Welcome to the Department of Plant, Soil, and Microbial Sciences at Michigan State University. With expertise ranging from ecosystems services and disease management, to plant breeding, genomics, and food safety, we provide leadership and deliver programs that are internationally recognized and respected and have impact at local, national, and international levels. To provide this leadership, we work in an interdisciplinary and collaborative manner to effectively address complex problems and emerging threats that challenge food production and security. Above all, we value our missions of teaching, extension/outreach, research, international, service, and stewardship.   We are home to 70 faculty, 100  graduate students, 86 post-docs and staff members, and 200 undergraduate and certificate students.

For more information see our mission statement.

Meet a Faculty Member

''Kim Cassida Department of Plant, Soil and Microbial Sciences assistant professor and Forage Extension Specialist.

Cassida’s work focuses on the conservation of forage crops that are needed to feed livestock, conserve soil, improve water quality, and are used for crop rotation and cover cropping.

Forage crops, such as hay, haylage, silage, and pasture are used to feed to livestock. They are the third most valuable agronomic crop in Michigan. According to MSU Forage Connection, forage crops encompass over 3.5 million acres of land in Michigan.

[Read more about Kim Cassida]

Teaching, Research, Extension/Outreach

Featured Students



Name: Brianna Wiemer

Hometown: Tecumseh, MI

Adviser: Erin Bosch

What is your Major or Certificate Program? Ag Industries

Why did you choose that major or program? I chose Ag Industries because it would give me a chance to come to my dream school, but also give me the time to figure out what I want to do for my future . [Read more about Brianna]



Name: Christopher Gillespie     

Hometown: Champaign, IL

Crop and Soil Sciences Concentrations: Agronomic Sciences

Adviser: Karen Renner

Why did you choose this major and concentration? I chose this major and concentration because “a farmer is someone who is outstanding in their field.” As I hope to be one day soon! [Read more about Christopher Gillespie]

Graduate Program

Charlie Krasnow in field.

Name: Charlie Krasnow

Hometown: Newton, Massachusetts

Major Professor: Mary Hausbeck

In what lab do you work in and what are you researching? I am in Mary Hausbeck’s lab and I am researching age-related resistance to Phytophthora, which is an economically important soil borne fungal-like organism.                   [Read more about Charlie Krasnow]