What is CARET? It is the Council for Agricultural Research, Extension and Teaching (CARET) and its members are advocates for land-grant agricultural programs in research, extension and teaching. They represent Michigan State University (MSU) with county officials and state legislators, and advocate for us on a federal level. Our three CARET representatives are Glenn Preston, Char Wenham and Doug Lewis.
Glenn is a dairy farmer, Char is a business development consultant, and Doug is an attorney and the director of Student Legal Services at the University of Michigan. What do they all have in common? MSU Extension has been an active and meaningful part of their lives. They want to carry their message to our leaders and decision makers at the local, state and federal levels.
Last week, I attended the CARET Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C. with our CARET representatives and had the chance to meet with our Congressional offices. Dr. George Smith, associate director of AgBioResearch, and Dr. Mike Kovacic, College of Agriculture and Natural Resources director of stakeholder relations, were the other members of our group. The highlight of our time in Washington, D.C. was visiting our congressional representatives and sharing about the work that is going on at MSU. We also had a chance to spend time with Sen. Debbie Stabenow and Sen. Gary Peters. These visits provide an opportunity to remind them of the work that we do, and learn from them about concerns and opportunities that we may be poised to address.