The Central Bicol State University of Agriculture is situated in Barangay San Jose, Municipality of Pili, Province of Camarines Sur. It stands on a seven hundred thirty-six (736) hectare land reservation made available by the government through proclamations for agricultural land school purposes.
It was established as the Camarines Sur Agricultural School in 1918 offering courses on modern farming, intermediate level exclusively for boys. In 1920, it became national school offering secondary curriculum and phasing out its intermediate level, then five years later, it was renamed Camarines Sur Agricultural High School, returning to its provincial status.
It reacquired its national status on June 4, 1948 through the enactment of Republic Act 303. It was renamed Camarines Sur Regional Agricultural School in 1954 through R.A. 1089 and by virtue of CY 1960 General Appropriations Act, it was named as Camarines Sur Agricultural College mandated to perform trilogy of functions: instruction, research, and extension.
CBSUA was the first seat of the Bicol Agricultural Resources Research Consortium (BARRC) being the regional research center and lead agency. This was made possible by virtue of a Memorandum of Agreement signed between CSSAC and the Philippine Council for Agricultural Resources Research and Development (PCCARD) in 1978. The College also partnered with EDPITAF for the implementation of the Agricultural Education Outreach Program (AEOP) in 1980. Through the program, CSSAC established Barangay Demonstration Laboratories (BDLs) in promoting modern farming technologies that enhanced productivity of the farmers. With such partnership, massive physical and manpower development was implemented improving the Research and Development capability of the college. Funding also flowed in from the World Bank, Japan International Corporation Agency (JICA), Asian Development Bank and other national and international funding institutions through PCCARD.
Through the decades, the College continued to perform its mandate to educate and train young Bicolanos to become skilled agriculturists, entrepreneurs, teachers, extension agents, agricultural engineers, and other professionals that will help improve and transform the agricultural economy of the region. Due to its relevance and impact to countryside development, the College was converted into Camarines Sur State Agricultural College by virtue of Batas Pambansa Bilang 198 on March 16, 1982, thereby expanding its higher education programs and embarking on massive manpower and physical resources development. The 1986 Constitution through Executive Order No.117, rationalized agricultural institutions into the National Agricultural Education System (NAES), identifying CSSAC as a Regional Agricultural College. It was mandated to produce agricultural manpower and provide leadership in agriculture education, research, and development in the Bicol Region.
The period 1983 – 1996 was a milestone in the existence of CSSAC as a state college. Under the helm of an able administrator, the College concentrated its efforts on the strengthening of its physical and manpower resources, revising and formulating new curricular programs, intensifying the research and development programs, expanding the production programs and establishing linkages to harness the capability of the College in implementing its mandate. In effect, the College produced topnotchers in the Agriculture Engineering and Veterinary Medicine Board Examinations. The conversion of the College into a state university was initiated during the period with the filing of House Bill in the House of Representatives.
In 1997, the governance of the College was transferred from the Department of Education, Culture, and Sports (DECS) to the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) through Republic Act No. 8292, otherwise known as the Higher Education Modernization Act of 1997. Within a five-year period (1997-2001), the administration relentlessly pursued its continuous quest to be the Regional Center of Excellence in Agriculture, and was successful in having various curricular programs accredited by AACUP for Levels I and II.
Its operation expanded in scope with the implementation of Republic Act No. 8760 (General Appropriations Act of 2000) where two higher education institutions in Camarines Sur were integrated to CSSAC, namely, the Bicol Institute of Science and Technology (BIST), Sipocot, Camarines Sur and the Calabanga Polythenic College (CPC), Calabanga, Camarines Sur. In June 2002, the higher education program of CASIFMAS was transferred to CSSAC; opening extension classes in Pasacao, Camarines Sur. The Pasacao campus was provided a regular allocation in CY 2003 General Appropriations Act as a Special Project under CSSAC, and now an extension campus of the University.
However, it was not all glory for CSSAC since in 2006, the College was totally devastated by super typhoons Milenyo and Reming. Rehabilitation and construction of new facilities were carried out starting 2007. Side by side with the physical facilities rehabilitation, new curricular programs were developed and implemented in 2008 including BS in Agri-Ecotourism Management and Master in Disaster Risk Management which are now attracting many undergraduate and graduate students to CSSAC. In 2009, four graduate programs and three undergraduate programs were also accredited Level III by AACCUP. The College was also adjudged as a Center of Development in Agriculture in February 2009 and in June 2009, it was designated by CHED as National University / College of Agriculture (NUCA).
Its dream of becoming a University of Agriculture came into reality by virtue of Republic Act No. 9717, where the former Camarines Sur State Agricultural College was converted into a state university now known as the Central Bicol State University of Agriculture effective October 30, 2009. It is envisioning to be known as a Center of Organic Agriculture in the whole Philippines and a host of agriculture-related development programs for Bicolanos.