James Bartlett, the first
permanent staff member of Maine's experiment station, was a UMaine
for a half century.
Photo courtesy University of Maine Special Collections, Fogler
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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 (www.umaine.edu/mafes).