Lower Eastern Shore Research & Education Center
The Lower Eastern Shore Research and Education Center (LESREC) is comprised of two separate facilities, the vegetable farm at Salisbury and a 214-acre facility at Poplar Hill, both managed by David Armentrout. The Poplar Hill Facility is located on Nanticoke Road about 10 miles west of the Salisbury Facility. Scientists at the Poplar Hill facility conduct agronomic research including variety and pesticide testing, along with environmental relationships between soil fertility and crop management systems.
LESREC got its start as the University of Maryland Vegetable Research Farm (VRF) in the late 1940s. The purpose and intent of VRF was to help Lower Eastern Shore farmers with commercial vegetable problems.
In 1947, twenty vegetable growers in Wicomico County, met in the winter and spring to create the Research Farm. Their efforts served them well as land for the farm was purchased during the Christmas season of that year. Some of the prime movers for the farm were C.C. Phillips of Quantico, H.J.W. Rayner, Edgar L. Williams, and V.V. Hughes from Salisbury. William A. Matthews was the farm's first resident horticulturist. He joined the staff in 1949.
The Lower Eastern Shore Research and Education Center, headquartered at the 124-acre Salisbury Facility (formerly VRF), was formally established in 1987 as the fourth Maryland Agricultural Experiment Station Research and Education Center. Collectively, LESREC is comprised of two separate facilities, the vegetable farm at Salisbury and a 214-acre facility at Poplar Hill, both managed by David Armentrout.
Some departments that use the facility are Plant Science and Landscape Architecture, Environmental Science and Technology, Entomology, and Animal and Avian Sciences. Non-UMCP collaborators the University of Maryland Eastern Shore (UMES), and Salisbury University, and the University of Delaware which is a faculty joint appointment.
University of Maryland Extension proudly offers educational programs based out of the Lower Eastern Shore Research and Education Center (LESREC).