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.
2014 AG. JOB MARKET
The outlook for Agriculture related Job Opportunities and salaries is one of the few bright spots of the current economy. A 2014 survey of 17 U.S. Universities shows good average starting salaries for the following fields:
With a placement rate of 100%, our graduates are highly marketable due to our rigorous academic programs and internships where students develop knowledge, skills and abilities that translate into success.
The Michigan State University (MSU) Institute of Agricultural Technology (IAT) has been conducting practical plant, animal and technology certificate courses on its East Lansing campus for more than 100 years.
Commercial horticulture programs focused on fruit, vegetable, greenhouse production and ornamentals are attracting students to Lake Michigan College in Benton Harbor and Northwestern Michigan College in Traverse City. In addition to local access to MSU academic programs serving agriculture, the community college collaboration enables students to earn an associate’s degree through supplemental coursework.
Long-time Michigan State University (MSU) professor James D. Kelly received the Legume Innovation Lab’s Meritorious Achievement Award last month at the lab’s 2014 Global Meeting, “Improving Agriculture and Nutrition through Grain Legumes,” in Athens, Greece. Presented by the chair of the Legume Innovation Lab’s Technical Management Advisory Committee Julia Kornegay, the award is the highest honor given to Legume Innovation Lab researchers.
Dale Mutch has been selected by the North Central Region Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (NCR-SARE) to be a 2014 NCR-SARE Hero. This recognition honors the leadership, vision, contributions and impact made in the field of sustainable agriculture by those who have made lasting impacts to sustainability in the North Central Region and beyond.
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.