What Is A Land Grant University?

Land Grant Universities were established in 1862 when US Congress passed the Morrill Act. For each elected member of Congress, the government provided 30,000 acres of federal land for the individual state to sell. The profits derived from the sales of the land were allocated toward the cost of building new universities that specialized in agriculture and mechanics or given to existing universities to add specialty programs in these important areas of study. That’s why we often hear the term ‘A & M’ associated with some of the largest universities in our country.

Linton Hall, MSU - Meyer Hatchery Blog

Linton Hall, one of Michigan State University’s original buildings.

All Land Grant Universities are dedicated to educating the next generation of farmers. University Extensions, which first started in 1914 as cooperatives,  provide education, events, conferences, and assistance for anyone interested in learning more about agriculture. Every US state has at least one Extension. Most are based out of each state’s Land Grant University, but some states also have county extensions for even more accessible help for the farming community. University Extensions also host programs like 4H, Master Gardener certifications, and soil testing.

How Do They Help?

As a poultry owner, Land Grant Universities offer invaluable services through their Extension offices. Some of the services these Extensions offer could include necropsies, pest control management advice and research, or testing for poultry diseases. The Extension services do not replace avian veterinary care, but their educational resources and expert staff members can usually help their community members when there is a problem within a flock or provide access to someone who can help. 

To find your state’s Land Grant University, visit the USDA website here.

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