Welcome to the Department of Plant, Soil, and Microbial Sciences at Michigan State University. With expertise ranging from ecosystems services and disease management, to plant breeding, genomics, and food safety, we provide leadership and deliver programs that are internationally recognized and respected and have impact at local, national, and international levels. To provide this leadership, we work in an interdisciplinary and collaborative manner to effectively address complex problems and emerging threats that challenge food production and security. Above all, we value our missions of teaching, extension/outreach, research, international, service, and stewardship.   We are home to 70 faculty, 100  graduate students, 86 post-docs and staff members, and 200 undergraduate and certificate students.

For more information see our mission statement.

Faculty position / Potato and Sugarbeet Pathology

The Department of Plant, Soil and Microbial Sciences is now looking for applicants for an Assistant/Associate Professor (annual-year (12-month) appointment, tenure system)   The position entails 60% Extension and 40% Research in the area of potato and sugarbeet pathology.   Details on the position and how to apply can be found here: Potato Sugarbeet Pathology Position.  

Meet a Faculty Member: Dr. Kim Cassida

''Dr. Kim Cassida is an assistant professor and Forage Extension Specialist.

Cassida’s work focuses on the conservation of forage crops that are needed to feed livestock, conserve soil, improve water quality, and are used for crop rotation and cover cropping.

Forage crops, such as hay, haylage, silage, and pasture are used to feed to livestock. They are the third most valuable agronomic crop in Michigan. According to MSU Forage Connection, forage crops encompass over 3.5 million acres of land in Michigan.

[Read more about Dr. Kim Cassida]

Teaching, Research, Extension/Outreach

Featured Students



Name: Brianna Wiemer

Hometown: Tecumseh, MI

Adviser: Erin Bosch

What is your Major or Certificate Program? Ag Industries

Why did you choose that major or program? I chose Ag Industries because it would give me a chance to come to my dream school, but also give me the time to figure out what I want to do for my future. 

[Read more about Brianna]



Name: Madeline Henrickson

Hometown: Hopkins, MI

Crop and Soil Sciences Concentration: Agronomic Sciences

Adviser: Susan Gruber

Why did you choose this major and concentration? Growing up on a 1,000-acre cash crop farm has allowed me to explore the possibilities and opportunities that agronomy offers.

 [Read more about Madeline Henrickson]

Graduate Program


Name: Kyle McCarthy

Hometown: Zionsville, Indiana

Major Professor: Dr. Eric Olson

In what lab do you work in and what are you researching? I work in the wheat breeding and genetics laboratory. Our work seeks to produce improved wheat varieties for Michigan farmers by identifying sources of disease resistance, improved quality, and higher yields.

 [Read more about Kyle McCarthy]