Michigan State University (MSU) researchers have been awarded more than $2 million for research and outreach projects to continue growing Michigan’s $71.3 billion agri-food and agri-energy industries.
Thanks to funding from Project GREEEN (Generating Research and Extension to meet Economic and Environmental Needs), 88 plant agriculture research projects will receive $2.08 million in grant funding. Project GREEEN is Michigan’s plant agriculture initiative based at MSU.
Doug Buhler, Project GREEEN coordinator and associate director of the Michigan Agricultural Experiment Station, said the proposals put before the project selection committee continue to get better every year. This year’s group represented a desire to help move the plant agriculture forward while supporting the growth of Michigan agriculture and agribusiness.
“As the economy continues to struggle, investments in appropriate research is more important than ever,” he said. “The selection committee looked for strong projects that respond to the challenges in the industry and will help move Michigan forward. With those goals in mind, they were careful to ensure that every dollar was invested wisely.”
Project GREEEN is a cooperative effort between plant-based commodities and businesses together with the Michigan Agricultural Experiment Station, MSU Extension and the Michigan Department of Agriculture (MDA) to advance Michigan’s economy through its plant-based agriculture.
“Investing in our state’s agriculture industry is critical to growing Michigan’s second largest economic driver,” said Don Koivisto, Michigan Department of Agriculture director. “The Project GREEEN grants not only demonstrate the importance of partnerships, but also the need to diversify Michigan’s economy through our agriculture industry.”
The Project GREEEN selection committee invested more than $1.5 million in 58 new projects. In addition, the committee awarded $568,000 to continue funding for 27 projects already in process.
New projects were funded across the spectrum of Michigan’s plant agriculture industries, and included those that take advantage of the bioeconomy and new marketing strategies.
“Michigan State University continues to be cognizant of the need to expand the agricultural economy, and these projects are helping create and maintain jobs in that sector,” Buhler said. “MSU’s unique Extension relationships throughout the state give us an opportunity to uncover meaningful research and outreach needs that are directly applicable to farms throughout the state and region.”
A complete listing of 2010 newly funded and continuing Project GREEEN research and Extension projects is at www.greeen.msu.edu.
Founded in 1997, Project GREEEN is a cooperative effort between plant-based commodities and businesses together with the Michigan Agricultural Experiment Station, MSU Extension and the Michigan Department of Agriculture to advance Michigan’s economy through its plant-based agriculture. Its mission is to develop research and educational programs in response to industry needs, ensure and improve food safety, and protect and preserve the quality of the environment.
Learn more about Michigan’s plant agriculture initiative at MSU by visiting http://www.greeen.msu.edu.