2018 Coordinator's Message

2018 Coordinator's Message

This year marks a notable milestone for Project GREEEN (Generating Research and Extension to meet Economic and Environmental Needs). For 20 years, Michigan State University researchers and Extension specialists have teamed with plant agriculture industry groups and the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development to lead important initiatives that solve problems and create opportunities for Michigan’s growers.

To celebrate two decades of Project GREEEN’s positive influence on the plant agriculture sector and Michigan’s economy, MSU hosted an event Sept. 19 at the Lansing Center. Partners from throughout the program’s history joined together to commemorate our innovative work. The event highlighted Project GREEEN’s successful past and critical future priorities.

Serving in a leadership role with Project GREEEN for much of its 20 years, I’ve had the pleasure of witnessing firsthand its effect on Michigan agriculture. It’s truly a testament to what can be accomplished when collaboration is encouraged.

Project GREEEN has been the beneficiary of steady funding from the state of Michigan – more than $100 million over 20 years. With a financial commitment that significant, the expectations are set rightfully high. We take seriously this tremendous responsibility.

To that end, this substantial investment has yielded a bountiful return of more than $2.5 billion in estimated total economic impact for our state.

The resources of Project GREEEN have also helped bring additional support to our industry. Researchers and Extension specialists often leverage dollars from funding sources such as the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the National Science Foundation, private industry and other funders. These projects routinely expand in scope to include collaborators from institutions nationwide.

I take great pride in our responsiveness and flexibility. Being nimble in a constantly changing environment is vital to maintaining utility to our audiences. Addressing long-term issues such as soil health, as well as fast-emerging threats such as spotted wing drosophila, are a hallmark of Project GREEEN’s commitment to delivering the most relevant information in a timely fashion.

While it’s important to acknowledge our past, it’s also necessary to look toward the future. Plant agriculture faces a bevy of challenges. Finding new ways to grow food in changing conditions and feeding a ballooning global population are just a couple of these worldwide problems. Using the renowned scientific and educational expertise at MSU, we look forward to our next 20 years of contributing to the solutions.

 

Doug Buhler
Coordinator, Project GREEEN
Director, MSU AgBioResearch

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