New center at Michigan State University to Focus on Improving Regional Food Systems
April 30, 2012 | Michigan State University
News Release – EAST LANSING, Mich. — The MSU Center for Regional Food Systems, a newly established group at Michigan State University, is focused on bettering food systems in Michigan, across the country and across the world.
The center was established through the combination of the C.S. Mott Group for Sustainable Food Systems and the MSU Student Organic Farm. The center will be led by Michael Hamm, C.S. Mott professor of sustainable agriculture.
The center will bring together the expertise and research of MSU staff and faculty to advance the understanding of and engagement with regional food systems while working to address issues such as where communities get their food, how it is produced and who has access to it.
“The center will build on MSU’s long history of fostering partnerships that link research with communities, as it aims to increase opportunities for farmers, consumers, and everyone in between to participate in a healthy, more regionalized food system,” Hamm said. “For us, a ‘region’ can be anything from a metropolitan area to a state to an area like the Great Lakes Region.”
Affiliated MSU faculty and staff in agriculture, health and nutrition, economics, sociology and other disciplines will contribute their expertise to the center’s research, education and outreach on food systems issues from agricultural production and marketing to healthy corner store initiatives in low-income areas. To date, the MSU Center for Regional Food Systems has engaged over 50 MSU faculty and staff from a dozen academic departments and five colleges, along with MSU AgBioResearch scientists and MSU Extension specialists, as affiliates of the center.