MANHATTAN, Kan. — Reductions in base support from the state and recent enrollment declines have led to the decision to close Kansas State University's 120-acre John C. Pair Horticultural Center in Haysville.
Over the next several months, K-State Research and Extension will develop a plan to close the center and address land ownership. The center is staffed by five full-time professionals, some of whom will have the opportunity to relocate, as well as four to five students hired to work each summer.
As part of university-wide budget reductions, the College of Agriculture and K-State Research and Extension 2019 budget was cut by $3.5 million.
"Naturally, with budget reductions there are difficult decisions," said John Floros, dean of the College of Agriculture and director of K-State Research and Extension. "We value the history and contributions of our faculty at the center."
The John C. Pair Horticultural Center opened in 1970 as the Kansas State University Horticulture Research Center with a focus on research and extension activities related to woody ornamental crop production and utilization.
In addition to woody ornamentals, research crops at the center have included grapes, peaches, strawberries, asparagus, sweet potatoes, pumpkins and tomatoes. The center currently grows shade trees, ornamental trees, flowers, turfgrass and medicinal plants. A high-tunnel facility is also being used.
In conjunction with this closure, the Pecan Experimental Field, an 80-acre stand of native pecan trees in Chetopa, also will be closed.
"We value our relationships with stakeholders and have tried to be thoughtful and strategic in making difficult choices," said Ernie Minton, the College of Agriculture's associate dean for research and graduate programs.