1942: Georgia Experiment Station releases ‘Empire’ cotton

Researchers from the Georgia Experiment Station in Griffin, Ga., release the ‘Empire’ cotton variety.

For more than 100 years, the Georgia Experiment Station, located on the UGA Griffin campus, has played a leading role in the development of modern agriculture in the South. The Georgia Experiment Station was established in 1888 as a result of the federal Hatch Act. The residents of Spalding County successfully lobbied for the experiment station to be located on what was then the Bates Farm.

Early research focused on fertilizers and soil erosion, but soon a complete program of agricultural and environmental research developed. Georgia Experiment Station scientists helped revolutionize agribusiness and farming statewide by solving many persistent crop problems.

The deep-furrow method of planting winter oats, pioneered here around 1900, saved Southern farmers millions of dollars. Researchers have bred numerous crop varieties, such as ‘Empire’ cotton, which had a major impact on Georgia cotton growers in the 1940s. A Griffin scientist, Dr. Jasper Guy Woodroof, contributed greatly to early food science research by developing the technology for frozen foods.

Today, the Georgia Experiment Station is one of the premier agricultural research centers in the region and is poised to address research, Extension and teaching needs of the 21st Century. It lies in the heart of one of the nation's fastest growing areas. Just 30 miles south of Atlanta's Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport, it is is easily accessible to visitors from across the nation and the world.

Griffin campus programs work toward the state land-grant university mission: to teach, to inquire and to serve. To fulfill this mission, the research, Extension and education programs at the Griffin campus focus on the following areas: Food safety and quality enhancement; biotechnology and genetics; crop and pest management; environment and natural resources; and urban agriculture.