Agriculture is diverse. It touches everything from water to food security to jobs to your community. As one of the most vital industries in America, it is integral to national security, health, and the economy. Agriculture is America. Land-grant universities are the backbone that supports American agriculture. Through education, research, and outreach, land-grant universities work to support agriculture and its impact across America. At Agriculture Is America, we showcase land-grant universities’ research, news, and impact in one unified voice that connects the importance of agriculture to you and your family.
In 1862, an act of Congress created the first land-grant universities to respond to a growing demand for agricultural and technical education.
The Morrill Act of 1862 granted federal land to states to establish land-grant universities that focused on the practical teaching of agriculture, science, and engineering. In 1890 and 1994, Congress expanded the Morrill Act to create additional land-grant universities in the western and plains states.
In 1914, Congress widened the reach of land-grant universities under the Smith Lever Act, which established Cooperative Extension Services to bring research from land-grant universities to farmers, consumers, and families. With Cooperative Extension, land-grant universities are able to offer their resources directly to the public.
Today, there is at least one land-grant university in every state and territory of the United States, including the District of Columbia.
The land-grant universities and their accompanying Cooperative Extension programs continue to be an important resource for our communities by creating jobs, protecting public health, and ensuring national security.