EAST LANSING, Mich. – With the passage of higher education spending by the Michigan legislature, Michigan State University will receive $53 million in state funding to update the university’s dairy and greenhouse facilities.
Governor Gretchen Whitmer has yet to sign the bill, which contains annual state operational support for the state’s public universities, including MSU AgBioResearch and MSU Extension.
“We’re so grateful to our partners who advocated for us to receive this funding: the agricultural commodity groups, legislators and industry leaders,” said Kelly Millenbah, interim dean of the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources. “Generations of our students will benefit from this investment. When we have improved, state-of-the-art facilities, we’ll be able to do more in support of Michigan’s farmers and consumers.”
“I can’t begin to express how much this means to MSU and even more importantly, how much the transformational research made possible by this infrastructure investment will benefit Michigan farmers, their futures and livelihoods,” said George Smith, director of MSU AgBioResearch. “It’s been a collaborative approach and one that we could never have endeavored on our own. Much appreciation is extended to the Michigan legislature, commodity organizations and our agricultural partners for assisting and providing support for these much-needed new research facilities, upgrades and improvements.”
The greenhouse complexes, which were largely constructed before 1978, serve over 60 faculty researchers, around 400 students, and staff from three MSU colleges. The research and outreach that takes place in the greenhouses provides Michigan’s diverse growers with state-specific insights into soil, climate, pests and weeds.
The Dairy Cattle Teaching and Research Center is over 60 years old, and a 2021 fire destroyed a dairy feed barn, underscoring the need for a modernized, safe facility. Dairy is the leading contributor to Michigan’s agricultural economy, and the state dairy industry relies on MSU to train future farm managers and advance research in support of both production and environmental sustainability.
“As a land-grant institution, we’re here to provide education and support to the people of Michigan,” said Quentin Tyler, director of MSU Extension. “These updates will allow us to continue this outreach work into the future.”