2018-19 Letter from Leadership

A letter from leaders of MSU AgBioResearch, MSU Extension and the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources.

A letter from leaders of MSU AgBioResearch, MSU Extension and the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources.

This has been a challenging year for Michigan agriculture and natural resource. Adverse weather, a continued economic downturn and other pressures can overwhelm farmers, lawmakers, regulators and others. The threats to our natural resources continue to abound, but new opportunities have arisen as well. 

In this report, you’ll learn more about what we’re doing to respond to these challenges and opportunities. Challenges in agriculture and natural resources are nothing new, that’s why we remain committed to the research, outreach and teaching that our constituents find so important.  

Support from the Michigan legislature is essential to our ability to deliver on our promise of providing undeniable value to the residents of Michigan and beyond.  

The Michigan State University (MSU) Extension team is finding new, evidence-based ways to help farmers, agribusiness professionals and those who love them manage the overwhelming stressors that come with providing food, fiber and fuel to the world.  In addition, we’re doing our part to keep Michiganders healthier by educating residents about opioid misuse—a problem that can often accompany stress in both rural and urban audiences. 

Additionally, we’re working to address both short- and long-term plant and animal agriculture issues through Project GREEEN and the Michigan Alliance for Animal Agriculture (M-AAA). Project GREEEN celebrated its 20th anniversary in September 2018, giving us the opportunity to thank our partners for their support and look toward the future. M-AAA uses a similar model to Project GREEEN and has been fortunate to receive support from both the state of Michigan and industry partners.  

Our state is also facing several emerging issues, including chronic wasting disease. Researchers are investigating how the fatal deer disease is spread across our landscape, new methods of detection, behavior of the disease-causing agent in the environment, as well as possible ways to lessen human effects on disease distribution and spread.  

PFAS, per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, are synthetic chemicals that have been found in Michigan’s water. Our researchers are learning more about how PFAS is transported through the ecosystem and potentially how this issue may be mitigated, and our MSU Extension educators are teaching residents how to lessen the effects in their own lives. 

We know that each of these topics are important to Michigan residents. As leaders, we’re fortunate to see the positive influence our talented faculty, staff and students have on communities around the state.   

Our partners are a critical part of realizing our mission. Thank you for your continued support.  

Sincerely, 

Douglas D. Buhler, Ph.D.
Director, MSU AgBioResearch 

Jeffrey W. Dwyer, Ph.D.
Director, MSU Extension 

Ronald L. Hendrick, Ph.D.
Dean, College of Agriculture and Natural Resources 

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