Michigan House Ag Appropriations asked to support SESMA

Ag leaders from Michigan State University are asking for new funding from the state to address research, outreach, and education gaps.

MSU AgBioResearch Director Dr. George Smith says the Securing Environmentally Sustainable Michigan Agriculture, or SESMA, Initiative will prioritize soil and plant health, water quantity and quality, and precision technologies.

“This initiative is not about Michigan State University, it’s about Michigan agriculture, so if there is talent at the University of Michigan and other universities in the state that can help solve these problems, folks from any of our community colleges or universities can partner,” he explains.

MSU Extension Director Dr. Quentin Tyler says current federal funding sources don’t go far enough to help emerging needs in the sector.

“It designs and deploys long-term research, outreach, and education efforts to enhance an environmentally sustainable future for Michigan agriculture,” he shares.

Southeast Michigan crop farmer Doug Darling says the efforts will also expand on the Michigan Agriculture Environmental Assurance Program.

“For some farmers, it will help them become MAEAP verified, for some it will improve their efficiencies,” he says.

MSU is requesting $16 million initially and $10 million recurring to support the initiative which will support talent and faculty gaps along with a new competitive grants program.

All three testified during this week’s Michigan House Appropriations subcommittee on Agriculture and Rural Development and Natural Resources meeting.

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