Industry contributions result in new $1M facility at MSU research center

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Representatives from MSU and the agriculture industry cut the ribbon at the new SVREC Agricultural Education Center. (view larger image)

Frankenmuth, Mich. – Nearly 100 Michigan agriculture leaders and community members gathered Monday to dedicate the new $1-million Agricultural Education Center at the Michigan State University (MSU) Saginaw Valley Research and Extension Center (SVREC).

The 11,000-square-foot facility includes a 250-person meeting room, a 50-person classroom, on-site offices and multipurpose reception space. It will be used to host training workshops, industry gatherings and conventions, 4-H events and Master Gardener courses, to name a few possibilities.

The research center was founded in 1971 on a 120-acre farm near Saginaw and was purchased by the Michigan Sugar Company, Michigan Bean Commission and the Michigan Bean Shippers Association. The facility moved to its current location in 2008 when MSU purchased a 250-acre farm to increase research capacity.

In addition to sugar beet and dry bean research, scientists at the facility assist Michigan corn, wheat and soybean growers. Industry representatives said they owe MSU and SVREC for helping to make their farm operations more profitable and efficient.

“Without guidance from and knowledge of MSU researchers and Extension specialists, many of us would not be farming as successfully as we are today,” said Ray VanDriessche with Michigan Sugar Company. “It’s because of facilities like this one here at Saginaw Valley that makes our jobs a bit easier.”

Leaders from the MSU College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, including MSU AgBioResearch and MSU Extension, acknowledged the generosity of the stakeholders and their support at the event.

“We continue to look forward to collaborating with all of you to yield practical, real-world solutions to meet your needs,” said Doug Buhler, director of MSU AgBioResearch. “On behalf of the researchers and staff that work here at Saginaw Valley, it is truly an honor to serve such a thoughtful and supportive community.”

The facility was constructed with more than $1 million in contributions from more than 20 different Michigan organizations and individuals.

For more information on SVREC, visit agbioresearch.msu.edu/centers/saginawvalley.

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