Agriculture has been a part of the curriculum at the University of Tennessee since 1871, and has been offered under different structures including the Department of Agriculture, School of Agriculture, College of Agriculture, College of Agriculture and Home Economics, and in 1991, the College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources. In June 2018, the College underwent its most recent name change to the Herbert College of Agriculture in recognition of the generosity of Jim and Judi Herbert.
Caula Beyl joined the College as dean in 2007. At the time, the College was under the leadership of Mary Albrecht, associate dean, and she reported to the vice president of the University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture, Joe DiPietro, who had assumed his position only one year before that. Beyl was the first dean of the new leadership team hired by DiPietro. When she was hired, she was given three primary tasks: 1) increase the enrollment to more than 1,000 undergraduate students, 2) raise the visibility of the College across campus, and 3) bring in new revenue to support programs and students. When the College underwent its last external review in 2012, recommendations included enhancing communication, strengthening graduate education, strategizing with the development team, and clarifying our expectations for experiential learning as part of the Herbert student experience.