AGNR History

The Cornerstone College

Chartered as the Maryland Agricultural College on March 6, 1856, the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources is the cornerstone of the University of Maryland system, built upon a foundation of sound science, ground breaking research, and Maryland pride.

1862 - Morrill Land Grant Act

In 1862, President Lincoln signs the Morrill Land Grant Act providing federal support for each state to develop a college to teach agriculture, mechanics and military tactics, and in 1865, state government officials choose Maryland Agricultural College as Maryland's Land Grant institution.

1887 - The Hatch Act

The Hatch Act created federal funding to establish Agricultural Experiment Stations, allowing scientists the off-site facilities to conduct research in agricultural and applied sciences.

1914 - Smith-Lever Act

After noting the need to disseminate the knowledge from the university to the public, Congress enacted the Smith-Lever Act in 1914 which established Cooperative Extension throughout the state. AGNR's Extension program has faculty and staff in every county and Baltimore City, in Maryland.


Through academics, research, and extension, the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources is a world-renowned institution on the forefront of innovation and education. From the classroom to the lab, to the farm, AGNR faculty and students make an impact in their field and in their communities.


What's Next

The dedicated faculty of AGNR strive to eliminate hunger, protect our vital natural resources, and empower the next-generation through world-class education. Our strategic initiatives provide a framework for moving into the future with innovative technology and sustainable practices.

Strategic Initiatives