Published: July 21, 2016

MSU opens $1M research and Extension center

Contact(s): Holly Whetstone MSU AgBioResearch

Nearly 100 Michigan agriculture leaders and community members gathered for the grand opening of the new $1 million Agricultural Education Center at the Michigan State University Saginaw Valley Research and Extension Center.

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. In 2008 MSU purchased an additional 250-acres of farmland to increase research capacity, and are now using this space to continue its mission.

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.”

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

A ribbon-cutting ceremony for the new Agricultural Education Center at Michigan State University’s Saginaw Valley Research and Extension Center took place Monday. From left: MSU Trustee Brian Breslin; MSU Land Management Office Director Chuck Reid; Ray VanDriessche from Michigan Sugar Company; MSU College of Agriculture and Natural Resources Dean Ron Hendrick; Joe Cramer from Michigan Bean Commission; MSU AgBioResearch Director Doug Buhler; and MSU Extension Director Jeff Dwyer.

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