Cornell University College of Agriculture and Life Sciences

Cornell University College of Agriculture & Life Sciences
Type Statutory
Established 1874
Dean Kathryn J. Boor
Undergraduates 3,390
Location Ithaca, New York, U.S.

The Cornell University College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALS or Ag School) is a statutory college established and supervised by the State University of New York (SUNY) system. CALS is an undergraduate college at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York. With enrollment of approximately 3,100 undergraduate and 1,000 graduate students, CALS is the second-largest undergraduate college at Cornell University and the third-largest college of its kind in the United States.

Established as a Land-grant college, CALS administrates New York's cooperative extension program jointly with New York State College of Human Ecology. CALS runs the New York State Agricultural Experiment Station in Geneva, New York, and the Cornell University Agricultural Experiment Station, as well as other research facilities in New York.[1]

In 2007-08, CALS total budget (excluding the Geneva Station) is $283 million, with $96 million coming from tuition and $52 million coming from state appropriations. The Geneva Station budget was an additional $25 million.

Academic programs

CALS offers more than 20 majors, each with a focus on Life Sciences, Applied Social Sciences, Environmental Sciences and Agriculture and Food. CALS undergraduate programs lead to a Bachelor of Science degree is one of 23 different majors. The Applied Economics and Management program, for example, was ranked 3rd nationally in BusinessWeek's Best Undergraduate Business Programs, 2012, edition.[2] CALS also offers graduate degrees in various fields of study, including the M.A.T., M.L.A., M.P.S., M.S., and Ph.D..

Deans of New York State College of Agriculture and Life Sciences
Liberty Hyde Bailey 1903–1913
Beverly T. Galloway 1914–1916
Albert Russell Mann 1917–1931
Carl Edwin Ladd 1931–1943
William Irving Myers 1943–1959
Charles E. Palm 1959–1972
W. Keith Kennedy 1972–1978
David L. Call 1978–1995
Daryl B. Lund 1995–2000
Susan Armstrong Henry 2000–2010
Kathryn J. Boor 2010–present

Additional programs and facilities

The Agriculture Quadrangle

Agriculture Quad viewed from Bradfield Hall, Ithaca's West Hill and Cayuga Lake in the background

The Agriculture quadrangle (Ag Quad) is a grouping of buildings dedicated to programs offered by the NYS College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. The oldest building on the quad is Caldwell Hall (1913).[3] The Plant Science Building (1931), and Warren Hall (1931), flank the art deco style Mann Library (1952). A newer Kennedy and Roberts Halls replaced the original 1906 building, and The Computing and Communications Center (1912) was formerly Comstock Hall).[4] These buildings are owned by New York State, which pays for their construction and maintenance.

The College operates extension programs through the New York State Agricultural Experiment Station (NYSAES) in Geneva, New York, in 20 buildings, including the Barton Laboratory Greenhouse and Sutton Road Solar Farm [5] (a 2-megawatt energy facility that offsets nearly 40 percent of NYSAES annual electricity demands), on 130 acres (0.5 km²) and over 700 acres (2.8 km²) of test plots and other land parcels used to conduct horticultural research [6] and also substations: the Vineyard Research Laboratory in Fredonia, Hudson Valley Laboratory in Highland, and Long Island Horticultural Research Laboratory in Riverhead.

The Dilmun Hill Student Farm is located in Ithaca, New York is a student-run farm facility operated according to sustainable agricultural practices.[7]

The Social Media Lab, is part of the College's Communications Department. In this state-of-the-art research laboratory, faculty supervise undergraduate and graduate research focusing on human interaction in CMC and online communities, including the investigation of social phenomena, such as disclosure or deception among users of social media computer applications, such as Facebook, Grindr. Studies examine human behavior, personal experience, and human interaction in the digital realm along the dimensions of language processes, perception, self-representation, and interpersonal interaction. In 2009, The Social Media Lab coined the term, the Butler Lie, a reference to factually untrue verbal communication used to politely initiate or end an instant message conversation, such as "Gotta go, boss is coming!" These statements buffer the otherwise negative experience of social rejection or ostracism.[8]

The recently established Rich’s Food Safety Lab was made possible by a donation from frozen food industry giant Rich. The laboratory aims to engages in critical food safety research and the education of the next generation of food safety leaders.[9]


Legislation to establish a school of agriculture in the state of New York was passed by the state legislature and signed by the governor of New York in May 1904. The legislation passed the act in spite of strong opposition led by then-Chancellor James Roscoe Day of Syracuse University and six other New York state universities and colleges. That same year, the eminent botanist and horticulturist Liberty Hyde Bailey, along with New York State farmers, effectively lobbied the New York Legislature to fund a State University of New York administrated agriculture College under the land-grant on the Cornell campus. Thus, the statutory college was named the New York State College of Agriculture in 1904, (renamed the New York State College of Agriculture and Life Sciences in 1971).

In 1900, the college began offering a reading course for farm women. In 1907, the Department of Home Economics was created within college. In 1919, the Department of Home Economics became a school within the Agriculture College. Finally, in 1925, the Home Economics department became a separate college, although both colleges continued to work together to provide cooperative extension services.

The World Food Prize has been awarded for the sixth time to a Cornellian. Dr. Andrew Colin McClung, M.S. 1949, was awarded the World Food Prize for helping to transform a large area of Brazil into fertile land. His recommendations regarding key agricultural inputs made this transformation possible.[10]

Later in 1958-1963, field grown maize was reported to greater leaf photosynthetic rates of 40 u mol CO2/square meter.sec and was not saturated at near full sunlight (Hesketh and Musgrave 1962; Hesketh and Moss 1963). The higher rate in maize, almost double that found in other species, such as wheat and soybean, indicated a large differences in photosynthesis among higher plants. History of C3 : C4 photosynthesis research__[11][12]

Notable alumni

See also


  1. Research and Extension Facilities
  2. " - Best Undergrad Business Schools". Business Week. Retrieved 2006-02-28.
  3. "Caldwell Hall". Cornell University. Retrieved 2010-09-20.
  4. "Computing and Communication Center". Cornell University. Retrieved 2010-09-20.
  5. "BRIGHT NEW DAY: Sutton Road Solar Farm is up and running". Finger Lake Times. May 11, 2016.
  6. "New York State Agricultural Experiment Station". Cornell University. Retrieved 2006-05-22.
  7. "Drilmun Hill Student Farm". Cornell University. Retrieved 2010-09-19.
  8. Austin Considine (8 July 2011). "Lying Adapts to New Technology". The New York Times.
  9. Hetherly, Marian (May 24, 2016). "Food safety lab opens through Rich Products partnership". NPR.
  10. Alum shares World Food Prize
  11. Jane A. Langdale1. "C4 Cycles: Past, Present, and Future Research on C4 Photosynthesis". Retrieved 2015-10-19.
  12. ByKrishna Ramanujan (2013-01-23). "Scientists discover genetic key to efficient crops | Cornell Chronicle". Retrieved 2015-10-19.
  13. "Chicken Innovator Prof. Baker '43 Dies". Retrieved 2010-03-06.
  14. 1 2 Grace-Kobas, Linda (9 March 2006). "Focus on Cornell alumni: Toronto Raptors and Texas Rangers choose Cornellians to lead them" (PDF). Cornell Chronicle. p. 9. Retrieved 24 March 2009.
  15. "BSA's first Eagle Scout". Eagle Scout Resource Center. Retrieved 2006-07-07.
  16. "Rediscovering Barbara McClintock". Retrieved 2010-03-06.
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