College of Agriculture & Natural Resources
Animal & Avian Sciences

Historical Timeline

1856

Maryland Agricultural College founded by Maryland General Assembly on land donated by plantation owner, Charles Calvert. The University of Maryland’s 1st Animal Science Professor was George C. Schaeffer, Professor of Agriculture.
Photo: Charles Calvert

  1864

President Lincoln signs the Morrill “Land Grant” Act providing federal support for state colleges to teach agriculture, mechanical arts and military tactics. According to formula, Maryland receives 210,000 acres of “Western” land under this legislation.
Photo: President Abraham Lincoln

1888

Congress passes Hatch Act creating federally funded agricultural experiment stations. Maryland Agricultural Experiment Station established using The Rossborough Inn as its first headquarters.
Photo: Rossborough Inn on Baltimore Avenue, then part of the Agricultural Experiment Station at Maryland Agricultural College.

1906-1907

Departments of Poultry Science and Animal Husbandry founded through the Maryland Agricultural Experiment Station. Separate departments of Animal Husbandry and Dairy Husbandry evolved in 1914.

1914

Smith-Lever Act encourages land-grant colleges to establish community education programs in agriculture and home economics. Results in formation of the Maryland Cooperative Extension Service.
Photo: County agent demonstrating points in judging to club members, Harford County, Maryland. (Doublin High School Agricultural Club, B.B. Derrick, C. Agent)

1924

Turner Laboratory constructed, nicknamed “The Shirt Factory.” Renovated in 1938 to conform with campus architecture, renamed in 1954 for Philip C. Turner, member of the Board of Regents. Home of “University Dairy” where milk was processed until 1991. Permanent home of Dairy Science Department until 1969.
Photo: Turner Hall (Dairy Building), original construction

1937

New campus livestock facilities constructed through Depression era “Works Progress Administration Program.” The last remaining buildings form the current “Campus Farm.”
Photo: Aerial view of Campus Farm

1947

Dairy Science Department supports development of Maryland Artificial Breeders Cooperative (MABC) founded on College Park Campus. MABC is one of 10 founding cooperatives that form Select Sire, an international dairy artificial insemination bull stud.
Photo:“Hickoryvale S C Pride”, who was born on a farm near Jefferson, Maryland

1948

Dr. Mary Shorb, Poultry Science Professor, develops Lactobacillus Lactic Dorner assay for the anti-pernicious anemia factor in liver that leads to the discovery of Vitamin B12 in conjunction with Merck scientists.“Shorb Lecture in Nutrition” featuring world renowned nutritional scientists is held annually in her honor.
Photo: Dr. Mary Shorb

1954

First Maryland Nutrition Conference for Feed Manufacturers hosted by the Animal, Dairy, and Poultry Science Departments. Hosted annually, this is the second longest running conference of its type in the U.S.
Photo: 1954 Attendees

1954

Jull Hall constructed. Named after Dr. Morley Jull, world renowned poultry scientist and chair of the Poultry Science Department from 1931 to1954. Home of Poultry Science Department until 1969.
Photo: Dr. Morley Jull

1954

Animal Sciences Professor, Dr. Willard Green, begins performance and linear measurement testing with Wye Angus Herd in Queenstown, MD. This 35-year collaborative relationship leads to owner Arthur Houghton’s donation of the Wye Angus Herd, valued at $3.8 million, to the University of Maryland in 1978.
Photo: Dr. Willard Green

1950-1977

John L. Morris set the standard for the Maryland 4-H dairy program while Extension Specialist from 1950 to 1977. Under his leadership, dairy project enrollment grew to record levels and judging teams he coached won 13 national championships. His program innovations included the 4-H “Dairy Bowl” and “Dairy Adventure” reaching urban youth.
Photo: (1958 Maryland 4-H Dairy Judging Team) James Goodman, Coach, Asst. County Agent, James Phillip Jones, Charles Lager, Jr., George Debnam, Kenneth Zimmerman, John L. Morris, Coach, Dairy Extension Specialist, University of Maryland

1958-1963

Poultry Science Professor, Dr. Gerry Combs, develops the nutritional principle of calorie:protein ratio and later calorie:amino acid ratios for use in commercial broiler diets. Rapid adoption of this principle along with the use of least cost diet formulation spurs the development of the poultry industry on Maryland’s Eastern Shore.
Photo: Dr. Gerry Combs

1962

Dairy Science Professor, Dr. Mark Keeney, studying factors affecting dairy product flavors, discovers trans fatty acids produced during rumen biohydrogenation of unsaturated fatty acids. Leads to discovery of trans fatty acid’s role in “Milk Fat Depression” and the department’s first U.S. Patent in 1995.
Photo: Dr. Mark Keeney

1969

“Phase I” (office and research labs) of the Animal Sciences Building constructed housing Animal Science, Dairy Science, Poultry Science and Veterinary Medicine Departments until 1985.
Photo: Painting of the Animal Science Building by Lindhorst

1991

“Phase II” of Animal Science Building completed; includes new classrooms, offices, laboratories, Animal Research Wing, Food and Pilot Plant. Current Home of Animal Sciences Department.

1985-1997

Departments of Dairy Science and Animal Science consolidated to form the Department of Animal Science in 1985. Poultry Science merged with Animal Science in 1997 forming current Animal and Avian Sciences Department.
Photo: (from left to right) Former Department Chairs: Dennis Westhoff, Owen Thomas, and Edgar Young

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