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Griffin Campus: Profile & History

History of the Griffin Campus

Historical ImagesFor more than 100 years, the Griffin Campus has played a leading role in the development of modern agriculture in the South. The campus was first established as the Georgia Experiment Station in 1888 as a result of the federal Hatch Act. The residents of Spalding County successfully lobbied for the experiment station to be located on what was then the Bates Farm.

Early research focused on fertilizers and soil erosion, but soon a complete program of agricultural and environmental research developed. Griffin scientists helped revolutionize agribusiness and farming statewide by solving many persistent crop problems. The deep-furrow method of planting winter oats, pioneered here around 1900, saved southern farmers millions of dollars. Researchers have bred numerous crop varieties, such as Empire cotton, which had major impact on Georgia cotton growers in the 1940s. Griffin scientist, Dr. Jasper Guy Woodroof, contributed greatly to early food science research by developing the technology for frozen foods.


Today, the Griffin Campus is one of the premier agricultural research centers in the region and is poised to address research, extension and teaching needs of the 21st Century. Campus programs work toward the state land grant university mission: to teach, to inquire and to serve. To fulfill this mission, the research, extension and education programs at the Griffin Campus focus on the following areas:

  • Food safety and quality enhancement
  • Biotechnology and genetics
  • Crop and pest management
  • Environment and natural resources
  • Urban agriculture
  • Education

The Importance of Agriculture to Georgia

Cash farm income received by Georgia farmers for farm products amounts to several billion dollars each year. The state's economy depends heavily on our agricultural capacity and the processing and export of the products. Increasingly, the nursery and turf grass industries are becoming a major part of the state's agricultural industry. The Griffin Campus has done considerable research concerning peanuts and pecans, crops in which Georgia leads the nation.

Undergraduate Academic Program Takes Root

The year 2005 will go down in Griffin Campus history as a benchmark year as the campus welcomed its first class of undergraduate students.  Classes started on August 18 and UGA President Michael Adams and CAES Dean and Director Scott Angle announced the official beginning of the program at an inaugural service held October 17, 2005.  The undergraduate program began with two majors, a Biological Science major leading to a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture degree and an Environmental Resource Science major leading to a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Sciences degree. 

Community support of the new undergraduate academic program became further evident with the passage of a Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax.  On Nov. 8, 2005, Spalding County residents passed by a wide margin (3636 to 1929) the SPLOST which includes funds for a $10 million student learning center for the UGA Griffin Campus. 

A Part of the University of Georgia
College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences

As a part of the state's Land Grant University, the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences Griffin Campus is proud of its three-part mission of research, teaching and extension. In addition to the campuses in Athens, Griffin and Tifton, branch stations are located in Calhoun, Blairsville, Eatonton, Midville and Plains.

The College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences has a rich history and, during the many years of its existence, has educated thousands of students. Today, it has progressive programs in research and teaching, and it reaches every county in Georgia through the Cooperative Extension Service.