Our Institute

The UT Institute of Agriculture (UTIA) provides Real. Life. Solutions. to some of society’s most pressing issues. We serve all Tennessee citizens and beyond through the work of world-renowned researchers, teachers, and experts.

The Institute began in 1968, when three agricultural units operating under the auspices of the University of Tennessee System were brought together to focus on Tennessee and its citizens. The units were the College of Agriculture (now the Herbert College of Agriculture), the Agricultural Experiment Station (now AgResearch), and the UT Agricultural Extension Service (now UT Extension), which has offices in all ninety-five counties in Tennessee.

In 1974, the Tennessee legislature established the UT College of Veterinary Medicine as a fourth unit. Having this college incorporated into the structure of the Institute made it fully integrated into the food animal production and health system, further filling out UTIA’s land-grant driven outreach, education, and research mission.

We also fulfill the land-grant mission through our Smith Center for International Sustainable Agriculture, which provides learning opportunities for students and outreach around the world, and our nationally recognized State Botanical Garden of Tennessee.

From the outset of the Institute’s years, students, stakeholders, and all Tennessee citizens have been the focus of our work. We seek to support food, fiber, and energy systems; enrich the economy; enhance biodiversity and environmental quality; develop the workforce; and strengthen the health of humans and animals. Learn more about this work in our 2018-2028 strategic plan, A Decade of Excellence.

The state is our campus, and our vision, mission, and values are at the core of the work we do.

Our Vision

Over the next decade (2018-2028), we will excel as an Institute by developing solutions and services that advance agriculture, education, natural resource management, human and animal health, and our communities.

To accomplish our vision, we will

  • Connect across strengths within UTIA and with partners.
  • Focus on grand challenges and established priorities.
  • Help people and communities adapt to an ever-changing world.

Our Mission

As a land-grant institute, we provide Real. Life. Solutions. through teaching, discovery, and service.

Our Values

  • Respect 
  • Science-based solutions
  • Diversity
  • Responsiveness to constituent needs
  • Transparency
  • Accountability