The French Connection
This project, A Michigan-French Partnership to Strengthen the Global Competence of Students, Researchers, and Extension Educators in Agriculture and Tourism, was funded by a grant from the International Science & Education Program of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Building upon MSU’s exchange agreement with the International Center for Higher Education in Agricultural Sciences in Montpellier, France (SupAgro-M), the project fostered collaboration between MSU and SupAgro-M faculty in order to learn about and incorporate French approaches and techniques in value-added food, agriculture and agri-tourism into courses and MSU Extension Educator programs.
The project supported student internships to increase the competencies of MSU students in the field of value-added food, agriculture, and agri-tourism. Workshops and exchange visits with agri-entrepreneurs helped to build the capacity of MSU Extension educators to adapt French value-added agriculture techniques and approaches to improve the market opportunities and competitiveness of Michigan farms, agri-food and agri-tourism businesses.
Collaborative, applied research and teaching in value-added food, agriculture, and agri-tourism between MSU and French researchers was encouraged. These exchanges helped to identify state and local development policies that could foster more economic opportunities for value-added agriculture and agri-tourism in Michigan.
More broadly, project activities sought to stimulate statewide attention by private businesses, public agencies and non-profit groups to the ways in which new approaches to value-added agriculture and agri-tourism could contribute to revitalizing the Michigan economy.
Photo by Barbara Jenness
Cheesemaking in France
An artisan cheesemaker from Michigan traveled to the Languedoc area of France to learn and report on her observations of some cheesemaking going on there. Read her report.