Mission and History
To help the people of western North Carolina improve their lives through research and education related to agriculture, the environment, the family, and community.
The Mountain Horticultural Crops Research and Extension Center is broadly recognized throughout the world as a premier education and research facility. It is a dynamic center of professionals working to strengthen and improve agricultural industries, families, and communities.
- Provide quality teaching, research, and extension programs as part of the Land Grant University.
- Conduct high quality, unbiased research for the public good.
- Develop and disseminate timely, research-based information.
- Address current and emerging needs of a diverse clientele.
- Develop and utilize the most effective educational techniques and programs available, including the latest technologies.
- Work cooperatively with agencies, organizations, and groups on local, state, national, and international levels.
- Maintain and improve the teaching, research, and extension facilities at the Center.
- Cultivate a friendly, helpful, and cooperative working environment.
A Brief History
North Carolina State University has maintained a high level of visibility in western North Carolina for over a century. In 1905, a tract of land, located twelve miles west of Hendersonville, was purchased for horticultural research. Throughout the early 1900s, branch stations were located in western NC, although records are lost for much of the period.
Around 1949, what is now known as the Mountain Horticultural Crops Research Station was started on leased land in the Mills River valley. A permanent station was established in 1959 at its current location to serve the developing horticulture industry in the mountain sections of NC. The first NC State University departmental faculty, consisting of an entomologist, a soil scientist, a plant pathologist, a horticulturist and a pomologist, were assigned to the station.
In 1985 the State Legislature appropriated money to establish the Mountain Horticultural Crops Research and Extension Center to be built adjacent to the Mountain Horticultural Crops Research Station. Construction on the 23,500 sq. ft. facility, comprised of 5 laboratories, office space and a 200 seat auditorium, was completed in 1987. The working staff includes NCSU faculty representing the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, College of Natural Resouces, and the West and North-Central Districts of the N.C. Cooperative Extension, as well as technical and administrative support staff.