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Land Grant Department

Bay Mills Community College (BMCC), as a Tribally Controlled College, is honored to be one of four land grant institutions serving the people of the State of Michigan. In 1862, the First Morrill Act was passed by congress and signed into law by President Abraham Lincoln, establishing “land-grant colleges” by providing federal lands to the states to be sold to support colleges of agriculture and mechanical arts. These original Land Grant Colleges are referred to as the “1862 institutions”, represented in Michigan by Michigan State University. Land grant system institutions were originally mandated to:

“…without excluding other scientific and classical studies, and including military tactics, to teach such branches of learning as are related to agriculture and the mechanic arts, in such manner as the legislatures of the states may respectively prescribe, in order to promote the liberal and practical education of the industrial classes in the several pursuits and professions in life.” Morrill Land Grant College Act


The Second Morrill Act of 1890, established land grant status and support for Historically Black Serving Institutions, commonly referred to as the “1890 institutions”. Tribal Colleges and Universities (TCUs), including BMCC, were granted land grant status and support in 1994 with passage of the Elementary and Secondary Education Reauthorization Act. Referred to as the “1994 institutions”, TCUs are expected to deliver education, research, and extension services to members of Federally Recognized Tribes and their neighbors.

The primary federal partner and funder of the land grant system is the United States Department of Agriculture’s - National Institute for Food and Agriculture (NIFA).

For a more detailed history of the land grant system, refer to this link provided by the Association of Public and Land Grant Universities (APLU).

At present, Bay Mills Community College land grant activities focus on education, extension, and research endeavors in the areas of:

1.    Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems;
2.    Health Promotion;
3.    Recruiting and Retention; and
4.    Community Development.

The home for sustainable agriculture and food system work is BMCC’s Waishkey Bay Farm; health promotion related activities are primarily located at BMCC’s Mukwa Health and Fitness Education Center; while community development and recruiting and retention efforts are shared by numerous departments across campus.