Welcome to the North Carolina Agricultural Research Service (NCARS) 

What is today known as the North Carolina Agricultural Research Service has been serving the citizens of North Carolina since 1877, when the Agricultural Experiment and Fertilizer Control Station was established by the state legislature. The unit was the first of its kind in the south and the second in the United States. It was in existence before North Carolina State University was founded in 1887 and before the passage, also in 1887, of the Hatch Act, which provided federal funding to support agricultural research. The Experiment Station was transferred from the North Carolina Department of Agriculture to the North Carolina College of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts (now NC State) in 1887.

The present-day organization shares its predecessor's mission of service, but is very different from the original institution founded to evaluate fertilizer materials and regulate the fertilizer industry. Today, our 214 faculty FTE are assigned to 18 of the 20 departments in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALS). The number of graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, technical support staff, and non-tenure track faculty exceeds 800. Total yearly expenditures are approximately $120 million.

Research programs range from basic discovery in the agricultural and biological sciences to crop and animal production. We are fully integrated with the academic programs and cooperative extension functions in CALS to implement our land grant mission of research, education, and outreach. We also partner with the North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services to jointly manage one of the most extensive research station operations in the United States.

We are one of several institutions with faculty and research programs at the North Carolina Research Campus (NCRC) at Kannapolis, NC, which focuses on improved human health. Faculty in our Plants for Human Health Institute (PHHI) at the NCRC work with state-of-the-art equipment to better understand and improve the nutritional qualities of fruits and vegetables.

In one way or another, our research provides a positive impact on every citizen in North Carolina. For example:

  • Our agricultural research directly supports the state's largest industry and the approximately 700,000 jobs North Carolina agriculture provides;
  • Our research in human health, food safety, and wellness has a positive impact for North Carolina and beyond;
  • Our research in ecosystem diversity, environmental protection, and land use improves our state for both urban and rural citizens.

Our mandate is to support the citizens of North Carolina through research that has a positive impact on their lives; but our goal is to conduct that research in a manner that extends the benefits beyond our borders, to the citizens of the nation and the world.

Please take a few minutes to learn more about our excellent research programs and the dedicated people who are the strength of the NCARS.

If you have questions, please contact us.


Steven Lommel, PhD

Associate Dean for Research

NCARS Director

North Carolina Agricultural Research Service 
201 Patterson Hall, Box 7643
NC State University
Raleigh, NC 27695-7643
Office: 919.515.2717
Fax: 919.515.7745