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Peters on the Morrill Act, land grant mission

Scott PetersScott Peters (right), associate professor of education in the Department of Horticulture, reflects on the land grant mission in a Cornell Chronicle article marking the 150th anniversary of the Morrill Act, which created the land grant system. (See Higher ed researcher: Land-grant act’s 150th is an occasion to revitalize mission for the future.)

A sampling:

“In the land-grant system, communities inform research as much as research informs the community.

“Instead of simply being experts prescribing solutions to peoples’ problems, scientists and scholars at Cornell work in collaboration with anyone, from farmers and business owners to policymakers and schoolchildren, Peters said. They play important civic roles, sometimes even engaging in “shuttle diplomacy” as they help opposing factions work together on public issues and problems.

“‘Extension is about more than just fixing technical problems and ramping up the economy; while important, these things are only part of what we do today, and have done historically,’ he said.”

Other articles in the Chronicle’s sesquicentennial celebration package:

Cornell University Library is celebrating the 150th anniversary of the Morrill Land Grant Act with exhibits is both Olin and Uris of related photographs, manuscripts and other artifacts from the university archives through Dec. 21. See online exhibition: Senator Justin S. Morrill, the Land-Grant College Act and Cornell: Opening the Doors of Education to “Any Person”


  1. Rick Burstell says:

    Our communities are on the edge of a precipice wondering how long it will be before they fall into the abyss.

    Families with kids are going without food, healthcare, decent education, adequate housing, etc.

    The community includes all living things including these people who need the most help. Nutrition and parenting programs are great but something else is needed.

    People need to be told that they have value. Not everyone is in the race to the top. Many just want to live simple lives and that is becoming impossible for many.

    The community needs all to participate for the society to function properly. All have value, all should be able to feel good after a hard days work.

    Keep up the good work.

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