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 a teaching and learning facility with applied research in agroforestry, 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. It boasts 20 greenhouses, a Learning Pavilion, and educational classrooms.

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 an outdoor classroom environment for hands-on- learning for students
  • Meet the changing needs of clientele

Replicated Applied Research Trials

  • Pigeon peas
  • Canola for Biofuel
  • Soil and Climate Change
  • Dexter Cattle
  • Meat Goat Research
  • Hemp Research
  • Alternative Vegetables (bitter melon, tinda, Miracle Fruit)
  • Organic vegetables 

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, homeowners, 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:


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)


AREC -- Main Campus 1523        Ed Temple Blvd.            Nashville, TN 37209

AREC -- Cheatham County   3101 River Road            Ashland City, TN 37015


Contact Us

Dr. Roger Sauve
(615) 963- 5828

Robert Reagan
Cooperative Extension Program
3101 River Road
Ashland City, TN 37015



Tennessee Department of Agriculture