WB Young Buliding on UConn Storrs Campus

CAHNR Strategic Vision

In the fall of 2019, CAHNR launched a strategic visioning process to map the future for the next ten years.

CAHNR has a strong legacy and visibility as a land-grant institution, rooted in its long standing mission of teaching, research, and extension. While maintaining its roots at the core of the state’s land grant institution, the college has grown to include a diverse set of academic disciplines.  The unique combination of disciplines within CAHNR provides opportunities for innovation that can help address today’s emerging issues.

skyline view of camapus

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

link to agricultural resource economics
red and yellow peppers

Ensuring a Vibrant and Sustainable Agricultural Industry and Food Supply

• Advance innovative, sustainable approaches to agriculture that align with local resources and markets
• Expand production and consumption of locally grown, safe, and nutritious foods
• Promote and support agricultural practices that encourage a healthy lifestyle
• Increase the contributions of agriculture to the Connecticut economy
• Provide innovative research and technical support to meet industry challenges

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

  • Promote health and prevent disease
  • Build connections at the nexus of human, animal, plant, and environmental health
  • Develop and apply digital health technology to optimize health
  • Foster health equity, including food security, using a broad range of approaches, including community engagement
  • Maximize sport and physical performance and improve injury prevention, recovery, and rehabilitation
  • Develop and test personalized lifestyle interventions informed by basic science

Promoting Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Through Anti-Racist Approaches

CAHNR has a strong tradition of addressing diversity and inclusion in classes, outreach programs, and research activities. The groups working to promote DEI explore how anti-racist approaches can become core values throughout the College.

  • Antiracist and culturally sustaining learning environments
  • Space and support for Black, Indigenous and People of Color
  • Antiracist policy and process
  • Authentic community engagement

Advancing Adaptation and Resilience in a Changing Climate

• Engage and educate citizens in climate adaptation
• Promote resilient and well-adapted coastal Connecticut communities and economies
• Enhance the management, conservation, and protection of ecosystems
• Promote human, plant, and animal health that is resilient to effects of climate change
• Integrate research and outreach to ensure well-informed decision making

Fostering Sustainable Landscapes Across Urban-Rural Interfaces

  • Improve quality of the state’s waters, including the Long Island Sound
  • Develop environmentally aware citizens that participate in sustainable, healthy lifestyles
  • Optimize the sustainability of interconnected food, waste, housing, transport and energy systems
  • Sustain and enhance ecosystem services
  • Promote informed community development, landscape planning, and land use management
  • Advance small acreage, intensive agriculture to increase food production near consumers
Lindsay Distefano, associate professor of kinesiology,shows children how to exercise on a playground at the Mansfield Community Center
Tom Worthley working with students in the UConn Forest

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 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.