Overall Rating Silver - expired
Overall Score 56.88
Liaison Laura Young
Submission Date Feb. 11, 2016
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.0

Michigan State University
IC-1: Institutional Boundary

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete N/A
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Institution type (Associate, Baccalaureate, Doctorate, or Master's):

Institutional control:

Which campus features are present and included in the institutional boundary?:
Present? Included?
Agricultural school Yes Yes
Medical school Yes Yes
Pharmacy school No No
Public health school No No
Veterinary school Yes Yes
Satellite campus Yes No
Hospital No No
Farm larger than 5 acres or 2 hectares Yes Yes
Agricultural experiment station larger than 5 acres or 2 hectares Yes No

Reason for excluding agricultural school:


Reason for excluding medical school:


Reason for excluding pharmacy school:


Reason for excluding public health school:


Reason for excluding veterinary school:


Reason for excluding satellite campus:

Only including main campus in East Lansing, MI.

Reason for excluding hospital:


Reason for excluding farm:


Reason for excluding agricultural experiment station:

Not located on main campus in East Lansing, MI


The Michigan State University campus in East Lansing occupies 5,239 contiguous acres and has long been recognized as one of the most beautiful in the nation. The developed campus comprises 2,100 acres, and the remaining 3,139 acres are devoted to experimental farms, outlying research facilities, and a 36-hole golf course. Combined, the developed campus and farms area also contain 27 natural areas which encompass more than 700 acres.The gently rolling campus is graced by a park-like landscape, traversed by the scenic tree-lined Red Cedar River. Campus beauty is enhanced by a mature collection of trees, shrubs, and woody vines that serve teaching, research and outreach functions with over 36,000 plants accounted for in an interactive digital database. Planting of trees on the arboretum-like campus began shortly after its founding in 1855. A more formal collection of trees was initiated on campus in 1874 in what is known as the the Campus Woody Plant Collection. The rich campus open space complements and unifies the 559 permanent university buildings that provide over 22.9 million gross square feet of space to serve the institution’s land-grant mission.


University Farms
The purpose of University Farms is to provide a centralized service and facilities for departments within the Colleges of Agriculture and Natural Resources and Veterinary Medicine, as well as the Michigan Agricultural Experiment Station and MSU Extension, to alleviate those units of the economic burden and time-consuming activities of maintenance and general farm operations. The departments may then place their emphasis on the more important aspects of education and research. University Farms works with 16 departments of MSU that operate field and animal units south of Mt. Hope Road.
• The University Farms is responsible for all of the unassigned land south of Mt. Hope Rd. including the personnel and equipment to maintain this land for the production of livestock feed.
• South Campus Farms has 9 animal facilities and 6 plant facilities, and is comprised of an overall land base of 2700 acres.
• University Farms includes 760 acres that consist of corn (500 acres), alfalfa (200 acres), wheat (60 acres) and 100 acres of pasture land harvested for hay.
• University Farms maintains blacksmith fabrication capabilities.
• The farms produce 3.2 million gallons of liquid + 9,500 tons of solid manure (totaling 3,474 loads/year), and operates a composting facility that handles 80% of the total solid manure produced /year.
• The farms utilize 9 county drains and surface water from Sycamore Creek and the Red Cedar River.

Some of the facilities included in South Campus Farms are described below.

Composting Facility
The composting facility developed as a tool within the South Campus nutrient management plan, works to reduce the nutrients applied to agricultural land, improve manure handling and provide Grounds Maintenance with a soil amendment to improve the soil quality and lessen the burden of fertilizer costs.
• The facility takes in 12,000 yds.2 (7,700 tons) of solid manure—80% of total produced on campus/yr.
• It also incorporates leaf material from North Campus.
• Last year, the composting facility produced 10,000 cubic yards of finished compost.
• This year it is on track to produce 12,000 cubic yards of finished compost.

South Campus Farms Housing Animals
• The animals in these facilities are used for teaching, intensive research and extension/outreach activities.
• During the 2004 academic year, there were at least 1500 students involved in activities that utilize farm animals bringing in tuition of more than $20M per year.
• The total farm budget is just over $3 million. University funding (GF, MAES, MSUE) for the farms contributes approximately 30% of the operating budget. The rest of the funding for the farms is generated by selling commodities (meat, milk, or livestock) and through per diems that are charged to the scientist for their research projects.
• There has been at least $10 returned to the University in research funding awarded for every $1 invested.

Veterinary Research Farm
The Veterinary Research Farm consists of 86 acres of pastures divided into 25 fields ranging in size from ¼ to 10 acres. There are generally 35 to 45 horses and from 7 to 40 cattle housed on the farm.

Pavilion for Agriculture and Livestock Education
The MSU Pavilion includes an arena that seats 2,000 people, an auditorium with amphitheater-style seating for 364, an exhibit area with over 77,000 sq ft of space and several conference rooms. The Pavilion hosts numerous livestock and commercial exhibitions, auctions, events and meetings annually.

Horticulture Teaching and Research Center
The Horticulture Teaching and Research Center, established in 1966, comprises 180 acres, five buildings, and greenhouses. Included here is the Student Organic Farm.

Hancock Turf Grass Research Center
The Hancock Turf Grass Research Center works in partnership with the turfgrass industry to provide ongoing programs in research,
education and extension in the area of professional turfgrass management.
• Built in 1980, originally 10 acres, now consists of 56 completely irrigated acres.
• Research is conducted by four different MSU departments.
• Supplied sod to Spartan Stadium, Cooley Law School Stadium (Lansing Lugnuts), MSU baseball and softball fields.

MSU Tree Research Center
The original MSU forest tree nursery was established on campus in 1903, where Spartan Stadium now stands. The Tree Research Center, established in 1963, includes 30 acres on campus, plus 100 acres at Sandhill Rd. (south of I-96), two greenhouses, a 2-acre irrigated tree nursery, 55 acres of tree plantations, plus acreage in forest, field crops or fallow.

The information presented here is self-reported. While AASHE staff review portions of all STARS reports and institutions are welcome to seek additional forms of review, the data in STARS reports are not verified by AASHE. If you believe any of this information is erroneous or inconsistent with credit criteria, please review the process for inquiring about the information reported by an institution or simply email your inquiry to stars@aashe.org.