2021 Message from the Coordinator

A message from Project GREEEN coordinator James Kells.

Kells_JimIt is an honor for me to serve in the role of coordinator of Project GREEEN, having been involved in the program since its inception 23 years ago. I continue to have a deep appreciation for the value of Project GREEEN to Michigan plant agriculture.

Project GREEEN is a unique partnership between MSU AgBioResearch, MSU Extension, the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, plant-based commodity organizations, and others, with support from the state of Michigan. These resources not only directly support Michigan plant agriculture through research and extension but also help attract additional resources to Michigan agriculture. Research and Extension faculty have been very successful at leveraging Project GREEEN dollars for funding from sources, such as the U.S Department of Agriculture, the National Science Foundation, other foundations and private industry. Project GREEEN has yielded an economic impact of more than $30 for each dollar invested.    

From its inception, flexibility was built into the foundation of Project GREEEN. It was wisely designed to address priority research needs as identified by the Michigan plant agriculture stakeholders. It was also structured to address long-term issues as well as rapidly responding to emerging serious threats such as invasive pests, severe weather events, etc., with the goal of ensuring the viability and sustainability of Michigan plant agriculture. I am proud to say that Project GREEEN has remained true to its mission through these years.

The global pandemic has impacted all aspects of our society and economy, including Project GREEEN. Due to the uncertainty caused by the pandemic, we needed to delay funding commitments for new projects in 2020 from April until October. This effectively delayed the initiation of new field projects by a growing season. Researchers were notified of funding commitments in October and have initiated those projects in 2021. Additional research and extension projects were funded in April 2021, with stakeholder input through the established proposal review process. We maintained support of previously funded, continuing grant projects, so that ongoing research projects were not impacted by lack of funding. I am very pleased to report that all core programs such as the MSU Product Center, Plant and Pest Diagnostics, and Enviroweather continued to operate within the limitations of safety requirements. In addition, we remained fully prepared to rapidly address any emerging threats through research and extension.

This year’s report, which is completely digital, highlights some of Project GREEEN’s projects and impacts. I hope you find these updates interesting and informative.   

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