University of Missouri founded1839
Established in 1839, the University of Missouri was the first public university west of the Mississippi River. Image courtesy of the Library of Congress.
Morrill Act creates state colleges of agriculture.
MU College of Agriculture and Mechanical Arts founded1870
George Clinton Swallow appointed as the first Dean of the MU Agriculture and Mechanical College1870
First students enrolled1870
Switzler Hall was built1871
The first classes for the new MU College of Agriculture and Mechanical Arts were held here. It was originally named Scientific Hall, then Agricultural Hall.
Mizzou tests new mass-produced plows1872
Mizzou tests new mass-produced plows and cultivators and shares results with farmers
First students graduated1873
Entomologist C.V. Riley helped save French wine industry with Missouri rootstock1876
Henry Kirklin, the University’s first Black teacher, teaches how to prune and graft plants1880
Henry Kirklin (1858-1938) was a former enslaved person who became a prize-winning gardener and horticulturist and a successful businessman. After joining the University of Missouri’s horticulture department as a gardener and greenhouse supervisor, he may have been the first African American to teach at the university, although in an informal, unofficial capacity, as the university did not allow Black people to hold official teaching positions during his lifetime. Read more about Kirklin.
First U.S. vaccine-virus lab established1885
Agriculture’s veterinary science department establishes first U.S. vaccine-virus lab.
Hatch Act established agricultural experiment stations1887
Hatch Act established agricultural experiment stations at land-grant universities.
J.W. Sanborn establishes Sanborn Field (then called Rotation Field)1888
Agricultural Experiment Station (AES) was created within the college to develop the agricultural sciences by practical research1888
AES was created within the college to develop the agricultural sciences by practical research
College of Agriculture published bulletins to share research discoveries with farmers1890
First agriculture graduate student at Mizzou1891
Swallow Hall constructed1892
Natural resources and some ag classes were taught here. The building is named for the first dean of MU agriculture, George Swallow.
Animal science experts created vaccine for Texas Fever1893
Animal science experts determine that Texas Fever is caused by ticks and created a vaccine to eradicate the cattle disease.
Agricultural Chemistry becomes first department in the College of Agriculture1894
Mizzou Anti-Hog Cholera Serum plant opens1894
Dunn-Palmer Herbarium founded1896
Dunn-Palmer Herbarium became the first plant library west of the Mississippi.
Dairy science building built1901
Later expanded and renamed Eckles Hall in honor of Clarence Henry Eckles in 1938
First four-year course in agriculture developed1901
College adds to curriculum1901
Colleges adds dairy husbandry, animal husbandry, agronomy, farm management, field crops, soils and agricultural engineering to curriculum.
First short courses offered1903
Short courses were popular because they lasted only eight weeks and were held during the winter, a slow time of the year for farmers.
Animal husbandry department formed1904
In 1904 most Missouri farmers raised livestock, so the department worked closely with livestock producers. This trend of working with livestock producers has continued through the years.
First MU Livestock Judging Team1905
Dairy chemistry lab, Eckles Hall1909
Home economics class1909
Frederick Blackmar Mumford became dean1909
Dairy cow Chief Josephine produces a record 15,725 pounds of milk in one year1910
Department of Farm Management established1910
MU Extension spread research results to citizen of Missouri1910
Poultry Husbandry Department established1911
College of Agriculture began research on soybeans1911
College of Agriculture begins research on soybeans, a $6 billion Missouri industry today.
Special trains journey through Missouri sharing research discoveries with farmers1912
College of Agriculture faculty answer 109,557 questions from Missouri farmers1913
Department of Soils formed1914
The new department was housed in Mumford Hall.
Smith-Lever Act established1914
Smith-Lever Act established cooperative extension to inform about agriculture developments.
Dean Mumford directed projects to boost production1915
Dean Mumford directs project to boost production from 22 to 44 bushels per acre to help war effort.
M.F. Miller studies soil and water loss under different cropping systems1917
President Wilson picked Fredrick Mumford to help rebuild French agriculture1919
College’s Clover and Prosperity program fights soil erosion1922
Agriculture enrollment hit 7001923
Agriculture enrollment hit 700, making it the largest Mizzou academic unit.
Memorial Union’s first phase of construction completed1926
Today, the University of Missouri’s Memorial Union is a campus icon that remembers soldiers who died in battle. The concept came from a poem written by a MU College of Agriculture graduate who perished in World War I. Robert McGhee “Peaches” Graham (1892 – 1918) and his Army friends wrote the poem, which calls for the construction of a bell tower on the MU campus to memorialize the University’s war dead. Photo of Bell Tower construction courtesy University Archives.
Lewis Stadler discovers radiation multiples mutations in plants1927
Lewis Stadler discovers radiation multiples mutations in plants, a break though leading to faster development of new crop varieties.
Early Leaders of the College1928
Picture of the faculty of the Department of Animal Husbandry at the University of Missouri taken in 1928 or 1929. Front row (from left) – Jim Burch, Jim Foster, Frederick B. Mumford, EA Trowbridge, and Fred F. McKenzie; Middle row (from left) – L.A. Weaver, T.A. Ewing, A.G. Hogan, and D. Chittenden; Back row (from left) L.E. Casida (PhD student), H. Garlock, H. Moffett, and J.E. Comfort.
Mizzou Agricultural Library among largest in nation1938
“Woody” Woodruff is first researcher to break 100 bushel per acre barrier1943
Leonard Haseman and L.F. Childers perfect diet to protect bees1944
Leonard Haseman and L.F. Childers perfect a diet that protects bees from a disease that threatens to wipe out nation’s bee colonies.
Department of Forestry established1947
The department was housed in the Agriculture Building and was elevated to the status of School of Forestry in 1957.
First MU Livestock Judging Team with a female participant1948
Foremost Dairy Research Center was built through a generous donation from J.C. Penney1952
The center was named after his famous bull, Langwater Foremost.
Ernest and Lotti Sears developed a wheat strain resistance1952
Ernest and Lotti Sears developed a wheat strain resistant to rust disease – strain became a worldwide food source.
Horticulture Research Center opens1953
The Horticulture Research Center became the Horticulture and Agroforestry Research Center (HARC) in 1995.
Agricultural faculty help set up Indian agricultural universities1954
Thompson Farm established1955
Thompson Farm was established in 1955 through the will of Dr. George Drury, a retired dentist. The terms of the will prescribed that the farm should be “dedicated to public educational purposes in memory of Eulah Thompson Drury, Guy A. Thompson, Paschall W. Thompson and Olive F. Thompson.”
Gyorgy Redei indentified Arabidopsis as a model1957
Gyorgy Redei identified Arabidopsis as a model of flowering plant genetics, which becomes a standard worldwide.
Delta Research Center opens in Portageville1958
Farmers tour the new Bradford Research Farm1959
Research began on herbicide Treflan1959
Ag Building dedicated1961
Sanborn Field added to National Register of Historical Places1964
Forage Systems Research Center was established1965
The primary research objective is the development and evaluation of forage systems for all classes of beef cattle.
Six new Missouri cotton varieties developed1965
Department of Atmospheric Science formed1967
The new department was housed in Gentry Hall.
Hospitality Management program was established1969
It was then called Hotel and Restaurant Management. The program name changed in 2011 to reflect how the hospitality industry has grown and developed.
MU Animal Science Research Center construction began1969
Fisheries and Wildlife program becomes part of Natural Resources1973
The program was originally established in 1937 in the College of Arts and Sciences, and was housed in Stephens Hall.
Greenley Research Center dedicated after Hortense Greenley donates 700-acre farm1974
MU Biochemistry created as a joint affiliation between the School of Medicine and CAFNR1976
For decades, faculty at the University of Missouri’s Department of Biochemistry had one collective goal — to study life at the molecular level — but were in two separate units, one housed in CAFNR under the name agricultural chemistry and one in the School of Medicine under its current name.
Animal and poultry science departments merge; single undergraduate curriculum in animal, dairy and poultry science created1983
Food & Agricultural Policy Research Institute (FAPRI) established1984
School of Natural Resources created1989
Animal and dairy science departments merged to form the animal sciences unit1989
Ernie Soft Red Winter Wheat announced1995
Construction of the Anheuser-Busch Natural Resources building1996
The MU Center for Agroforestry established1998
The MU Center for Agroforestry is one of the world’s leading centers in agroforestry research.
Anheuser-Busch Natural Resources Building dedicated1998
Bioengineering Department created as a jointly affiliated unit between CAFNR and the College of Engineering2000
Randall Prather cloned first pig2000
Randall Prather cloned first pig in which a gene that causes human rejections “knocked out” of the DNA.
Bruce McClure determined molecular mechanism2005
Bruce McClure determined molecular mechanism by which flowering plants recognize which pollens are appropriate for fertilization.
The Division of Plant Sciences formed2005
New division was formed through the consolidation of the former departments of Agronomy, Entomology, Horticulture, and Plant Microbiology and Pathology.
Monty Kerley identifies cattle that achieve weight goals on less feed2009
CAFNR enrollment surpasses 3,000 students2010
CAFNR scholarships top $1 million2011
Mizzou’s $75 million woody biomass boiler goes online, replacing polluting coal2012
Missouri’s first drought simulators open2012
Drive to Distinction – CAFNR Strategic Plan Launched2019
Missouri is fortunate to have strong agriculture, natural resource, financial and healthcare industries as allied partners to provide CAFNR, as part of Missouri’s land-grant university, an opportunity to affect the lives of every citizen by providing unbiased, relevant and accessible education, information and resources. Read the strategic plan
CAFNR officially opens Land of the Osages Research Center2019
This new center, the first center to open in more than 30 years, will further research in agroforestry, a sustainability-focused system that combines trees and shrubs with crops.
About the future from Vice Chancellor and Dean Christopher Daubert2019
“Massive changes are happening in agriculture and natural resources,” Vice Chancellor and Dean Daubert says. With the world’s population projected to increase to 9 billion by 2050, along with rapidly changing climates, it’s up to science to help communities adapt, he says. “As a land-grant institution, we work hard to share current technologies with our students and Missourians. But we also must go beyond that and teach next-generation practices that will keep our agriculture and natural resource industries thriving and striving to be on top far into the future.”
CAFNR celebrates 150 years of serving Missouri and the world2020
Founding Day 150th Celebration2020
CAFNR’s Founding Day celebration was Feb. 24, 2020.
On the Drive: Biennial Report 2021 Released2021
This report shows the progress made over the first two of the six years. Read the report