University of California, Riverside

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Citrus Experiment Station Centennial

University Celebrates Citrus Station's 100th Anniversary

From Simple Citrus Station to World-Renowned Research Center

(March 20, 2006)

This release is also provided in a video version.

It’s time for the Citrus Quiz!!!

Where did citrus fruit originate? Name the three types of citrus that provided the basis for all oranges, lemons, limes, grapefruit and tangerines? Who is credited with bringing the navel orange to California?

To find out the answers to these questions, attend the kickoff barbecue and open house for the 100th Anniversary Celebration of the Agricultural Experiment Station and Cooperative Extension, scheduled for Saturday, April 22, 2006 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at UC Riverside.

In the early 1900s, citrus growers and civic leaders in Riverside County, concerned over the disease and pest problems that threatened crops, began lobbying state legislators to establish research centers to develop scientific solutions. In 1905, the Legislature passed a bill authorizing the University of California to establish a laboratory and citrus experiment station in Southern California.

The Citrus Experiment Station was officially established on Feb. 14, 1907, and located at that time at the foot of Mount Rubidoux. The station moved to what is now the A. Gary Anderson School of Management in 1918 where it became the foundation for the University of California’s Riverside campus which opened in 1954.

Over the past 100 years, scientists at the Agricultural Experiment Station have established an international reputation in agricultural research and development, especially in semi-arid and arid horticulture and in natural resources. “Our faculty, extension specialists and students address a wide range of agricultural, urban, and natural resource problems that are critical to the future of California,” said Don Cooksey, executive associate dean for the Agricultural Experiment Station and Cooperative Extension.

With its roots in citrus research, the station develops new varieties of the fruit and advances new production techniques. On several occasions, it solved pest and disease problems that could have wiped out California’s citrus industry.

Very early in its history, the station’s mission expanded to include research on other fruit and vegetable crops, as well as graduate education in the agricultural sciences.

Today, researchers working in campus laboratories at the 500-acre experiment station and field sites away from campus undertake extensive studies in the plant sciences, environmental and natural resources, and pest and disease management. The research serves as the basis for new, improved plant varieties — including a newly released asparagus variety — as well as new, more sustainable agricultural practices to combat insect and disease infestations and to enhance crop productivity. More than 50 different crops are grown annually for research, including citrus, turf grass, grapes, avocados, date palms, corn, small grains, ornamental trees and shrubs, and cover crops.

A year-long centennial celebration for the Agricultural Experiment Station and Cooperative Extension programs begins with the Saturday, April 22, 2006 barbecue and open house, in Lot 30 at the corner of Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. and Canyon Crest Dr. Admission and parking are free and lunch will be available for purchase.

Activities will include tours of the experiment station and citrus tasting. There will also be an exposition area, a kid zone and a live band. For more information contact: Carol Lerner, (951) 827-5089,

The University of California, Riverside ( is a doctoral research university, a living laboratory for groundbreaking exploration of issues critical to Inland Southern California, the state and communities around the world. Reflecting California's diverse culture, UCR's enrollment has exceeded 21,000 students. The campus opened a medical school in 2013 and has reached the heart of the Coachella Valley by way of the UCR Palm Desert Center. The campus has an annual statewide economic impact of more than $1 billion.

A broadcast studio with fiber cable to the AT&T Hollywood hub is available for live or taped interviews. UCR also has ISDN for radio interviews. To learn more, call (951) UCR-NEWS.

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