Central Lakes College
Central Lakes College is a comprehensive community and technical college serving about 6,000 students per year. With a knowledgeable, caring faculty and modern, results-oriented programs in comfortable facilities, CLC is a great place to live and learn. CLC has program areas such as Natural Resources, Horticulture, Agriculture Science and Diesel Mechanics.
Our roots are deep in a tradition dating to 1938 in Brainerd and 1950 in Staples. Staples campus has a research farm that originated as an agriculture irrigation research center. The farm was originally started as a research and demonstration farm for irrigation named CMDRIF, Central Minnesota Demonstration and Research Irrigation Farm.
The farm began to demonstrate and research irrigation becoming the region’s irrigation catalyst and expanding the use of this critical management tool. This significantly impacted farmers in the area that began to implement these practices within their own farming operations. Research and experimentation was a key factor in introducing new crops such as edible beans. The farm has evolved to be the Ag and Energy Center and still strives to be a catalyst for agriculture research and demonstration in the coarse, sandy plains of Minnesota.
Currently, the Ag and Energy Center operates around 2,000 acres under research and crop production. The main crops include corn (522), soybeans (859), barley (321), and edible beans (238). Many of these acres include research tied into fields such as cover crops, water management, and nutrient/fertilization management. There are 87 acres that are dedicated solely to research plots located at the farm site across from the main Staples college campus. Research projects are conducted in partnership with many industry and public educational institutes.