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CAHNR Strategic Vision

In the fall of 2019, CAHNR launched a strategic visioning process to map the future of our College.

The College of Agriculture, Health and Natural Resources (CAHNR) has a strong legacy and visibility as a land-grant institution, rooted in our longstanding mission of teaching, research, and extension. Despite this prodigious history, CAHNR is looking to the future. Our strategic vision is a result of hard work led by faculty and staff that responds directly to challenges faced by our communities and our world and builds on the existing expertise in our College. With over 10,000 data points and countless conversations, our strategic vision provides a blueprint informed by the trends, strengths, areas for improvement, operational goals, and our core values to ensure we continue to improve quality of life for a sustainable future.

Our Vision

The College of Agriculture, Health and Natural Resources moves the state, country, and world toward a sustainable future through scientific discovery, innovation, education, and community engagement. Our accomplishments lead to safe, sustainable, and secure plant and animal production systems, healthier individuals and communities, greater protection and conservation of our environment and natural resources, balanced growth of the economy, and resilient local and global communities. We are dedicated to tackling big challenges and creating a viable future for our world.

CAHNR’s Strategic Initiatives

Ensuring a Vibrant and Sustainable Agricultural Industry and Food Supply

The ability to feed populations is at the forefront on the local, national, and global levels. Through our strategic vision on sustainable agriculture, CAHNR is working to address this challenge. From food insecurity to maintaining and growing a vibrant agricultural economy in Connecticut, we are leveraging our expertise in the areas of animal science, nutrition, and plant science to help tackle these issues now and in the future.

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Enhancing Health and Well-Being Locally, Nationally, and Globally

While our origins may be in traditional agricultural and environmental studies, CAHNR has expanded in recent years to include disciplines that incorporate all aspects of human health as well. Given our understanding of the One Health approach, which connects human, animal, and environmental for the well-being of our world, CAHNR is uniquely positioned to initiate and support efforts to enhance health in Connecticut and beyond.

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Promoting Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Justice

At CAHNR, we firmly believe that our institution is enriched by the diversity of our community. As such, diversity and inclusion are considered an integral part of the College's core values and operational goals. To ensure that promoting diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice are an explicit part of the College's future roadmap, we formalized this area as one of our five strategic vision commitments.

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Advancing Adaptation and Resilience in a Changing Climate

Climate change is increasingly affecting global communities. This growing threat not only impacts our environmental health, but will have devastating effects on economies and livelihoods, both directly and indirectly. CAHNR is working with researchers, local governments, and residents to raise awareness and understanding on these issues, and provide tools and resources to address the challenges posed by climate change. Through this collaborative, multi-pronged approach, we aim to create and maintain a sustainable environment, a robust economy, and a higher quality of life for current and future generations.

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Fostering Sustainable Landscapes at the Urban-Rural Interface

Connecticut is home to diverse landscapes, from vibrant urban centers to rural farms and miles of beautiful coastline. With this diversity comes the need for collaborative, cohesive, and strategic planning and an informed, environmentally aware citizenry to protect these priceless resources. With CAHNR's expertise in natural resources studies as well as landscape architecture and close ties to the community through our extension outreach, we are working towards holistic, sustainable landscapes that both preserve and enhance our ecosystems and meet society's needs.

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CAHNR’s Core Values

We promote human, animal, and environmental sustainability for today and the future by addressing key challenges in agriculture, food, health, and the environment through scientific discovery, education, and community engagement.

The following core values guide the college in carrying out its mission and define a culture for ensuring success in implementing operational goals and strategic initiatives. The CAHNR executive council and the strategic visioning committee identified core values and behaviors associated with each value.

All CAHNR faculty, staff, students, and volunteers should aspire to act in ways consistent with the following values and behaviors:


  • State and live our values, guidelines, and policies
  • Understand our biases and work free of conflicts of interest
  • Honor our commitments
  • Do what is right for the greater good
  • Be transparent and trustworthy

Collaboration, cooperation, and teamwork

  • Collaboration, cooperation, and teamwork
  • Seek and willingly engage in collaborative efforts
  • Respect differences and be open to sharing ideas
  • Freely share and give credit
  • Work together to identify and resolve common challenges
  • Encourage and value the involvement of all team members

Quality and continuous improvement

  • Set clear and reasonable expectations for ourselves and others
  • Challenge ourselves to improve
  • Hold ourselves accountable
  • Value and acknowledge excellence and effort
  • Pursue and implement best practices

Inclusion, respect, and development of people

  • Hear and seek to understand all voices
  • Value diversity and inclusion in all we do
  • Promote a sense of belonging by helping others connect
  • Value and appreciate all ideas and thoughts
  • Grow people

Creativity, discovery, and innovation

  • Constantly pursue new ideas and opportunities
  • Pursue lower-risk as well as high-risk, high-reward opportunities
  • Applaud our successes and learn from our failures
  • Engage diverse thinkers
  • Seek partners both within and outside the college

Support CAHNR's Strategic Vision

CAHNR faculty and staff are strongly encouraged to join one of the strategic vision implementation committees to lend their perspectives and ideas to this College-wide initiative

Join a Strategic Vision Group


Elaine Lee

CAHNR Leadership Fellow, Associate Professor, Kinesiology

Stacey Stearns

Strategic Vision Implementation Coordinator, Extension Communications Specialist