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MSU Dairy Extension Restructuring, Strengthening

MSU Extension and the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources are undergoing significant restructuring to address stakeholder education and information needs and to solve budgetary challenges. MSU dairy Extension and research efforts have been given very high priority in these restructuring efforts.

With these changes, the MSU Dairy Team reaffirms its strong commitment to Michigan’s dairy producers and allied agribusiness professionals to help you achieve your goals and to maintain a competitive advantage. The Michigan Dairy Industry is one of the stalwarts of Michigan’s over $70 billion agriculture sector, a vitally important economic driver for communities all across rural and urban Michigan producing high quality, healthy, and nutritious food products.

Among the changes for MSU Extension is that all staff and faculty are now affiliated with one of four Extension Institutes. Extension Educators and Specialists working with and programming for the dairy industry are primarily in the Agriculture and Agribusiness Institute. This Institute is led by Dr. Wendy Powers, professor and researcher of air quality in the Departments of Animal Science and Agriculture and Biosystems Engineering, and Director of Environmental Stewardship for Animal Agriculture of the college.

MSU Extension Dairy Team membership has changed through retirements and reassignments. Extension Dairy Educators have taken on specializations within dairy production management to further develop and concentrate their expertise and efforts in various subject areas, while still serving dairy producers in a given geographic area. Table 1 below lists the current Dairy Educators, their location, specialization, and contact information is on page 3 of this issue.

You are encouraged to continue to contact the Extension Dairy Educator for your area by phone or email. They may assist you directly or they may connect you with a colleague with particular specialization to assist you.  Your local Extension Dairy Educator is still your most convenient front door for service and education.

Extension Dairy Educators are working closely with campus faculty who are focused in particular specialized subject matter. Together, this team of researchers and Extension Educators will strive to serve your educational and technical information needs. In addition, MSU Extension Educators specializing in other agricultural-related subject areas will have important information for dairy producers. These supporting Educators are listed in Table 2 below.

Michigan dairy producers and agribusiness professionals have an array of resources available from MSU to help manage profitable businesses that meet the demand of consumers and neighbors for high quality food, exemplary animal care, and progressive management of the land, water and air natural resources.

table1

table2

Newly Formed Extension Dairy
Advisory Team

The MSU Extension Dairy Team recently formed an Advisory Team of progressive producers and professionals from across the state. These individuals are working to partner with and advise Dairy Extension to better understand and attend to the educational needs of dairy producers and allied professionals across the state. 

Advisory Team members represent a large cross-section of the industry. All share a strong commitment to advance the dairy industry and a willingness to be innovative.

Advisory Team members have committed to serve a term on the Team, meet with the Extension campus and field staff twice each year, and contribute in periodic conference calls. Through the regular input by and partnership of this Advisory Team, the MSUE Dairy Team will be able to respond quickly to emerging challenges and educational needs of the dairy industry. The MSU Extension Dairy Team looks forward to working with the Advisory Team to help the Michigan dairy industry advance and grow stronger.

Please fell free to contact any of these Advisory Team members or members of the Extension Team directly.

Table 3: Members of Extension Dairy Advisory Team
               
Member                       Location
Jeremy Beebe           Whittemore
Mike Cox                    Portland
Nathan Elzinga         Zeeland
Luke Haywood         Hastings
Tim Hood                  Paw Paw
Jim Judge                 Mt. Pleasant
Dana Sue Kirk         St. Johns
Josh Lehman             West Branch
Bruce Lewis               Jonesville
Don Martell                DeWitt
Amy Martin                 LeRoy
Greg Messing             Bad Axe
Dwight Nash               Elsie
Jerry Neyer                 Shepherd
Dr. Karen Peterson  Lakeview
Jim Reid                     Jeddo
Stephanie Schafer   Pewamo
Mitch Smith               Okemos
Wayne Whitman         Lansing
Tyler Wilson               Carson City
Nate Zuiderveen       Falmouth


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