A portion of the Kentucky State University Mission Statement (1993) reads: "Kentucky State University, as the 1890 land-grant institution in the system, shall carry out its responsibilities under federal law and participate fully in the appropriate U.S. Department of Agriculture programs, in accord with the mission of the University." The research portion of the Land-Grant Program is called the Community Research Service (CRS). The name reflects the mission of the program, which is to help resolve agricultural, educational, economic, and social problems of the people of Kentucky, especially those with limited resources living in rural communities.
CRS fulfills its mission by conducting applied and basic research in the following program areas: Human Nutrition and Health and Agricultural and Environmental Science. Personnel and resources are distributed among the program areas to achieve the best balance of addressing the perceived research needs of the state and nation, while making maximum use of available facilities.
The three primary goals of the research program are: (1) new crop development and new uses for existing crops; (2) sustainable production practices with reduced chemical inputs; and (3) enhancing human nutrition, health and food safety.
Documentation of program impact can be measured in many ways. Student involvement in the Research Program is an objective in every laboratory. A list of Student Awards demonstrates the level of dedication to student achievement. Another tangible measure of impact is publications, which included refereed journal articles, book chapters, published abstracts and proceedings, and other lay publications.
The Atwood Agricultural Research Facility (1986) houses the offices and principal laboratories of CRS, and serves as the hub for program activities. Augmenting this facility is the 203-acre Research and Demonstration Farm (1986). A field laboratory and meeting facility was added to the farm in 1989, and the greenhouse was completed in 1993. The farm is designed to test theoretical laboratory work under practical conditions, and to serve as a demonstration site for educational programs. The Beetle Biodiversity Laboratory and Museum was established in 2005 for the study of leaf beetle biodiversity and to house the Kentucky State University Insect Museum (KSUIM) and Robert J. Barney Beetle Collection (RJBBC).