Project GREEEN (Generating Research and Extension to meet Economic and Environmental Needs) will commemorate 20 years of dedication to Michigan’s plant agriculture industry Sept. 19.
The event will run from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the Lansing Center, located at 333 E. Michigan Ave. in Lansing.
Project GREEEN — a partnership among Michigan State University AgBioResearch, MSU Extension, the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, and more than 40 commodity organizations — has provided a launching point for innovation, from combatting disease pressures and invasive insects to promoting sustainability and environmental stewardship.
“Bridging the gap between research and growers is a foundational aspect of Project GREEEN, and the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development is proud to support this important work,” said Gordon Wenk, director of MDARD. “On behalf of the entire Project GREEEN leadership team, I’m thrilled to participate in honoring this milestone.”
Doug Buhler, the coordinator of Project GREEEN and director of MSU AgBioResearch, added: “While it’s important to acknowledge our past successes, we must also look to the future. At a time when plant agriculture is facing several major challenges, particularly with respect to our food supply, it’s imperative that we stay focused on the work that still needs to be done.”
Michigan’s economy has been a significant beneficiary of Project GREEEN efforts, with an estimated total output impact of more than $2.5 billion over the past two decades. The program has received more than $100 million in state support over its history.
Project GREEEN researchers have leveraged those funds to garner further support through partnerships with Michigan commodity groups and private industry, as well as the U.S. Department of Agriculture and other federal programs.
“We’re proud that even through difficult financial times in Michigan, Project GREEEN has demonstrated that it’s a relevant and important investment,” Buhler said. “Support for our work on campus, at our research centers around the state as well as with grower cooperators has led to advancements in areas such as pest and disease management, and efficient use of water and other natural resources, just to name a couple.”
Outcomes from Project GREEEN research projects have assisted growers in managing issues such as altering practices due to climate change; controlling spotted wing drosophila, an invasive insect of soft-fleshed fruits; mitigating the effects of the emerald ash borer; combatting downy mildew and more.
For more information or to see a list of current Project GREEEN-funded research and outreach initiatives, visit greeen.msu.edu.