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East Lansing native and lifelong Spartan, Dave Dutch, has received Michigan Farm Bureau (MFB) AgiPac’s Friend of Agriculture endorsement in his bid to be elected to the Michigan State University’s (MSU) Board of Trustees.
The Navy veteran, entrepreneur and businessman has spent the last 20 years growing and building companies and is running because he believes it’s his time in life to serve again.
“I’ve served in the military and in the corporate world,” Dutch explained. “And now I want to give back to my state, and Michigan State University.”
And while he’s on the ballot as a Republican, he made it clear he feels that political party ideologies should have nothing to do with running a university.
“I’m not running as a Republican, I’m not running as Democrat, I’m running as a Spartan.”
Dutch is also passionate about ensuring the next MSU president selected by the board of trustees is the right fit for the state—and for agriculture.
“We need someone that understands the roots of MSU as the land grant university and agricultural college,” Dutch said. “And someone that values the opportunity to marry that history with globalization and technology.”
Dutch, who has travelled and conducted business globally, believes the university’s extension system is an asset with more potential than ever before.
“MSU’s extension programs are a unique leverage point that I have not seen at other universities,” he said. “It is doing a great job…but needs a deeper connection with the new president and board of trustees.”
“The trades are a lost art; we need career programs that are affiliated with MSU, that aren’t necessarily a four-year degree. Extension programs are trades, but technology too—and entrepreneurship.”
“These are things an ag school, right next to the capitol, should be working on.”