During this year, UF is celebrating the 150-year anniversary of the Morrill Act of 18621, which was “An Act donating public lands to the several States and [Territories] which may provide colleges for the benefit of agriculture and the Mechanic arts”. This land-grant legislation was the first Federal aid to higher education; it gave Americans the opportunity to attend college and learn about agriculture and mechanical arts (now known as engineering). It provided states with the land that made it possible to finance and establish those universities. The University of Florida is proud of its heritage as a land-grant university (LGU) and of its achieving a great number of successes in fulfilling its mission to teach, research and provide service.
To help celebrate this 150-year anniversary, we are recognizing that LGUs played key roles in the scientific discoveries and technological advances that shaped our nation. Looking through that historical lens, we want this symposium to help launch UF and other LGUs toward the next 150 years. Research and extension programs at UF must be forward-looking to ensure that their research and extension programs provide the understanding and technologies needed for sustaining economies and natural resources in Florida, the nation, and internationally during the next 150 years.