In April of 1935, the National Soil Dynamics Laboratory in Auburn, Ala. — the world’s first full-size laboratory designed to study the relationships between tillage tools and traction equipment, and various types of soil — conducted its first test.

The laboratory was conceived by March Nichols and John Randolph to study the types of machinery and the effects of machinery design on soil compaction, conservation and plant growth. Originally named the National Tillage Machinery Laboratory, the lab is in use today by the USDA and its mission is to “develop tools, practices and products to better manage soil for sustainable and profitable agricultural production.”

Click here to learn more about the National Soil Dynamics Laboratory.