For the third consecutive year, the National Science Foundation has named the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences the No. 4 top ranked agricultural university in the nation.

“Our college’s research program is one of the strongest in the nation and continues to grow,” said J. Scott Angle, CAES dean and director. “As we excel in biotechnology, plant breeding and genomics, we continue to be extremely strong in our traditional areas of variety development, plant disease prevention and animal science.”

The college held the No. 3 spot in the NSF’s 2003 and 2004 rankings.

Topping the NSF list again this year were University of Florida (No. 1), University of California–Davis (No. 2) and Purdue University (No. 3). Mississippi State University followed UGA to round out the top five.

“Our vibrant research program not only keeps us in the forefront in agricultural research around the world, but helps us attract the best and brightest students to our classrooms and laboratories to work with our world-renowned scientists,” Angle said. This fall, CAES set a new record for the number of students in the college at 2,002.

The NSF defines agricultural science to include such disciplines as agricultural production, agronomy, animal science, fish and wildlife, forestry, plant science, soil science and others. Rankings are based on total expenditures for research and development.

“The research going on in our campus labs in Athens, Griffin and Tifton and at our branch research and education centers across the state supports the agricultural industry in Georgia and helps keep the industry strong as the largest industry in the state,” Angle said.

“Our research programs are also vital to helping Georgia attract new agriculture and biotechnology business.”

NSF ranking data is available at www.nsf.gov/statistics/nsf08300/pdf/tab54.pdf.