While the University of Florida traces its roots to 1853 and the establishment of the state-funded East Florida Seminary, University of Florida/Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) traces its roots to the Morrill Act of 1862 which established the Land Grant university system. On July 2, 1862, President Abraham Lincoln signed into law what is generally referred to as the Land Grant Act. The new piece of legislation introduced by U.S. Representative Justin Smith Morrill of Vermont granted to each state 30,000 acres of public land for each Senator and Representative under apportionment based on the 1860 census. Proceeds from the sale of these lands were to be invested in a perpetual endowment fund which would provide support for colleges of agriculture and mechanical arts in each of the states. The establishment of Florida Agricultural College at Lake City in 1884 under the Morrill Act marked the beginning of what became the College of Agriculture of the University of Florida in 1906.
Florida’s governing body for higher education created the Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences in April 1964, by reorganizing UF's College of Agriculture, School of Forestry, Agricultural programs Experiment Station, and the Cooperative Extension Service into a single unit. Today, UF/IFAS includes extension in each of the state's 67 counties, 12 research and education centers with a total of 19 locations throughout Florida, the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences, the School of Forest Resources and Conservation, the Center for Tropical Agriculture, portions of the College of Veterinary Medicine, the Florida Sea Grant Program and IFAS Global.
The UF/IFAS research mission is to invent, discover and develop knowledge to enhance the agriculture and natural resources of Florida. Faculty members pursue fundamental and applied research that furthers understanding of natural and human systems. Research is supported by state and federally appropriated funds and supplemented by grants and contracts.
To enhance agriculture, natural resources and quality of life through science.
The North Florida Research & Education Center (NFREC) is one of the largest and the most diverse units of UF/IFAS, consisting of research and education campuses in Quincy and Marianna, Florida. NFREC has 16 active faculty members representing 8 academic departments and the School of Forest Resources and Conservation, 3 emeritus faculty members and a dynamic population of post-doctoral associates, scientific/farm/administrative staff. NFREC-Quincy also is the home to the District Extension Director for Northwest Florida and his staff. This diversity of faculty, staff and programs provides a unique setting for interdisciplinary work within the NFREC campuses, with colleagues on the main UF campus and with faculty at other Centers around the state.
The NFREC interacts with state and federal agencies, such as Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, Florida Department of Environmental Protection, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, Natural Resources Conservation Service, and Florida’s Water Management Districts. In addition to private entities like the Nature Conservancy, the Rodale Institute, Coca-Cola, and a variety of industries in forestry and agro-chemicals are engaged with programs at the NFREC. Multi-state programs are carried out with colleagues in Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, and other states in the southeastern US.
The research and extension programs at NFREC are designed to help agricultural and natural resource clientele adapt and manage resources and agricultural operations effectively and profitably in a changing socioeconomic and environmentally aware setting.
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