CHATHAM, Mich. — Agriculture is important in the Upper Peninsula. Though not as big as the forest products industry, farming involves and generates income for many U.P. families. Michigan State University has been conducting local agricultural research and directly assisting farmers in our region for generations. The research farm at Chatham, currently called the “MSU Upper Peninsula Research and Extension Center” (UPREC) was created in 1899 and is the oldest of MSU’s off-campus agricultural research facilities.
Over the years, MSU’s work at Chatham has included dairy research, evaluation of horticultural crops (fruits and vegetables) and agronomic crops such as corn, alfalfa and other forage legumes, forage grasses, small grains and specialty crops. Currently, research work at Chatham focuses on grass-finished beef, diversified organic vegetables, grains for the craft beverage industry (malting barley and cereal rye), industrial hemp, and small grains (including oats, barley and wheat). MSU’s U.P. corn and potato research trials are conducted on cooperating private U.P. farms away from Chatham.
The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted the agriculture and food supply system across the U.S., including the U.P. Normal face-to-face contact between MSU and MSU Extension staff and local farmers have temporarily shifted to electronic format, such as email, telephone, and video conferencing. In an effort to stay connected with U.P. farmers and the general public, MSU Extension and UPREC staff have created a new, on-line series of short YouTube videos entitled “What’s U.P. @ UPREC?”. These 3-7 minute videos each focus on a research project that is underway at the center. Content is not highly technical, and is suitable for farmers or anyone else interested in agriculture and the activities at the MSU farm in Chatham.
You can find the “What’s U.P. @ UPREC?” video channel by googling “YouTube”, then entering “What’s UP @ UPREC” in the search field. Or type in: https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=What%27s+UP+%40+UPREC%3F. The videos are also posted on the Facebook site: MSU Extension Upper Peninsula Agriculture. If you have questions about the video series, contact Jim Isleib, MSU Extension Upper Peninsula Field Crop Educator at 906-387-2530 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
— Jim Isleib
MSU Extension U.P. Crop Production Educator
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