Project GREEEN Awards Dollars for 2008 Projects

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Project GREEEN is funding more than 100 plant agriculture research projects. (view larger image)

More than 100 plant agriculture research projects will share nearly $2.5 million in grant funding from Project GREEEN, Michigan’s plant agriculture initiative at MSU, for fiscal year 2008.

Project GREEEN (Generating Research and Extension to meet Economic and Environmental Needs) is a cooperative effort between plant-based commodities and businesses together with the Michigan Agricultural Experiment Station, MSU Extension and the Michigan Department of Agriculture to advance Michigan’s economy through its plant-based agriculture. Its mission is to develop research and educational programs in response to industry needs, ensure and improve food safety, and protect and preserve the quality of the environment.

A total of 92 new project proposals requesting approximately $2.5 million were received for consideration in this year’s selection process. Forty-six continuation proposals seeking more than $1 million in available funds were received for projects that started in 2006 or 2007.

“Now is a time of rapid growth and development in plant agriculture despite economic challenges on the state and national levels,” said Doug Buhler, coordinator of Project GREEEN and associate director of the Michigan Agricultural Experiment Station. “Project GREEEN is privileged to administer these funds to target the most pressing issues in agricultural research and Extension.”

Projects were funded in the categories of basic research, applied research and Extension/education/demonstration. New projects were funded across the spectrum of Michigan’s plant agriculture industries, on topics ranging from estimating the carbon footprint of Michigan apple and cherry orchards and developing pest and nutrient management guidelines for landscape trees and shrubs to translating the national pesticide applicator manual into Spanish and designing farm financial record systems.

“Project GREEEN is uniquely positioned to stay at the forefront of plant agricultural research and Extension,” Buhler said. “We are able to continue funding important advances in crop production and pest management strategies while also addressing emerging markets such as organic production and the bioeconomy.”

The main criteria used to evaluate proposals for funding were their relationship to the Project GREEEN mission and Michigan plant agriculture priorities, scientific soundness and appropriateness of methodology and multidisciplinary linkages, leverage of funds, potential for future external funding and the feasibility of completing the objectives within the proposed time frame. All proposals are reviewed by a diverse panel of industry, government and university experts.

“The research and outreach projects selected for Project GREEEN funding address industry-identified priorities and have met the rigors of scientific peer review,” Buhler said. “These research and outreach projects reflect the partnership and cooperative relationship that exist between the plant industry groups, agribusiness, the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Michigan State University.”

“These grants offer continued growth and development opportunities for Michigan’s nearly $64 billion agribusiness sector, which is essential to the diversification of the state’s economy,” said Don Koivisto, MDA director. “It’s this type of collaboration between private industries, government and universities that provides a vital link addressing the changing needs and challenges of Michigan’s agriculture industry.”

A complete listing of 2008 newly funded and continuing Project GREEEN research projects can be found at the Project GREEEN Web site.

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