General Information / Center Overview

Texas A&M AgriLife Research Blackland Research and Extension Center (BREC), a part of the Texas A&M System, is improving the lives of people in Central Texas and throughout the world. Scientists at the center are improving the region’s water and soil quality by conducting research and developing new technologies enabling improved decisions regarding land and water management practices. 

Strategic Plan

The BREC strategic plan provides a vision and associated benchmarks to guide the initiatives of the center over the next five years. It aligns with the synergistic priorities of Texas A&M AgriLife Research. Click here to view and download the full BREC strategic plan, and find the AgriLife Research strategic plan online here.


  • Be forward thinking and responsive to the needs of our citizens and stakeholders.
  • Through innovative investigation, develop science-based solutions to meet our challenges in land, water, climate and energy to enhance environmental quality and preserve natural resources.
  • Work synergistically with other parts of the Texas A&M System; local, state and federal government agencies; international agencies and private enterprise.
  • Support the personal growth and professional development of our employees.  Promote understanding and opportunities in science to students and the community.


Created in 1909, BREC is part of Texas A&M AgriLife Research (formerly Texas Agricultural Experiment Station), the state research agency affiliated with the Texas A&M System. One of 13 off-campus research and extension centers that, along with Texas A&M University faculty, performs research and delivers education programs for the citizens of Texas to ensure a safe and affordable food supply; save and restore the environment; and strengthen the economy.  A 12,000 square foot office building serves as the main Texas AgriLife Research headquarters.  BREC shares research facilities with the Grassland, Soil and Water Research Laboratory (GSWRL) of the USDA/Agricultural Research Service (ARS). Texas AgriLife Research and ARS scientists have worked cooperatively in Temple for over 80 years.  BREC research programs also include scientists from the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), who are co-located at GSWRL with ARS. The synergism between Blackland and Grassland scientists is a principal reason for the success of the Temple laboratory.  Research programs from both agencies are closely linked and scientists leverage shared resources and capitalize on the strengths of one another.

The Riesel Research Center in McLennan County provides an outdoor laboratory with state-of-the-art equipment.  The Riesel Watershed, as it is commonly called, is a historic experimental watershed in the Texas Blackland Prairie near the town of Riesel, that has provided valuable information to the water resource community for more than 70 years, making it the longest continuously monitored hydrologic research site in the country. It is one of many experimental watersheds operated by the Agricultural Research Service (ARS) – the chief in-house scientific research agency of the U.S. Department of Agriculture – in cooperation with Texas A&M AgriLife Research.