July 13-14, 1955
Volume 7 - Pages 145-150
EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE MEETING
July 13, 1955
The Executive Committee of the Board of Regents met in the
President's office on Wednesday, July 13, 1955 to consider the
offer of Morgan and Peacock Properties Company for purchase of
the University's South Virginia Street Farm. Present: Regents
Hardy, Lombardi, Thompson, Ross and President Stout. The meeting
was called to order by the Chairman at 9:35 P.M.
Mr. Ross stated the purpose of the meeting and read the offer of
Morgan & Peacock Properties Company, as follows:
The Morgan and Peacock Properties Company agrees to pay the
University of Nevada, through the Washoe Title Insurance
Company of Reno, Nevada, $675,000 cash. $50,000 of which
has been placed in the Washoe Title Insurance Company as
deposit and partial purchase price.
1. This offer is made subject to the rezoning of said prop-
erty from the present Farm Land status to that of zoning
classifications suitable and agreeable to the Morgan and
Peacock Properties Company.
2. This offer is subject to the Morgan and Peacock Proper-
ties Company having the immediate right upon acceptance
of the offer by the University of Nevada, to immediately
apply for rezoning.
3. This offer is subject to the Morgan and Peacock Proper-
ties Company having the immediate right, upon acceptance
of this offer, to apply to the City of Reno for annexa-
tion of his property to that of the City of Reno.
4. This offer is subject to the Morgan and Peacock Proper-
ties Company having the immediate right, upon acceptance
of his offer, to enter upon and over said property for
the purpose of surveying and engineering.
5. This offer is made subject to the University of Nevada
delivering possession of said property within 90 days
after close of escrow. During term of possession of the
property by the University of Nevada, adequate insurance
shall be carried by the University of Nevada, covering
and protecting the Morgan and Peacock Properties Company
from any and all damages that may occur during possession
of said property by the University of Nevada.
6. This offer is made subject to the Morgan and Peacock
Properties Company having the time of 120 days after
acceptance of offer to close escrow.
7. This offer is made subject to the University of Nevada
furnishing to the Morgan and Peacock Properties Company
a policy of Title Insurance covering said property in
the amount of $675,000.
8. This offer to purchase is subject to acceptance by
Seller within 20 days from the date hereof.
It Is Agreed
a) The University of Nevada shall pay for Revenue Stamps
and 1/2 of the escrow charges.
b) The Morgan and Peacock Properties Company shall pay
1/2 of escrow charges.
This is of the essence of this contract and all terms and
conditions shall be binding upon Seller and Purchaser alike.
Dated: July 7, 1955
/s/ Jules J. Agostini, Jr.
President - Morgan & Peacock
President Stout in consultation with Dean Bertrand had prepared
a report for presentation to the Regents, which was accepted by
the Executive Committee, as follows:
Since receiving a copy of the July 7, 1955 offer of the
Morgan and Peacock Properties Company to buy the University
of Nevada South Virginia Farm for $675,000 with certain con-
ditions set up by them, I have studied it carefully in rela-
tion to: (a) the needs of the University of Nevada; (b) our
experiences through previous offers for the Farm; (c) the
value of the farm; (d) the problems involved in establishing
a suitable replacement for it; and (e) acceptable conditions
During this study, I have sought the advice of Dr. John R.
Bertrand, Dean of our Max C. Fleischmann College of Agri-
culture, under whose leadership we plan to develop an out-
standing program of agriculture research, teaching and ex-
tension work for the State of Nevada. Dean Bertrand and I
are in agreement on this reply to the present offer. In
stating my position, may I call your attention to the follow-
ing points, some of which will be a reiteration of previous
I. The South Virginia Street Farm is not just another
piece of land to be bought and sold for speculative
purposes. Instead, it is one of the main laboratories
of the University of Nevada. It is just as essential
to our students in Agriculture as are our laboratories
in Mackay Science Hall important to our students of
Physics and Chemistry. It serves as an experimental
and demonstration laboratory for the students in the
College of Agriculture where they study on-the-farm
projects in soils, irrigation, agronomy, stock judging
and animal physiology, nutrition and breeding. Not
only our resident students who plan to become Nevada
farmers and ranchers gain from constant use of this
laboratory, but so do all of the present farmers and
ranchers of this State who receive help as a result
of the experimentation and demonstration on this farm.
The knowledge gained is passed on to them through our
Examples of such knowledge gained in our agriculture
research station and passed on to Nevada's agricul-
tural people through the extension division include
the control of Halogetan and Bacillary Hemoglobinuria
(commonly called "red water disease"). Such informa-
tion has been of great economic benefit to Nevada's
Nevada's part in the national beef cattle improvement
program is centered on the Virginia Farm. About 100
head of Herefords are being bred by our agriculture
experiment station to develop characteristics which
will make more efficient use of Nevada's livestock
Another project to help Nevada agriculture is the in-
vestigation and demonstration of forage production and
pasture management. The search for improved plant
life and better techniques of irrigation suitable to
this State is now in progress on the South Virginia
II. The Resolution regarding the sale of this farm passed
by the Board of Regents on October 14, 1953:
In reaching a decision on the sale, or non-sale,
of the University of Nevada Farm, located on South
Virginia Street in Reno, the Board of Regents rec-
ognizes that its primary obligation is to the en-
tire State of Nevada, rather than to any political
subdivision of it. The Board is aware that sale
of this property to private interests could result
beneficially to the Reno area. Nevertheless, it
is, in the opinion of its members, incumbent upon
the Board to keep uppermost in mind the require-
ments and interests of the University. It is with
this thought in mind that the Board announces its
decision to sell the University Farm subject to the
following general conditions:
1. Ability of the Regents to secure a suitable
replacement property to carry on the work of
the College of Agriculture.
2. Satisfactory assurances must be given that
projected improvements will be accomplished
as represented within a specified period of
time. Otherwise, title would revert to the
3. The entire acreage to be sold as a single
unit, at a minimum price of $5000 per acre.
The price of $5000 per acre was arrived at through
a comparison with sales of similar properties
located in the same general area as the University
property, and through an informal appraisal. It
is the Board's understanding that a tract of land
adjacent to the University Farm recently changed
hands at $6500 per acre. While the Board is cog-
nizant of the fact that a price of $5000 per acre
might appear to be high, it is, nevertheless, the
opinion of the Board that this is well justified
in view of existing commercial values in the area.
It is to be remembered that any sale of University
property is, by State law, subject to the approval
of the Governor.
III. The value of the South Virginia Street Farm was set by
Governor Russell's advisory committee in July 1954 at
IV. The value of the farm as expressed in bids by the
Morgan and Peacock Properties Company:
1. June 1953, $400,000 cash (rejected)
2. October 1953, $400,000 cash (rejected)
Alternate offer $150,000 cash plus the Faretto Farm
of 207A (rejected)
3. April 1954, $200,000 plus 440A (withdrawn)
4. June 1954, $550,000 cash (rejected)
5. July 1955, $675,000 cash.
The fact that this company has seen fit to increase its
offer by $275,000 in 2 years time appears to justify
our previous decisions. The relative value of this
farm is not decreasing and we need not be in a hurry
V. The conditions of the present offer favor the buyer to
the harm of the University's agricultural experimenta-
1. They would interrupt present experimental work with
plants and animals with little regard for the Fed-
eral money which has been invested in this research
during the past several years.
2. Should this experimental work be interrupted as
suggested, Federal support for future agricultural
experimental work in this State would be seriously
jeopardized. Unless we protect fully the previous
expenditures of Federal money for agricultural re-
search in Nevada, it is almost certain that the
$408,921.58 Federal money which we are scheduled to
receive during the 1955-57 biennium would be with-
VI. If the South Virginia Farm is sold, the conditions of
sale must protect our agricultural research program.
1. We must be allowed the undisturbed use of the
property for approximately one year after the time
of our securing an acceptable replacement for the
South Virginia Street Farm.
2. We must receive full payment in cash for the value
of the farm at the time of sale. The advance pay-
ment would enable us to purchase and equip a new
experimental farm. Thus our experimental work
could continue and our obligation to the Federal
money could be met.
In view of the above points, I recommend that the July 1,
1955 offer of the Morgan and Peacock Properties Company to
buy our South Virginia Street Farm be refused.
President Stout then read a recommendation, which was approved,
I wish to request authorization from you to enable me to in
turn authorize Dean Bertrand to make a careful study of the
future needs of the University of Nevada's Max C. Fleischmann
College of Agriculture needs in terms of laboratory farms and
ranches. This study, among other things, would involve:
A. The selection and appointment by Dean Bertrand of a
Statewide Committee of Leaders in Nevada Agriculture and
others to advise and counsel him with regard to:
1. The Selection of an equal or better property to serve
as a replacement of the South Virginia Street Farm
laboratory near the University at a reasonable price.
2. The consideration of acquiring, for experimental and
a. A livestock ranch somewhere in the Northern part
of the State where range research could be main-
b. A farm in Southern Nevada to be used as the
permanent site for experimental work there.
B. The making of periodic reports to me as the study pro-
gresses and a final report when it is completed.
It is my belief that this authorization will enable us to
take a definite and wise step forward in the advancement of
our Max C. Fleischmann College of Agriculture if and when
our South Virginia Street Farm is sold.
Following discussion, the Executive Committee agreed upon a re-
ommendation to be made to the Board of Regents as follows:
That the offer of the Morgan and Peacock Properties Company
of July 7, 1955 should not be accepted because:
1. The price offered is not commensurate with the appraised
value of the property.
2. The University does not have an adequate replacement to
serve as a laboratory farm.
It is absolutely necessary that the University have an equal or
better property to serve as a laboratory farm before the Regents
can consider the sale of the South Virginia Street Farm. There-
fore, the Board of Regents should request the President of the
University and the Dean of the College of Agriculture to renew
the search for such a laboratory farm. (This search was discon-
tinued last July.)
When a satisfactory replacement is selected, the Board of Regents
will again offer the South Virginia Farm for sale.
Motion by Mr. Thompson carried unanimously that the above state-
ment (recommendation) be released to the Press and that the Sec-
retary write a letter to Morgan and Peacock Properties Company
in response to their offer of July 7, 1955 informing them of the
recommendation of the Executive Committee.
The meeting adjourned at 12:05 A.M.