The Spartan Podcast


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MSU AgBioResearch and MSU Extension “have been collaborating for over a century, and they continue to partner to help address some of the most complex food, energy and environmental issues of our time,” says Greening of the Great Lakes host Kirk Heinze as he welcomes AgBioResearch director Doug Buhler and MSU Extension director Jeff Dwyer to the program.

The two entities have been collaborating recently by exploring the Center for Urban Food Systems initiative in Detroit.

“The system allows us to build on work we’ve been doing with others in Detroit who care a lot about urban agriculture and who are trying to find ways to develop it,” says Dwyer. Read more »


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On this week’s Ag Report on Greening of the Great Lakes, Jim Zook, executive director of the Michigan Corn Growers Association, says harvest is wrapping up in Michigan after a turbulent year for many growers.

“The first challenge has been the weather throughout this year’s growing season, as Michigan started off with a very wet early season and then entered a very dry period that persisted for much of the summer,” says Zook. “Second, when it came time to harvest corn, rainfall put the harvest well behind. That ‘roller coaster’ effect had a big impact on the year.”

As of the end of November, 88 percent of corn had been harvested. That’s just below the average and below last year’s harvest, which was 95 percent complete by that point. Read more »


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Kurt Stepnitz is the senior photographer at Michigan State University, and his undergraduate degree is in Geology? “It was kind of a point where I was between interests in photography. I actually did start in photography and studied it in the Detroit area. But I lost interest in the business part of photography and decided I wanted to do something outdoors.”

Stepnitz’ inspiration for all things visual began in high school. “One of my best friends had a different camera. I had never seen one before—it was a 35mm camera and his photographs were visually just stunning, they were a completely different level than an Instamatic camera. I lobbied hard to get one for my next birthday and got my first real camera and kind of took off from there.” Read more »


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“If I had to boil it down to a couple phrases that people might understand, I would say number one is zero emissions, which points to electrification of the vehicle. And two is the quantum increase in computing power and sophistication of electronics in the vehicles,” Detroit News columnist and associate business editor Daniel Howes tells Kirk Heinze on Greening of the Great Lakes in describing the evolving definition of mobility as it relates to the automotive industry.

“It’s very important for people who live in the bread basket of the United States in the heart of the Detroit auto industry to understand that their experience that they see in their everyday lives is not what is driving the mobility craze in the industry. Read more »


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“I think there will be some impact, but I don’t think the impact will be as great as people think or people thought when they voted for him (President-elect Trump),” Plunkett Cooney environmental attorney Saulius Mikalonis tells Kirk Heinze on Greening of the Great Lakes. “I think renewables like wind and solar are already in place. The investments have been made. They’re now cheap, especially compared to new coal. So they’re not going away anytime soon.”

“If anybody’s hoping that coal is going to make a big comeback in the United States under Trump, they’ll be sadly mistaken.”

He says it’s unclear right now whether and how much the United States would be able to step away from international climate agreements like The Paris Agreement. “I think the rest of the world is already along the line of going ahead with a lot of this, but a lot of the world is looking to make money on this, too. The technology is there. China and India are investing heavily; I don’t see those people stepping back at all from those investments.”

Heinze and Mikalonis also discuss issues related to wetlands, brownfield development and Nestle’s request to withdraw more water from the Great Lakes.


LR1216.jpg Hear the Conversation 12:05 – 5.5 mb mp3

“One of the things we’re really pleased about is the progress with the capital campaign and the fact that our faculty, staff and retirees last year made commitments for more money than any other set in the Big Ten, which given the relatively low position of faculty salaries compared to the Big Ten, is just an extraordinary testament to what those who are here every day believe is important for the future of Michigan State,” Michigan State University President Lou Anna K. Simon tells Russ White on MSU Today in recapping what stood out to her this semester.

“The second highlight for me was the first university-wide investiture of our endowed positions. To see that array of people with our donors and know what they mean for the future of Michigan State was just one of those great moments.” Read more »

MSU Today on News/Talk 760 WJR

December 1st, 2016


msutsp.jpg Hear the Show 52:54 min – 30.3 mb mp3

Lawrence Ponoroff is the new dean of the MSU College of Law. He joins Michigan State University President Lou Anna K. Simon and Spartans Athletic Director Mark Hollis on this edition of MSU Today.

“What really attracted me to this position is its uniqueness in that, in many ways, this is a brand new law school,” says Ponoroff. “And that presents the potential for a lot of opportunities. I think we’ve only begun to scratch the surface in terms of really leveraging the MSU brand.

“But unlike a brand new law school, we have a 125-year-old tradition of educating four generations of leaders in law, business and politics in Michigan and beyond.” Read more »


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Don Ricks first stepped on the campus of Michigan State University as a no-preference major in 1954. He quickly became an agriculture economics major. “I grew up on a fruit farm so I wanted to become a fruit farmer, but I wanted to be an educated fruit farmer. But when I got here, I realized I liked the economics and marketing aspects very well, so I became an ag economics major.”

Don’s career had him working on both sides of the proverbial fruit fence. “I was in both Extension and applied research, working with the Michigan and U.S. fruit industries. In Michigan, the top fruit industries are tart cherries and apples. I worked with the industry organizations on their priority of marketing and economic issues.” Read more »


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Spartans Baseball Coach Jake Boss joins Michigan State University President Lou Anna K. Simon and Spartans Athletic Director Mark Hollis for the trio’s annual MSU Today conversation.

Boss says he’s proud of the young men he’s developing in the MSU baseball program.

And he details the 2017 First Pitch Dinner. The 12th annual event will take place on Sunday, Feb. 12, 2017 at the Kellogg Center in East Lansing.

This year’s event will feature World Series champion Jack Morris as the keynote speaker, while also recognizing another World Series champion pitcher, Spartan alum Mark Mulder as MSU will honor his number. Read more »


Orlandosp.jpg Hear the Conversation 14:52 – 8.5 mb mp3

MSU men’s tennis coach Gene Orlando is bullish on the future of his sport.

“The evolution of the equipment and the pace of the game are stronger, and the players are more athletic. The game keeps getting better and stronger,” Orlando tells Michigan State University President Lou Anna K. Simon and Spartans Athletic Director Mark Hollis on MSU Today.

Tennis, like golf, is a sport that can be played for a lifetime. “Once you fall in love, it’s almost like a disease. You just want to keep playing.” Read more »

Copyright © 2016 The Spartan Podcast. All rights reserved.

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