The Michigan State University Department of Plant, Soil and Microbial Sciences is actively engaged in research, extension, teaching and outreach to resolve the critical agricultural issues that impact the people of Michigan, the United States and the World.
For more information see our mission statement.
On March 27, Christine Sprunger, a Department of Plant, Soil and Microbial Sciences Student traveled to Washington D.C. with 50 other Agronomy, Crop and Soil Science scientists to take part in Congressional Visit Day.
During the trip Christine met with members of congress, where at an Agriculture Day Ceremony, she presented Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) with the 2014 Excellence in Soil Stewardship Award from the Soil Science Society of America (SSSA). This award recognizes policy makers whose exemplary leadership has strengthened U.S. agriculture, food and natural resources research.
Michigan State University and the Department of Plant, Soil and Microbial Sciences was honored with a visit by President Barack Obama, on Feb. 7, where he signed the Farm Bill.
Dr. Dave Douches briefed President Obama about the Plant Science and Potato Breeding and Genetics programs at Michigan State University.
A new type of agriculture has been proposed in Africa that complements conventional annual crops with new genetic options that grow for extended periods and can double sunlight capture, nitrogen fixation and water cycling.
This transformative approach also potentially offers a new way to address climate variability, by stabilizing grain yields and providing more forage for livestock.
Sieg Snapp, a Michigan State University professor of plant, soil and microbial sciences at Kellogg Biological Station, discussed this Feb. 16 as part of a panel at this year’s meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.
Three faculty members and three staff members from the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources (CANR) were honored for their outstanding contributions to education and research at the annual MSU Awards Convocation on Feb. 11.
MSU President Lou Anna K. Simon congratulated the honorees at the ceremony and saluted their contributions to the university’s excellence during a ceremony held at the Wharton Center.
Four individuals in the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources (CANR) have been selected to receive the William J. Beal Outstanding Faculty Award (formerly the Distinguished Faculty Award).
Name: Addie Spolyar
Hometown: Jonesville, MI
Major / Concentration: Agronomic Sciences
Adviser: Karen Renner
Why did you choose this major and concentration?
I chose to be in the agronomic sciences sector of the PSM department because of my passion for the agricultural industry. This major offers you so many diverse career opportunities the opportunities are endless!
What are your future plans?
After graduation I would like to work as a crop advisor focusing on crop protection.
What or who inspired your interest in your program?
My interest in this program stemmed from my involvement in Ag through 4-H and FFA programs. My FFA advisor, Erin Bosch, was a huge motivator for me to pursue this degree and really helped to expose me to all the opportunities within the agronomy field.
What has been the best experience in your major so far?
The best experience I have had in my major so far has been the summer internship I was fortunate to have last summer. I worked near Grand Rapids, MI for Helena Chemical Company as a sales and marketing intern. It was a great feeling to apply what you learn in the classroom to a real world setting.
Why did you choose Plant, Soil, and Microbial Sciences?
I really liked the curriculum in the Plant, Soil and Microbial Sciences program. It gives you a strong base knowledge to enter into any career after graduation within the agronomy field. I also really enjoy working with my academic advisor, Karen Renner. Dr. Renner is a great advisor that really takes a vested interest in the success of your college career.
What is the best selling point about your major that you would like others to know?
A degree in Plant, Soil and Microbial Science is more valuable now than ever! With the growing demand for qualified employees in this industry, you will have the chance to be involved in one of the most dynamic fields out there with many opportunities available to you.
Name: Mike Swoish
Hometown: North Branch, MI
Major Professor: Dr. Kurt Steinke
In what lab do you work in and what are you researching?
Soil Fertility Lab, studying the effect of fertilizer and cover crop interaction on soybean and the soil microbial communities.
Future career plans:
Continue my education and receive a PhD, hopefully followed by a career in consulting or policy making.
What program are you in: Crop and Soil Sciences (CSS).
Why did you choose that program?
I chose it because I think there is still much to be discovered about the soil, and I find it very interesting.
What or who inspired your interest in CSS?
My cousin Travis encouraged me to take a Crop and Soils class, and after taking CSS 101 with Dr. Renner I knew I was more interested in agriculture than in my previous course of study. I changed my major and have been enjoying it ever since! Family and friends in my hometown that are involved with agriculture also influenced my decision to make the switch.
What has been your best experience in your program?
I have really enjoyed the opportunity to travel around the country and attend informational meetings related to agronomy and soil fertility. The traveling has really opened my eyes to how practices and ideas differ in different regions.
Why did you choose Plant, Soil and Microbial Sciences?
The switch to PSM was an easy decision for me once I became aware of career opportunities available in a field that was interesting to me as well as important on a global level.