Authors: Terri Barker, Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development
Agriculture is Michigan’s second largest industry and with its proximity to the automotive industry and burgeoning biosciences and Information Technology sectors, the State is poised for food and agriculture technological innovation. Currently, resources for food and ag technology are siloed, the aim of this Co-Learning Plan is to work with stakeholders to identify and collect the materials needed to develop this sector. The completed report will provide immediate support for growing businesses and a blueprint for stakeholders interested in developing this sector.
Terri Barker, Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development
Terri Barker is an Economic and Community Development Analyst at the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD). She works remotely in Southeast Michigan with state and local economic development partners to provide financial and technical expertise and resources to food and agriculture businesses/organizations. She provides support to business expansion projects throughout the state and provides leadership as a the MDARD Agriculture Development Team Food Innovation Specialist, business development lead for the Quality Of Life Aquaculture Team (DNR, DEQ, MDARD collaboration), and is the MDARD representative on the Michigan Translational Research and Commercialization (MTRAC) Advisory Board. Terri previously worked as the Policy Director for State Representative Wendell L. Byrd and as the Policy and Food Programs Manager at The Food Bank Council of Michigan. Through the years, she has gained experience throughout the food supply chain as a buyer for a multinational grocery chain and a local co-operative, experience on-farm in the United States and abroad, amongst other things. Terri grew up in East Lansing, MI where she gained valuable experience and publishing credits as a Research Assistant in MSU's Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratories including Parasitology and Avian Infectious Disease labs. She continued her academic and laboratory education at the University of Michigan – Ann Arbor where she conducted biomedical research in Pulmonary and Dermatology laboratories at the research facilities on the University of Michigan Hospital Research Campus. Terri graduated from the University of Michigan with a degree in Linguistic Anthropology and with her certificate as a State Mediator. She is a current and active member of the Michigan Economic Developers Association (MEDA) and alumni of The Michigan Political Leadership Program (MPLP).