MSU AgBioResearch adds newest farm manager

Michigan State University’s West Central Research and Extension Center has named its first farm manager.

Ashley Fleser tells Brownfield the center was created three years ago with public/private partnerships to support agriculture in the region.

“Part of the dream of the facility was not only to have research that would benefit the local growers and the local industry, but it was also to create a community gathering space,” he explains.

The nearly 70-acre farm in Hart currently has projects on asparagus and tree fruit, along with food safety and processing research.

“There’s a lot more interest in knowing where the food comes from, how it was raised, what inputs were used and so we work very closely with processors on that,” he says. “The purpose of this farm is really to be a model, a demonstration of best practices.”

Fleser started last month after spending more than 20 years in land management, conservation and production agriculture.

There are 15 MSU AgBioResearch Centers across the state.

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