College of Agriculture and Natural Resources /
Ratcliffe Hicks

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Through teaching, research and outreach programs, the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources serves Connecticut and the world.  This is our moment to answer the most challenging questions of our time and to prepare the next generation of leaders.

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The College of Agriculture and Natural Resources (CANR) leads the University of Connecticut in fulfilling its land grant mission to provide education, research and outreach. Our classrooms and laboratories extend to landscapes, communities and businesses throughout Connecticut and beyond. Our Cooperative Extension System manages not only community programs such as 4-H, but also essential state and federal initiatives including food stamp nutrition programs and land use planning. From food policy to public health to the environment, we are developing innovative practices for a sustainable future. 

A Plan for the Future

The college’s programs are central to the success of UConn’s academic plan, which focuses on the environment, public health and workforce development. Our faculty and staff are nationally and internationally recognized leaders who are making groundbreaking discoveries in their respective fields of science. The college’s strategic plan calls for investing in key programs to fully realize our potential. 

The Ratcliffe Hicks School of Agriculture bears the name of its benefactor, a successful lawyer and industrialist who served 29 years in the Connecticut legislature. Ratcliffe Hicks (1843–1906) was born in Tolland, and attended Brown University. In his will, Hicks created a trust to be invested and eventually used to start a school to teach practical agricultural skills. His only child, Elizabeth Hicks (1884–1974), selected the University of Connecticut as a home for the school because of its strong programs in animal and plant science. The agricultural school, established in 1941, now offers associate’s degree and certificate programs in dairy/livestock management, equine science, turfgrass science and horticulture. The school has one of the oldest and most prominent horse programs in the Northeast, and is nationally recognized for exceptional polo and Morgan breeding programs.

Enhancing the Undergraduate Experience

Increasing support for our undergraduate students is one of our top priorities. We must prepare our students to compete in the global economy through hands-on learning, study abroad, service learning, internship and research opportunities. We also seek to increase merit- and need-based scholarships. We must ensure that financial hardship is not an obstacle for prospective students and that we keep Connecticut’s best and brightest students here in our state.

Spurring Research and Discovery

The college accounts for nearly 20 percent of state and federal research awards at the Storrs campus. We seek to invest in areas of recognized excellence, including animal and plant biotechnology, horticulture, land use planning, environmental sustainability and food marketing. We will leverage our strengths in these areas to build nationally prominent programs in environmental and agricultural sustainability, nutrition, health and food safety.


Faculty members are the lifeblood of the research, education and outreach enterprises and attract external research funding, while graduate students—the next generation of leaders—drive research  innovation.

During a time when state and federal support are static or declining, increasing private funding for the faculty and graduate students is critical. Private support for endowed chairs and graduate assistantships will enable the college to attract and retain top faculty members and graduate students.

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Serving Connecticut’s Citizens

Our outreach programs touch the life of every Connecticut citizen. Programs such as 4-H, Master Gardeners and community-based programs for our neediest citizens provide an invaluable service. To continue offering vital outreach and responding to the needs of our communities, the college must build endowed support for the Cooperative Extension System and other programs.

 


Development Contacts

Amy Chesmer, Senior Director of Development, Health Sciences  860-486-1763

Kristen Willis, Assistant Director of Development, Health Sciences 860-486-6539

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