About the college

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The College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences uses research, education and outreach to find and share its discoveries on an enormous range of topics. Summing our work up in one sentence isn’t easy, but here goes: We find ways to provide food, fuel, feed and fiber that is healthy, safe, accessible and sustainable while protecting our natural resources and improving soil, air, and water quality to benefit and sustain communities.

Who we are

Created in 2006 via the merger of two colleges and a department, today the college – better known as CFANS – consists of 12 academic departments and 10 research and outreach centers across Minnesota, plus the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum, the Bell Museum of Natural History and dozens of interdisciplinary centers that span the college, the university and the globe. 

Our unique living laboratories both at the St. Paul campus and around the state allow students, faculty and staff to study in forests, fields and water across all four of Minnesota’s diverse ecosystems, while being part of a major urban university located in the heart of the Twin Cities.  

What you can learn

The college offers degrees in 13 undergraduate and 13 graduate majors plus more than 25 minors. CFANS students are well-prepared for the workforce through the college’s emphasis on experiential learning, internships and global perspectives. About 90 percent of students who earn undergraduate degrees in CFANS find jobs in their fields or enter graduate school within six months of graduation.

With a long history of innovation – both the Honeycrisp apple and the process of artificially inseminating dairy cows were born here – CFANS research has made a difference in many lives, in both big and small ways. The college partners with a variety of stakeholders and offers a wealth of resources to citizens as well as industry partners.

Adapting for the future

Research, education and outreach in agricultural and natural resource sciences at land-grant universities traditionally have rested on the values of productivity and efficiency. But growing environmental concerns, a declining natural resource base, and rising societal commitment to sustainability require that we integrate those longstanding values with strategies that are ecologically sustainable to meet the potentially competitive food, fuel, feed, fiber and other needs of 21st-century society.