The Maryland Agricultural Experiment Stations is the product of 1887 Congressional Hatch Act, the Act that established an Experimental Station in state. The enactment of the Hatch Act of 1887 came in connection with the Morrill Act of 1862. “The Morrill Act granted states land for the establishment of colleges and universities. The Hatch Act followed with additional federal grant funds for each state establishing an agricultural experiment station in association with the land-grant college."
The Maryland Agricultural Experiment Station (MAES) in the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources (AGNR) at the University of Maryland was first established in 1888 and currently it fosters research at all levels (e.g., molecular, cellular, organismic, and ecosystem) related to sustainable food and fiber production with economic and environmental viability. Researchers within the six academic departments in AGNR and many in other Colleges, such as the College of Computer, Mathematical and Natural Sciences (CMNS) use both campus-based research laboratories and four Research and Education Centers located across different land resource and physiographic regions of Maryland to conduct state-of-the-art research related to a wide array of topics including plant and animal genomics, infectious diseases, animal health, vaccine development, plant and animal physiology, basic biology, human health and nutrition, food safety, animal nutrition, environmental and ecosystem health, water quality, soil and watershed sciences, bioenergy, horticulture and landscape design, and interface between Agro-ecosystem and aquatic environment. More than 100 faculty members conduct research using capacity funds, state funds, and competitive extramural grants. They attract top-notch graduate students, post-docs and research associates to help achieve goals and train the next generation of scientists and academicians. Many undergraduate students also work in our research laboratories and research centers, and often consider it a highlight of their educational experience.
MAES maintains four Research and Education Centers with nine facilities that provide resource and opportunity for faculty to study under natural climatic conditions as well as in various soils and geologic settings. Research conducted in MAES facilities is well integrated with University of Maryland Extension, thus providing a direct translation of research results to public education and community empowerment. Our researchers are well-suited to respond to stressors such as population growth and climate change by conducting both basic and applied research in campus-based laboratories and MAES’s Research and Education Centers in locations ranging from the Appalachian Mountains to the Atlantic Coast. Our faculty lead many environmental and ecosystem-oriented research projects helping to enhance water quality and aquatic life in the Chesapeake Bay and beyond. In this and other research endeavors, our faculty cooperate with all state agencies as well as with scientists at the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Agricultural Research Service’s Beltsville Agricultural Research Center (BARC). Annually, our faculty secure about $30 Million in extramural funding to help fund their research, thus empowering the state both in knowledge base as well as economically. Extramural funding helps our faculty to be on the cutting edge research in responding to state, regional and national priority areas ranging from specialty crops to integrated pest management, and ecosystem sustainability with economic and environmental well- being for the population.
Adel Shirmohammadi, Ph.D., Professor
Associate Dean for Research/Associate Director of MAES