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Michigan Legislators Tour MSU

Sen. Tonya Shuitmaker, center, listens to John Partridge, associate professor and food science undergraduate adviser, during a tour of the Dairy Processing Plant. Image by Natasha Berryman

Michigan Legislators Tour MSU

By FOX 47 News. CREATED Mar 4, 2014

Michigan State University hosted state Sen. Tonya Schuitmaker and state Rep. Peter MacGregor Feb. 13.

The two legislators, both MSU alumni, were given a tour of some of the facilities in the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources and the College of Engineering.

“Our universities are important assets to our state and I am committed to ensuring they receive the support they need to continue providing a world-class education and perform cutting-edge research," said Sen. Schuitmaker, chairwoman of the Senate Appropriations Sub Committee on Higher Education.

The first stop of the tour was the Dairy Plant where the legislators learned about the technology surrounding food processing and safety and how MSU students serve as a resource for the dairy and food processing industry in Michigan. The products produced at the plant are available for sale at the Dairy Store in Anthony Hall where the processing facility is located, the MSU Union and the State Capitol concession stand.

The tour continued to the Meat Science Laboratory, which is a USDA-inspected research, teaching and outreach facility. The operation is part of the animal science complex and provides students with access to research laboratories and support facilities dedicated to processing and food safety as well as the improvement of meat chemistry, muscle growth, meat quality and meat microbiology.

Next was the Food Processing Center, which focuses on the safe processing and storage of fruits and vegetables. The facility also provides a hands-on setting for students to do small-scale processing, preparing them to meet the challenges of the food industry. Extension and outreach activities are provided to Michigan growers, processors, related food crop processing industries and relevant government agencies. Most recently, the center worked with Michigan apple farmers to protect and preserve the especially large apple crop of fall 2013.

“I was very impressed with all the areas we were able to tour at MSU – the meat and dairy facilities are second to none. A lot has changed since my time as a student but, there’s no doubt MSU is a world-class institution with world-class programs,” said Rep. MacGregor.

The last venue was the College of Engineering where Karim Chatti, professor of civil engineering and acting associate dean for research, told how MSU is leading a national consortium whose mission is to develop new strategies for extending pavement life.

“The students and faculty at Michigan State are doing groundbreaking work and it was great to see their passion and dedication in person,” Schuitmaker said.

To learn more about Spartan alumni who are elected state officials, click on “The Spartan Caucus” on MSU’s Governmental Affairs website. To help increase awareness about the need for supporting higher education funding in Michigan, become a Spartan Advocate.