Cyril Reed Funk Research Farm
History and Research
The Cyril Reed Funk Research Farms were donated to Utah State University in 2015. The farms consist of two units, one in Richmond, Utah adjacent to the existing Richmond Research Farm and the other unit is in Dayton, Idaho. The purpose of the farms is to research the use of perennial tree crops to produce food from marginal lands in arid climates. Dr. Funk was an alumnus of Utah State University and had a distinguished career as a plant breeder at Rutgers University. His vision was to be able to use land for purposes beyond grazing livestock that would provide food for people.
The Richmond unit is also known as ‘Spring Hill’ because of numerous small springs that provide limited water for the land. This farm is composed of 120 acres. Thirty acres are enclosed with deer fencing and a collection of walnuts is planted inside the fencing. The north enclosure has canal irrigation. The south enclosure has drip irrigation provided by a spring. The balance of the land is managed without irrigation to produce grass hay to support equine and other animal research and outreach.
The Dayton unit is composed of 40 acres and is currently planted to walnuts, butternuts, and hazelnuts. Dayton is a much colder location than other UAES land in the Cache Valley. It provides an ideal spot for research on cold hardiness of perennial crops. The soil is a silt loam with excellent water holding capacity. Irrigation is via canal water from the Bear River.