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CAES Strategic Plan 2020

Introduction to the College of Agricultural & Environmental Sciences

The College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences is one of 17 colleges that make up the University of Georgia. Established in 1859, the college is instrumental in carrying out the university’s land-grant mission through teaching, research and extension. The college serves Georgia’s largest industry, agriculture, while striving for the highest level of environmental stewardship.

The college offers 22 majors, 17 minors and 30 graduate programs. CAES provides students with a small-college experience within a large university. Small, upper division classes allow students to connect easily with professors. Students can study plants, animals, business, communication, teaching, food science, the environment and much more.

CAES graduates are prepared for a wide variety of career paths, which include entering the workforce or continuing their education in graduate or professional school. Those seeking jobs find employment in agribusiness, environmental protection, education, management, finance, food and fiber processing and other industries. Salaries of CAES graduates entering the workforce are among the highest at UGA. Over one-third of CAES graduates choose to pursue graduate degrees in food and agricultural sciences, professional degrees in veterinary or human medicine, or attend dental, pharmacy or law school.

For more than 100 years, CAES scientists have conducted research at Georgia Agricultural Experiment Stations for the benefit of all Georgians. Agricultural experiment stations and research and education centers located across Georgia enable researchers the ability to conduct experiments under real-life conditions and in specific ecological, environmental and socioeconomic areas of the state. Scientists have designed equipment like the peanut combine, the onion harvester and variable rate irrigation systems. They developed new, profitable crop cultivars like the Georgia-06G peanut, Georgia King cotton and drought resistant turfgrasses such as Seashore Paspalum. Researchers have a strong food safety focus and investigate new food processing technologies. They also study the feasibility for new crops and ornamental plants and support new industries in Georgia. Through these projects our scientists have increased agricultural productivity while helping to protect the environment.

UGA Cooperative Extension was founded in 1914 to take research-based agricultural information to the people. County agents and specialists throughout the state conduct educational programs on topics related to water quality, stormwater management, community gardening, protecting the environment, profitability in agribusiness, family wellness and life skills. Extension has also trained and certified more than 5,000 Master Gardener volunteers to assist county agents in horticultural outreach. County agents provide access to soil and water testing and timely climate information; advise farmers and homeowners on water conservation and safe pest management; provide publications and computer programs to the public; and teach consumers the skills necessary to improve their quality of life. They are also the local experts in food safety, nutrition, food preservation, child safety and parenting through a formal partnership with the UGA College of Family and Consumer Sciences.

Cooperative Extension also coordinates Georgia’s largest youth development program, 4-H. Each year almost 200,000 young Georgians acquire knowledge, develop life skills and form attitudes that will enable them to become self-directing, productive and contributing members of society. This mission is accomplished through hands-on learning experiences focused on agricultural and environmental issues, agricultural awareness, leadership, communication skills, foods and nutrition, health, energy conservation and citizenship. Five 4-H outdoor camps are located in various ecosystems across the state and provide hands-on environmental education to nearly 50,000 students each year.

The College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences is positively impacting Georgians every day and will continue to have a significant role in the education, environment and economy of the state of Georgia.