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Animal Disease Investigations Laboratory

General Entry

The Animal Disease Investigations Laboratory, at Marfa, was a field laboratory of the Texas Agricultural Experiment Station System of the Agricultural and Mechanical College of Texas (now Texas A&M University). The plant was established near Alpine in 1930, when it was called the Loco Weed Laboratory. The station initially received funds from the Texas legislature and, until 1949, from the United States Department of Agriculture Bureau of Animal Industry. The laboratory's veterinarian and an assistant researched effects of poisonous plants and infectious diseases on cattle. Investigations showed that the loco weed and thirty-one other plants were responsible for livestock losses in the Trans-Pecos area. The laboratory was renamed and moved in 1946 to a 400-acre tract at an abandoned air force base three miles from Marfa. It ceased operation in 1962.

Frank P. Mathews, Locoism in Domestic Animals (Texas Agricultural Experiment Station Bulletin 456 [College Station, September 1932]). Texas Agricultural Experiment Station, Annual Report, 1930.


  • Agriculture
  • Education
  • Research
  • Organizations
  • Agencies
  • Ranching and Cowboys
  • Cattle Management

The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.

Anonymous, “Animal Disease Investigations Laboratory,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed June 24, 2021,

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

September 29, 2018