Michigan State University’s Interim President visited the Great Lakes Bay Region on Wednesday to talk about agriculture and education.
Dr. Teresa Woodruff’s visit was part of the Meet Michigan Initiative, which connects leaders from MSU’s College of Agriculture and Natural Resources with industry leaders around the state.
She says direct communication with those leaders has helped the university tailor its research to the needs of producers for decades.
“The Sugar beet industry was a collaboration with Michigan State from the beginning, about 100 years ago,” said Woodruff. “There have been tests, there have been issues with harvest that Michigan State has been able to work through, largely because we know what’s been happening on the ground.”
MSU conducts research on a wide variety of ag resources at 13 extension centers around Michigan, including one in Frankenmuth focusing on sugar beet and dry bean production.
Woodruff also said she was excited to meet with some of the 7,200 MSU alumni from around the region. She says MSU’s College of Agriculture and Natural Resources is rebounding after a decrease in students.
“We had a dip, and Dean Millenbaugh and I sat down and said, ‘We’ve really got to make sure people understand the value of an education within agriculture and the many ways that education can lead to success for the individual, their families, and of course for the state.’ This year we have the largest number of entrants into the College of Ag and Natural Resources in recent history.”
Woodruff says collaborations between MSU and institutions like SVSU and Delta College have helped to build the agricultural workforce both in the region and the state.