IREC was established in 1947 via a cooperative agreement between the US Bureau of Reclamation, the University of California and the Tulelake Growers Association.
The intent of this collaboration was to "develop information relating to practices that will promote soil and moisture conservation on public and private lands, and general information relating to farm problems in the area."
Initial demonstration crops included sweet corn, melons, squash, tomatoes, lettuce, onions, potatoes, celery and lettuce. Cereal grains, alfalfa, pasture, sugar beets and safflower production projects followed.
What began as a small, eleven acre demonstration farm has grown into a 140 acre center for innovative research, local and national meetings, and as an educational resource for local communities.
Current research is focused on irrigated field and vegetable crops; the development of new crop varieties; weed, insect and disease management; irrigation and water conservation; and plant fertility.
Educational opportunities include Annual Field Days, seminars, and hands-on workshops targeted at farmers, ag industry and school children.