Michigan State University Invests in Urban Farming

Michigan State University, a major research university and the nation’s first land grant college, is planning to invest $1.5 million over the next three years into Detroit urban farming projects.

Urban farming is one of the fastest growing agricultural fads sweeping the country. By transforming unused, abandoned, and dilapidated urban buildings and properties, the urban farming movement seeks to rejuvenate economically depressed urban centers, create jobs and boost city revenue, and expand access to nutritious food to lower-income residents.

With extremely high unemployment and a crumbling municipal infrastructure, Detroit has been at the epicenter of the urban farming movement, with city leaders and agricultural officials hoping that farming can help turn the city around.

University leaders and Detroit mayor Dave Bing recently signed a nonbinding understanding, which, although not obligating either party legally or financially, will help create the framework for a working partnership aimed at placing Detroit in the center of American agricultural innovation and reform.

According to university president Lou Simon, “We’re entering into this not to solve the small problems — we’ll solve those along the way — but to think about really big ideas that help to define Detroit.” Long-term plans involve the creation of research centers, while the immediate goals of the partnership are to expand community agriculture and put local urban farmers in contact with non-profits and philanthropic organizations.

To learn more about agricultural financing opportunities contact a Farm Plus Financial representative by calling 866-929-5585 or by visiting www.farmloans.com.

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Written by: Justin Ellison / Farm Plus Staff Writer