Extension Open House Planned

U of I Extension Logo


You are cordially invited to join Ms. Connie Beck, Unit 24 County Director, and the staff of the University of Illinois Extension in an Open House event on Monday, May 21st from 2 pm to 5 pm at the Horticulture area on the grounds of the Dixon Springs Agricultural Center near Glendale in Pope County.

The University of Illinois has conducted research beneficial to agriculture and the general public at the Dixon Springs Agricultural Center (DSAC), a giant outdoor laboratory, since 1934. In April of 2016, the horticulture program at DSAC was shut down, leaving a void in the research station’s rich legacy of providing education to the region’s agricultural community.

In June of 2017, Kim Kidwell, the new dean of the College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences (ACES) at the University of Illinois, set out on a tour of the southernmost region, making a stop at the University of Illinois Extension’s Pope-Hardin office on the grounds of DSAC. During a tour of the research station, Kidwell learned that the research station’s greenhouse and high tunnels were no longer in use.

Dean Kidwell’s tour resulted in a request for a proposal to rejuvenate the once vital greenhouse and high tunnels at DSAC in support of Extension’s outreach efforts. The proposal resulted in a commitment by the Office of Research and the College of ACES to collaborate with Extension and the local community to pool limited resources to repurpose the horticulture area for teaching, demonstration, and production facilities, with an emphasis on tomatoes, cucumbers, and greens – such as lettuce and spinach.

As a result of this collaboration, the horticulture area at our treasured research station will once again bring value to the University and the southern Illinois community while supporting Extension’s outreach efforts.

This re-opening has been met with excitement and a sense of pride from Extension staff, DSAC staff and retirees, local government officials, and the community.

The open house event will commence with a welcome by County Director Beck at 2 pm followed by comments from Dr. Germán Bollero, Associate Dean for Research in the College of ACES and Dr. Shelly Nickols-Richardson, Interim Associate Dean of Extension. A ribbon cutting will follow at approximately 2:30 pm.

Please make plans to join in the celebration on Monday, May 21st as Extension, the College of ACES, and the Office of Research celebrate the continuation of the horticulture area’s rich legacy.


Susan Odum

Extension Educator

Community Economic Development

University of Illinois Extension