History of UF/IFAS Extension
The Morrill Act of 1862, also called the Land Grant Act, gave states tens of thousands of acres of land; proceeds from the sale of these lands were to be invested in an endowment fund that would provide support for colleges of agriculture and mechanical arts in each state, known as land grant colleges. In Florida, this school was Florida Agricultural College, established in Lake City in 1884.
In 1905, the Florida Legislature passed the Buckman Act, which consolidated Florida Agricultural College, the East Florida Seminary of Gainesville, the St. Petersburg Normal and Industrial School at St. Petersburg, and the South Florida Military College at Bartow to form the University of the State of Florida, which was moved to Gainesville. The school was renamed University of Florida in 1909.
The Smith-Lever Act of 1914 established the Cooperative Extension Service, a partnership between land grant colleges nationwide, including the University of Florida, and the US Department of Agriculture, in order to provide scientific knowledge and expertise to the public through educational programs.
In 1964, Florida’s higher education governing board created the Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences by combining UF’s College of Agriculture (now the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences), School of Forestry (now the School of Forest Resources and Conservation), Florida Agricultural Experiment Station (now Florida Agricultural Research and Education Center), and the Cooperative Extension Service into a single unit. Nick T. Place, Ph.D., is the Dean and Director of UF/IFAS Extension.
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