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November / December 2004

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UMaine Today Magazine

Lasting Impression

James Bartlett
James Bartlett, the first permanent staff member of Maine's experiment station, was a UMaine research chemist for a half century.

Photo courtesy University of Maine Special Collections, Fogler Library

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The Maine Agricultural and Forest Experiment Station got its start 120 years ago at the University of Maine. It was created by the state legislature two years before passage of the national Hatch Act in 1887, which made federal experiment stations possible in every state.

One of the initial mandates of Maine's experiment station was to inspect and control the quality of manufactured agricultural fertilizer. In addition, early experiments were conducted to find the best cattle feeds and seeds, increase dairy production, and identify and control agricultural pests. Publication of the scientists' research findings gave farmers access to the latest scientific knowledge that revolutionized farming and improved people's lives.

Today, the experiment station tradition of cutting-edge research, technological training and information dissemination continues. In Maine, more than 100 scientists participate in research designed to apply techniques of modern science to the needs of the state. This commitment to relevance is seen in both applied and basic research in agriculture, forestry, wildlife, human nutrition, food technology, biotechnology, fisheries and aquaculture, community economic development, resource economics and policy, and plant and animal biology. Information about UMaine experiment station research programs and publications is on the Web (



UMaine Today Magazine
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