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Small Farms

Small Farm Program Land-Grant Partnership

The NIFA Small Farm Program works closely with scientists, educators, and extension staff and volunteers at land-grant colleges across the United States on issues related to small-scale production.

As well as research and education, land-grant universities have a federally-mandated extension (outreach) responsibility to offer to the public noncredit, tax-supported educational programs and information based on the results of university research.

The earliest land grant colleges and universities were established from 1862 when the federal government granted federally owned land (hence the name "land-grant") to each state for the development of a university of research, education, and extension.  Other land-grant universities were designated in 1890 (historically African-American institutions) and in 1994 (Native American institutions).  

Today, NIFA land-grant partnership includes:

  • More than 130 colleges of agriculture
  • 59 agricultural experiment stations
  • 57 cooperative extension services
  • 63 schools of forestry
  • Tuskegee University, West Virginia State College , and the other 16 historically black colleges and universities
  • 27 colleges of veterinary medicine
  • 42 schools and colleges of family and consumer sciences
  • 33 Native American land-grant institutions
  • 17 Alaskan native-serving and Hawaiian native-serving institutions
  • More than 160 Hispanic-serving institutions


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