2017 Coordinator's Message

2017 Coordinator's Message

September 22, 2017

Doug Buhler

Next year, we will celebrate the 20th anniversary of Project GREEEN (Generating Research and Extension to meet Economic and Environmental Needs). It’s exciting to see how far we’ve come in the nearly two decades since we began this initiative.

We set out to create a program that would provide plant-based industries in Michigan with relevant research and extension in a timely manner, especially to address emergent issues. We have accomplished that and much more with the generous support of the Michigan Legislature and the Michigan plant-based commodity organizations. I’d like to thank everyone who has been involved in making Project GREEEN into what it is today.

There is a lot of work ahead of us, though. In many circles, science is being challenged and the integrity of our food system is in question. I’m pleased to be involved in creating a new initiative at Michigan State University (MSU) that is addressing both concerns.

Food @ MSU launched this summer and is a public awareness campaign geared at creating meaningful conversations around food-related topics. We’ve worked with MSU Shadows within the Department of Forestry to create a one-of-a-kind table made from fallen campus trees. This fall we will begin taking “Our Table” out into various communities to host roundtable discussions on food, including its impact on our health and on the planet.Be sure to visit food.msu.edu to learn more.

There has arguably never been a more important time to communicate science in easy-to-understand language. As a scientist, I can attest that we sometimes don’t do a good job of listening. A big part of this campaign is about listening to consumers and hearing what types of concerns and questions they have when it comes to their food, the way it’s produced and its impact on the environment. I feel that we have done a good job of listening to you as an industry; we now need to extend that to the broader public.

This publication is just one example of the type of communication we need to do more of. I hope you find this information useful as you make decisions about how we feed ourselves and those around us.

Doug Buhler
Coordinator, Project GREEEN
Director, MSU AgBioResearch

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