CANR Dean's Update - Aug. 10, 2017

A message from Ron Hendrick, dean of the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources

August 10, 2017 - Author:

Dear MSU faculty and staff,

By now, I hope you've heard about the new Food@MSU campaign that the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources is spearheading. The campus-wide initiative strives to improve public trust in science and agriculture by engaging in meaningful conversations on food and where it comes from, including its impact on our health and on our planet.

As academics and scientists, our messages are complicated and seldom provide the clear answers that people seek – this is a major issue. We need to find effective ways to communicate with the public and relevant stakeholders. I would propose that our current communication methods are not working and we need to have the humility to look at ourselves and ask why.  

Our signature event for Food@MSU is "Our Table." Our Table will focus on roundtable discussions about food-related topics with leaders and community members. MSU Shadows, in the Department of Forestry, and Nate Shaver Designs have crafted a table from fallen campus trees that we will take out to communities as the gathering place for these discussions. Our first discussion is being planned for this November in Lansing (details to be announced at a later date).

In the future, we will offer listening events where we will gather questions from the public. We want to know what the most pressing questions are when it comes to food and health. These questions will help guide our food conversations and future event offerings.

We will also have "Our Table" events on the south side of Spartan Stadium during the home football game tailgates on Sept. 23, 30 and Oct. 21. Participants will be able to enter the "Win a Seat at Our Table" contest in which winners will receive a tailgate meal prepared by an MSU chef and tickets to the Homecoming game versus Indiana. 

In addition to the public events, faculty and staff will be invited to attend several on-campus Food@MSU events designed to help you learn more about the initiative, meet others on campus interested in food-related issues and potentially develop new innovative research collaborations.

You can learn more at and in the Spring/Summer issue of Futures Magazine. Be sure to like us on Facebook at


Ron Hendrick
Professor & Dean, College of Agriculture and Natural Resources  

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