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College of Agricultural and Life Sciences

College of Agricultural and Life Sciences


The College of Agricultural and Life Sciences (CALS) administers the degree programs of the University of Florida's Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS). UF/IFAS is a federal-state-county partnership dedicated to developing knowledge in agriculture, human and natural resources, and the life sciences, and enhancing and sustaining the quality of human life by making that information accessible.


The mission of the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences is to deliver unsurpassed educational programs that prepare students to address the world's critical challenges related to agriculture, food systems, human wellbeing, natural resources, and sustainable communities.


Be the premier land-grant college of agriculture and related sciences.

We will be known for excellence and innovation in teaching and for the readiness of our graduates for leadership. We will be the destination of choice for students seeking academic programs in agriculture, natural resources, and related sciences and the pre-eminent source of talent for employers, graduate programs, and professional schools.

Core Values

Grounded in the land-grant ideals of access, innovation, and relevance, CALS promotes these core values in pursuit of its mission:

  • Integrity
  • Diversity
  • Collaboration
  • Service

2015-2020 Priorities & Goals

Priority 1: Recruit and retain outstanding students.

  • Goal 1: Enhance the quality of admitted graduate students through investment in recruiting.
  • Goal 2: Enhance existing and develop new partnerships to broaden the recruiting base for undergraduate students.

Priority 2: Provide relevant curricula.

  • Goal 3: Develop a lower-division college-wide course on current issues in agriculture, natural resources, and related sciences.

Priority 3: Promote excellence in teaching.

  • Goal 4: Invest in assistance for faculty in design/redesign of face-to-face courses to enhance student engagement and learning.
  • Goal 5: Develop new mechanisms for recognizing excellence in teaching.

Priority 4: Produce society-ready graduates.

  • Goal 6: Increase student participation in experiential learning opportunities.

Priority 5: Strengthen alumni and stakeholder connections.

  • Goal 7: Create new opportunities for alumni and professionals to connect to CALS students.

College History

Ostensibly, agricultural instruction in Florida began with the creation of the Florida Agricultural College at Lake City in 1883. However, it was not until the establishment of the Agricultural Experiment Station in 1889 and the acquisition of the staff trained in the agricultural sciences that agricultural instruction began in earnest. From 1889 until the establishment of the University of Florida in Gainesville in 1906, Station staff administered both research and instruction.

In 1906, the research and instructional functions were separated. The 1906 catalog listing for the School of Agriculture shows only two faculty members. In 1909, the University was reorganized and the School became the College of Agriculture; J.J. Vernon was appointed the first dean. By then, the faculty had increased to four, and the departmental structure was implemented. The first departments were Agronomy, Horticulture, and Animal Science. By 1940 there were nine departments and the staff included 30 professors and an additional number of instructors and graduate assistants. The College also included a School of Forestry.

Dean for Resident Instruction was added to the Dean's title in 1970. In 1992, the Dean's title was changed to Dean, College of Agriculture, and Dean for Academic Programs in the Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences.

The name of the College was changed to the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences in 1999 to better reflect the diversity of academic programs. By fall 2000, the College had expanded to 17 departments/schools with 151.6 teaching FTE's distributed among 460 faculty. Undergraduate enrollment was 2,997 and graduate enrollment was 813.

College Deans

NameYears as Dean
J.J. Vernon 1909-1915
Peter Henry Rolfs 1915-1920
Wilmon Newell 1920-1938
H. Harold Hume 1938-1950
Clarence Vernon Noble 1951-1955
Marvin Adel Brooker 1956-1969
Charles Benton Browning 1970-1979
D.O. Spinks, acting dean 1979-1980
Gerald L. Zachariah 1980-1988
Jack L. Fry, acting dean 1988-1989
H. Evan Drummond 1989-1991
Larry J. Connor 1991-1999
Jimmy G. Cheek 1999-2005
Wayne H. Smith, interim dean 2005
R. Kirby Barrick 2005-2010
Mark W. Rieger, interim dean 2010-2011
Teresa Balser 2011-2014
R. Elaine Turner 2014-