Mississippi State University was established in 1878 as the Agricultural and Mechanical College of the State of Mississippi. It became part of the nation's land-grant system created by the Morrill Act, passed by the U.S. Congress in 1862. Its mission was to educate students in "agriculture, horticulture, and the mechanic arts...without excluding other scientific and classical studies."

Although the university has greatly expanded its educational opportunities in a number of arts and sciences disciplines, its commitment to agriculture and natural resources has not diminished. For more than a century, this commitment has benefited Mississippi and all of its people in immeasurable ways. As the university continues to develop into the STATE of the Future, the Division will provide leadership for many of the educational and research needs of the 21st century.

The Division Today

The Division is comprised of six major units. They are the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, the College of Forest Resources, the College of Veterinary Medicine, the Forest and Wildlife Research Center, the Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station and the MSU Extension Service. Activities of all the units are coordinated through the Division Council, which includes the deans and directors of each major unit and the vice president of the Division.

The primary functions performed by employees in the Division are teaching, research, Extension, and service. These functions are performed at the main campus of MSU, four research and Extension centers, 15 branch stations and locations and county Extension offices in all 82 counties. The clientele of the Division includes college students, agriculture and forestry producers, agribusiness firms, industrial firms, families, youth, local government entities, and numerous other organizations and associations. The achievements of the faculty, staff and administration in the Division have some impact on every person in the state every day. The goal of the Division is to make that impact as positive as possible given the available resources. We continue to appreciate the opportunity we have to educate and serve the people of Mississippi.