Research Station : The entities known as Research Stations and Research Institutes of the Department of Agriculture (now the department of Agriculture and Agri-Food) officially operated from 1959 to 1993, but their functional history extends far beyond those dates.
Originally, the Experimental Farm Stations Act of 1886 established five farm stations, including a central farm station in Ottawa. These stations were to conduct scientific research, and were known as experimental farms. The number of research sites and establishments increased significantly and various names were used, including experimental farms, experimental stations, sub-stations, and laboratories, usually preceded by the term Dominion.
In 1959, a major reorganization took place at the Department of Agriculture, replacing the main administrative structure that had been in place previously. Experimental farms and scientific research were combined to form the Research Branch. The creation of the new branch introduced the names research stations and research institutes.
In 1986, the existing research institutes were renamed research centres and in 1993, the research stations were renamed research centres. In Quebec, the other research stations were renamed research and development centres in 1993.
Since 1993, the main research sites have been known as Research Centres (Research and Development Centres in Quebec) while their affiliated establishments are generally known as Research Farms. While there was a change in the name of the Research Branch - to Science and Technology Branch - in 2012, the research centres continued to report to and be a major part of the branch.