The UF/IFAS West Florida Research and Education Center (WFREC) offers an academic programs in Milton and maintains a research facility in Jay. We are a part of the Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) which is a federal-state-county partnership dedicated to developing knowledge in agriculture, human and natural resources, and the life sciences, and enhancing and sustaining the quality of human life by making that information accessible. Our mission is to create and extend knowledge in agriculture and natural resources through teaching, research, and extension to improve the quality of life.
In 1946, the Experiment Station in Jay (on County Road 182 between Chumuckla and Allentown Crossroads) opened its doors for the purpose of agricultural research in areas relevant to local growers. The Experiment Station, now referred to as the Jay Research Facility, is still creating knowledge for distribution through UF/IFAS Extension efforts.
In 1995, the UF/IFAS West Florida Research and Education Center started offering teaching programs in Milton on the Pensacola State College Milton Campus. These teaching programs include knowledge gained through the research at the Jay Research Facility. Our teaching programs allow students to earn a Bachelor of Science degree in Natural Resource Conservation or Plant Science in Milton without having to relocate to Gainesville. These programs are possible through a partnership with Pensacola State College and other local area schools. To date, the West Florida Research and Education Center has graduated over 100 people.