Virginia Tech in Middleburg
A 420-acre farm in the heart of northern Virginia's hunt country, the Middleburg Agricultural Research and Extension (MARE) Center at 5527 Sullivans Mill Road was donated with a supporting grant to Virginia Tech in 1949 by the late Paul Mellon and his wife. For 40 years, the facility was used mainly for beef cattle research. In 1992, the MARE Center was rededicated to equine research.
Since then the MARE Center has been instrumental in advancing the frontier of knowledge related to the care and well-being of the horse. Many of today's common practices regarding equine nutrition, growth and development, pasture management and exercise physiology were developed as a result of research conducted at the center.
In 2010, continuing to forward Mellon's vision, Virginia Tech launched a unique learning experience for graduate and undergraduate students. Participants in Virginia Tech's new Equine Studies Program at Middleburg contribute to all aspects of a large-scale research facility, outreach center, and commercial equine enterprise while simultaneously engaging in a full semester of coursework. This immersive learning environment is designed for those students with a sincere desire to become leaders in the horse industry, academia, or the veterinary sciences. Students also have the opportunity to enroll in summer internship programs and independent research projects at the center, distance learning courses, and study abroad programs.
Faculty at the MARE Center have teamed up with Virginia Tech's School of Education and Department of Agricultural and Extension Education to design and assess new teaching and learning strategies for equine science education.