Michigan Annual State Report

Project Overview

Project Type: PDP State Program
Funds awarded in 2017: $110,000.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/2020
Grant Recipient: Michigan State University
Region: North Central
State: Michigan
State Coordinators:
Dr. Dean Baas
Michigan State University Extension
Sarah Hanks
Michigan State University


Not commodity specific


  • Animal Production: feed/forage, grazing management, grazing - multispecies, grazing - rotational, manure management, pasture renovation, winter forage
  • Crop Production: application rate management, catch crops, conservation tillage, cover crops, crop improvement and selection, cropping systems, crop rotation, double cropping, no-till, nutrient cycling, nutrient management, organic fertilizers, plant breeding and genetics, pollination, season extension, strip tillage, varieties and cultivars, water management, zone till
  • Education and Training: demonstration, extension, farmer to farmer, networking, on-farm/ranch research, technical assistance, workshop
  • Farm Business Management: community-supported agriculture, farmers' markets/farm stands, grant making, land access
  • Natural Resources/Environment: biodiversity, carbon sequestration
  • Pest Management: biofumigation, chemical control, compost extracts, integrated pest management, mulches - general, physical control, precision herbicide use, smother crops, trap crops
  • Production Systems: agroecosystems, dryland farming, integrated crop and livestock systems, organic agriculture, organic certification, transitioning to organic
  • Soil Management: green manures, organic matter, soil analysis, soil microbiology, soil quality/health
  • Sustainable Communities: ethnic differences/cultural and demographic change, food hubs, local and regional food systems, partnerships, quality of life, urban agriculture

    Proposal abstract:

    Dr. Dean G. Baas, Educator – Sustainable Agriculture, Michigan State

    University (MSU) Extension (MSUE), is the State Coordinator for Michigan. In

    2016, Sarah Hanks joined the Michigan SARE leadership team as Program

    Assistant. Sarah comes to Michigan SARE with previous Southern SARE

    experience at the University of Kentucky. The Michigan SARE State Sustainable

    Agriculture PDP program is coordinated through MSUE. . Dean has office

    locations in the St. Joseph County MSUE office in Centreville, MI and at the

    MSU W.K. Kellogg Biological Station (KBS) in Hickory Corners, MI. Sarah is

    located at KBS. Their positions are both partially funded by SARE. Together they

    provide overall SARE leadership and coordination with MSU, MSUE, MSU

    BioAgResearch and the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources.

    Previous POWs have been jointly developed with a voluntary advisory board

    including consensus on professional development initiatives to be supported

    through travel scholarships and mini-grants. While this has served Michigan well

    in the past, engagement with SARE has been waning as agricultural educators

    face funding challenges and less voluntary time. Often, their view of sustainable

    agriculture is limited to their commodity, sector or area of expertise and many are

    including sustainability in their on-going programs. For this planning period we

    are endeavoring to step back and identify the larger sustainable issues that cut

    across a greater number of agricultural commodities and sectors by interviewing a

    large number of a stakeholders across the diversity of agriculture and geography

    in Michigan.

    Michigan is home to more than 300 commodities: with national rankings in the

    top 5 in production in over 35 different crops ranging from hay to carrots to dry

    kidney beans. 7th in the nation for maple syrup and milk and 8th in egg production

    and potatoes. This diversity is only second to California. Michigan agriculture

    takes place on 9.9million acres across the state, averaging 193 acres per farm,

    with approximately 52,000 farms. In the North Central region of SARE Michigan

    stands out as the most diverse.

    We believe the impact of the SARE PDP program will increase by changing

    our strategy from the past plans of work by proposing larger programs with

    broader audiences that address issues that are common across sectors therefore

    having a larger impact than being specific with specific commodities/sectors. This

    plan addresses our concern that agriculture in Michigan is so diverse, that we

    were not reaching as many educators as we could under our previous plans.

    Project objectives from proposal:

    The state initiatives for 2017-18 are:

    1. Sustainable integrated pest management

    2. Sustainability of beginning/small farms and local foods

    3. New emerging issue, follow-up to initiatives 1 and/or 2 and/or support to

    regional training

    4. Other sustainable agriculture requests

    Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or SARE.