The Land / Grant System

Land Grant Mission

The United States Congress passed legislation in 1862 which provided for the sale of government-owned land to finance universities with a charge of broad-based education and public benefit. Extension systems were established to “extend” the resources of those universities to a wide range of citizens.

As New York’s land-grant institution, Cornell has the privilege and responsibility of addressing state and national needs through teaching, research and extension.  Cornell’s land-grant mission is primarily, though not exclusively, realized through the work of the Colleges of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Human Ecology, Industrial and Labor Relations and Veterinary Medicine.

Cornell Cooperative Extension puts land-grant on the ground by connecting the research-based knowledge of Cornell to individuals, families, businesses and communities. Some 170 Cornell-employed faculty and academic staff work collaboratively with 500 locally-employed professional extension educators aiming to enhance economic well-being and quality of life in every county in the state. Within this broad-based educational system, Cornell Cooperative Extension creates ongoing, real-time linkages between the research and resources of New York’s land-grant institution.