The Stockbridge School of Agriculture grew out of the very beginnings of the Massachusetts Agricultural College, now the University of Massachusetts. Massachusetts’ Land Grant College formed in 1863, hiring its first professor of agriculture, Levi Stockbridge, and enrolling its first students in 1867. Twenty-seven individuals graduated in 1871 as the first class of agriculture students from Mass Aggie.
In the early years of Mass Aggie, a variety of Bachelor of Science degrees developed, including pomology, olericulture, floriculture, and agronomy. The arboriculture degree was added in 1893 and was the first of its kind in the United States. Landscape horticulture and turfgrass management were also early B.S. offerings of the Massachusetts Agricultural College.
In 1893 a two-year course was organized at Massachusetts Agriculture College (MAC); however, it was not until 1918 that the Massachusetts Legislature resolved to officially establish the "Two-year Course in Practical Agriculture." In recognition of his significant contribution to the Massachusetts Agricultural College as its first professor of agriculture and fifth president, the college trustees honored the memory of Levi Stockbridge and named the 2-year program the Stockbridge School of Agriculture.
In 2012, the 2-year associate of science and 4-year bachelor of science degree programs were brought together under the Stockbridge School of Agriculture umbrella.
Now, the Stockbridge School of Agriculture at the University of Massachusetts Amherst offers six Associate of Science degrees, four Bachelor of Science degrees, and graduate education at the M.S. and Ph.D. levels to highly motivated individuals. It is unique in that all Stockbridge students have close student-faculty relationships.
Stockbridge students are involved in a broad range of activities, including clubs, intramural sports, residential activities, community service activities, national competition teams, and faculty research projects.
The approximately 10,000 Stockbridge alumni form cohesive networks within the farming and green industries. They strongly support the work of the School and its graduates.