The Center for Agriculture at the University of Massachusetts Amherst integrates research and outreach education in agriculture, food systems and the environment. The Center is the contemporary standard bearer of the university’s land-grant origins. It provides links from the University with vibrant business, policy and public interest sectors in the state, including agriculture, the horticultural 'green industries,' environmental decisionmakers and food system interests. UMass Extension, the Massachusetts Agricultural Experiment Station and the Water Resources Research Center are all units of the Center for Agriculture. The Center for Agriculture is based in the College of Natural Sciences at UMass Amherst and also works with the School of Public Health and Health Sciences, the School of Social and Behavioral Sciences and the Isenberg School of Management.
The UMass Amherst Center for Agriculture, a key central location for research and educational outreach on agriculture, natural resources, and food systems at UMass Amherst, was founded in 2001. Many of its component units are far older, notably the Mass. Agricultural Experiment Station (founded 1882) and UMass Extension (founded 1914).
The Center for Agriculture has been engaged in a process of reorganization in 2012 and 2013. As part of that process, new vision and mission statements are in development. Current drafts are shown in this section.
The National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA), the USDA agency that provides the bulk of the Center's federal funding, defines five issue areas in which the Center works. These are: Food Security and Farm Systems; Climate Change; Sustainable Energy; Food Safety and Functionality; Obesity. Center programs also work in three additional areas: Agricultural Economic Development; Youth Development; Environmental Stewardship.
UMass Extension, educational outreach unit of the UMass Amherst Center for Agriculture and part of the national Cooperative Extension System, works across all regions of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
The UMass Extension Board of Public Overseers was created in 1997 to give stakeholders in UMass Extension areas a formal advisory role. The Board, a majority of whose members are appointed by the Governor, advises the Chancellor of the University of Massachusetts Amherst and the Extension staff on goals, budget, and program.
In 2010, the Center for Agriculture invited 18 representatives from relevant agencies, industries and university units to meet twice a year to advise the Center's programs of research and extension.
Addresses for the Center State Office at UMass Amherst, other on-campus offices, the thirteen Extension field offices, and the various Research and Learning facilities.
The Center strives to offer equal access to educational programs and equal opportunity in employment for people without discrimination based on race, ethnicity, gender, age, physical ability, religion, sexual orientation and veteran status.
Contact information for UMass Amherst Center for Agriculture faculty and staff.
Available job openings within the Center for Agriculture.