The Vermont Agricultural Experiment Station (VT-AES) at the University of Vermont is home to a world-respected team of 43 researchers in basic and applied life sciences. They tackle issues of agriculture, environment, nutrition, food safety, health, community and economic development. Altogether they work on more than 140 projects. Their expertise earned them more than $9 million in state and federal grants to accomplish that work.
Though headquartered in Morrill Hall at UVM's College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, the Experiment Station is no longer one building where experiments and laboratory work occur. Instead VT-AES researchers work in labs and offices on campus, at UVM research centers, on farms and in forests and in the field throughout Vermont.
Their findings not only add new information to the body of knowledge in their areas, they enlighten classroom discussion and are translated into practical solutions to the problems of rural and urban Vermonters. Many VT-AES scientists collaborate with UVM Extension specialists, state and nonprofit advisors and others to translate research into education programs for Vermonters. Research, teaching and extension – separate missions that are, in practice, intertwined, even inseparable. Many Ag. Experiment Station researchers are teaching faculty members at the College and some have UVM Extension responsibilities as well.
VT-AES was established in 1886 in anticipation of Congress's Hatch Act of 1887. The Hatch Act authorized federal funds for Agricultural Experiment Stations in every state and territory to underscore, with sound scientific research, the land-grand education that had already been created with the Morrill Act of 1862. It was the Morrill Act that created land-grant colleges in the first place – devoted to agriculture and the "mechanic arts," by granting public lands and federal funds to its cause.