|Content Description||The first farm worked directly by the Midland Agricultural College was the 160 acre Home Farm leased from Lord Belper of Kingston-on-Soar. This had been the site of the original Midland Dairy Institute, which opened in 1895, and which later combined with the Department of Agriculture of the University College, Nottingham, to become the Midland Agricultural and Dairy College.|
Just prior to the First World War the College purchased farms in Sutton Bonington. The new College Farm, as it was to be called, was acquired in three purchases, two of which comprised the smallholdings of Froghole Farm and Lodge Farm. Together these farms made up a total of 225 acres, which were managed as one farm, although the original names of Froghole and Lodge Farm continue to appear in the records.
On 25th March 1939 the Midland Agricultural College took Manor Farm, Kingston-on-Soar on a long lease. This farm, of 275 acres, lay adjacent to the College Farm and following its lease the two were worked as one unit. From this date the term 'College Farms' was used to refer to the combined College Farm and Manor Farms. When the Midland Agricultural College became the Faculty of Agriculture in University College and subsequently the University of Nottingham the name was changed to University Farm.
In October 1954 the University Farm was divided into two units. A 120 acre Experimental Farm was created at Sutton Bonington comprised of the old Froghole and Lodge Farm sites. By 1959 this had been expanded to 160 acres. The second unit was a Commercial Farm of 325 acres. This Commercial Farm included the old Manor Farm site at Kingston-on-Soar and also had a block of buildings adjacent to the main School of Agriculture buildings at Sutton Bonington. The Experimental Farm and the Commercial Farm were managed independently of each other, with the purpose of the former to provide facilities for research and the latter to provide an example of commercial farm management and practice. In 1971 the farm holdings were expanded with the purchase of Bunny Park Farm.
In addition to the farms managed and worked directly by the Midland Agricultural College the collection also contains records of other farms in the Midlands. The College appears to have acted in some sort of advisory capacity to some of these farms, although the exact nature of the relationship is not clear. Records of these farms were acquired by members of staff from the Midland Agricultural College/School of Agriculture.