The Texas Agricultural Experiment Station was established in April 1887 to conduct research into every phase of the state's crop and livestock operations. Research was designed to point the way toward maintaining and improving productive resources; lowering production costs; improving quality of food, feed, and fiber products; expanding markets; and devising new and better methods for growing, processing and distributing, and utilizing farm and ranch products. It was to publish findings for use in college courses and dissemination by the Texas Agricultural Extension Service, which like the station is part of the Texas A&M University System. By March 1888 scientists at A&M were conducting the station's first research projects in College Station. By 1889 its first field tests were conducted at several state prison farms, the state reform school in Gatesville, and Prairie View Normal College. Temporary stations were started at McKinney and Wichita Falls in 1893, and several other locations also had temporary stations during the agency's first century. The first permanent regional station opened in Beeville in 1894. By 1994 there were twelve regional Texas Agricultural Research and Extension centers, located in Amarillo, Beaumont, Chillicothe-Vernon, Corpus Christi, Dallas, El Paso, Lubbock, Overton, San Angelo, Stephenville, Uvalde, and Weslaco. Other units were located in Beeville, Munday, Angleton, Eagle Lake, Pecos, Barnhart, Sonora, McGregor, Temple, Yoakum, and Port Aransas. Cooperating units of the United States Department of Agriculture's Agricultural Research Service were located in Big Spring, College Station, Kerrville, and Mission. See also AGRICULTURAL RESEARCH.