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April 2009

Message from the Animal Agriculture Initiative Director

Research to Reality:
Science Impacts Lives

By Michael Orth
Dept. of Animal Science

The Animal Agriculture Initiative, or AAI, was introduced into law by the state in 1993 as the Revitalization of Animal Agriculture in Michigan Initiative. In today’s troubled economy, the original mission of the AAI echoes even more loudly. The grass-roots partnership between livestock producers, industry groups, MSU and the Michigan Department of Agriculture was heralded as an economic development opportunity, a drive to diversify the state’s economy away from and lessen its dependence on the automobile industry. The AAI can be a conduit to developing more profitable and sustainable farm production practices, environmentally sound manure management systems, efficient new energy sources, safer food products and more humane animal care systems based on science.

The AAI brought state-of-the-art facilities, expert faculty members, the opportunity to conduct cutting-edge research at MSU, and the promise to make an important contribution to Michigan’s agricultural industries and the state’s citizens. An economic survey commissioned by the AAI in 2007 revealed that nearly $22.9 million in annual economic activity can be linked back to the initiative. If you want to learn more, visit the AAI Web site (www.animalag.msu.edu) to view the entire report.

AAI-funded research adds $11.5 million annually to the state’s economy, and the MSU Pavilion alone infuses more than $5 million every year into the local economy. The AAI can also be proud of providing recurring support for 780 jobs with annual wages of $19.6 million. Findings and recommendations derived through AAI-funded research provide $4 million in direct support every year to the state’s livestock industry, and for every state tax dollar invested in the AAI, the initiative returns $3.40 in gross state product.

The AAI makes an important contribution to Michigan– the AAI enriches lives.





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