In 1862, Congress passed the Morrill Land Grant Act providing grants of federal land to each state to establish a college teaching agriculture, mechanical arts, and related subjects. Subsequent federal acts enlarged the responsibilities of these colleges. The University of Connecticut is the land-grant university in Connecticut. The College of Agriculture, Health and Natural Resources serves Connecticut through a wide variety of research, outreach education, and undergraduate and graduate degree programs. Research is administered through the Storrs Agricultural Experiment Station. Cooperative Extension faculty and staff, working with a network of over 40,000 trained volunteers and eight extension councils, conduct outreach education and service programs throughout the state. A key component of extension programs is training volunteers who become trainers themselves, leveraging the financial investment in the Connecticut
As the original component of Connecticut’s land-grant university, the College of Agriculture, Health and Natural Resources has as its primary mission education based on research, conducted in laboratories and in the field, that focuses on agriculture, the environment, food, health, families, and quality of life. The College provides high-quality, broad-based educational opportunities that prepare graduates to address the challenges of life today; it expands the frontiers of knowledge through research; and it enhances economic opportunities and quality of life for people of Connecticut and beyond.
The College of Agriculture, Health and Natural Resources is committed to the land grant mission – serving Connecticut and the global economy through research, education, and public engagement. CAHNR has four core values:
- Learning: provide high-quality, broad-based, relevant educational opportunities that prepare diverse graduates to address the challenges of life today;
- Discovery: expand the frontiers of knowledge through research and innovation;
- Engagement: collaborate with diverse institutions, communities and people to improve the quality of life; and
- Global Citizenship: knowledge, tools, and technologies developed and implemented by CAHNR help citizens meet the challenges of living in a global community and create opportunities to prosper in the global economy.
CAHNR has identified two major areas of strength and opportunity that contribute to improving quality-of-life issues and supporting economic growth in the 21st century:
- Food, Nutrition, and Health
- Environmental and Agricultural Sustainability.
These areas of strength are intimately connected because healthy and sustainable environments are the foundation for healthy individuals, families, and communities. Connecticut has a strong and vibrant agricultural economy delivering food, forest products, and plants and plant products to citizens across New England and the Northeast. CAHNR provides the science, technology, and educational outreach needed to promote healthy lifestyles, sustain a diverse and resilient agricultural economy, protect the natural resource base in Connecticut, and guide sensible and sustainable development that will help citizens and communities adapt to climate change.