Summary of College Mission, Methods, and Facilities

A brief summary of the College's purpose and structure


The mission of the College of Agricultural Sciences is to discover, integrate, translate, and disseminate knowledge to enhance the food and agricultural system, natural resources and environmental stewardship, and economic and social well-being, thereby improving the lives of people in Pennsylvania, the nation, and the world.


As part of one of the world’s foremost research universities—and with educators delivering programs in each of the state’s 67 counties—Penn State agricultural research and extension programs put reliable, science-based information to work to improve the lives of Pennsylvanians. Penn State Extension works with public- and private-sector stakeholders at the county, state, and federal level to identify and address priorities in key areas.


In support of the college’s mission and service to the agricultural community, the college maintains 67 extension offices across the state and operates numerous research and extension centers and laboratories:

Research and extension centers across the state:

  • Lake Erie Regional Grape Research and Extension Center
  • Fruit Research and Extension Center in Biglerville
  • Southeast Agricultural Research and Extension Center in Landisville
  • Russell Larson Agricultural Research and Education Center at Rock Springs

Research facilities and centers at University Park:

  • E. coli Reference Center
  • Beef-Sheep Center
  • Dairy Barns
  • Deer Research Center
  • Forestland Management Office
  • Horse Barns
  • Mushroom Research Center (MRC)
  • Poultry Education and Research Center
  • Swine Center
  • Valentine Turfgrass Research Center

 Service laboratories:

  • Meats Lab
  • Land Analysis Laboratory
  • Mushroom Spawn Laboratory
  • Sensory Evaluation Center
  • Agricultural Analytical Services Lab – soil/water/plants
  • Food Science Pilot Plants - wet and dry processing, food safety

The College also partners with state and federal agencies to support centers and facilities:

  • NE Regional Center for Rural Development
  • Northeastern IPM Center
  • Pa. Cooperative Fish/Wildlife Research Unit
  • Pa. Animal Diagnostic Laboratory System
  • Pa. Dept. of Ag Livestock Evaluation Center
  • USDA Pasture Systems and Watershed Mgmt.


The agricultural system in Pennsylvania is challenged to enhance the production of food, fiber, and fuel while contributing to the protection and enhancement of our natural resources and improving the quality of life for citizens everywhere. These are complex goals that are best addressed through a systems approach. Thus the college accomplishes its goals by focusing programming around the sustainable intersection of three interrelated systems: the food and fiber system, the socioeconomic system, and the ecosystem.