The UAF Institute of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Extension houses the Cooperative Extension Service and the Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station. Both units are part of the land-grant mission at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. The Morrill Act of 1862 established land-grant colleges and the federal Hatch Act of 1887 authorized agricultural experiment stations in the U.S. and its territories to provide science-based research information to farmers. There are agricultural experiment stations in each of the 50 states, Puerto Rico, and Guam, and all but one are part of the land-grant college system. UAF's Extension is part of the largest informal education system in the world, connecting Extension programs at land-grant colleges and universities in every U.S. territory and state. Today, the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) is the USDA division that manages federal funding of the nation’s experiment stations and the extension service.
Impact and Success Stories Highlight
Vegetable Variety Trials
Alaska’s climate is changing and growing seasons have lengthened in many areas of Alaska. It may be possible to grow different vegetable varieties than have grown here previously. Plant breeders also develop new varieties and update older varieties. Continued trials in different locations are important to determine what will grow best where, so the information can be shared with gardeners and farmers, strengthening Alaska's food security.