ag
  • Ornamental Horticulture - E
  • Organic Agriculture - Ag
  • Wildlife/Nature Trail - E
  • Weather Bug - E
  • Geographic Information Systems (GIS) - O
  • Entrepreneurship and Small Business Development - O
  • Leadership and Team Building – O

Ag – Agricultural Stations (4); E – Environmental Stations (5); O – other Stations (3)

Key Principles

  • Hands on learning in outdoor setting
  • Reinforce science/engineering/technology and other competency learning standards for public schools
  • Environmental Education Pavilion
  • Challenge/ Ropes Course for leadership and team building
  • US Army Corps of Engineers Nature Trail
  • Applied Research/Extension Demonstrations
  • Supportive of Agriculture in the Classroom

The Future

A master plan has been developed that include plans for the following:

  • Conference Center
  • Pesticide Storage Facility
  • Learning Pavilions
  • Equipment Storage Shed/Shop
  • Greenhouses
  • Redesign of Entrance and Transportation Loop
  • Map of Agricultural Research Education Center




Hours of Operation

Monday – Friday
8:00 am - 4:30 pm CT

Saturday, Sunday– Closed
(unless otherwise announced)


3101 River Road
Ashland City, TN 37015


Contact Us

Dr. Roger Sauve
(615) 963- 5828

Chris Robbins
Extension Associate,
Farm Operations

Cooperative Extension Program
3101 River Road
Ashland City, TN 37015

(615) 792-5744



Tennessee Department of Agriculture