March 12 marks the 100th anniversary of when the University of Wisconsin officially took possession of 80 acres of land on the outskirts of Marshfield. That land, donated by Wood County and the City of Marshfield, became the site of the university’s third “branch station” — now the Marshfield Agricultural Research Station. Current and former station staff are organizing a party, but they’ll wait until Aug. 16 to throw it.
The idea for the Marshfield station and the two that had been set up before it—at Spooner in 1909 and at Ashland in 1911—was “that these should be located on representative types of soil that are materially different from that which obtains at the central station in Madison,” noted Harry R. Russell, the second Dean of the College of Agriculture in 1907, in the 1911 Annual Report of the Wisconsin Agricultural Experiment Station. “A third station has been located … at Marshfield on the Colby Clays that predominate in several of the counties in the north central part of the state.”