There are plans to build a new center here at MSU that, if realized, proponents say could have a substantial economic impact on the state of Michigan, including the creation of potentially thousands of new jobs. Current State's Joe Linstroth talked with Chris Peterson, an agricultural economist and the head of MSU’s Product Center, who says there are more than 600 mid-sized food processors in the state of Michigan. Many of these companies’ facilities are maxed out, meaning that if they want to create a new product, they don’t have the capacity to test the product or its manufacturing and packaging techniques to see if it’s economically viable.
The MSU Product Center is looking to create a new Food Processing and Innovation Center, which will be equipped with all the industrial freezers, packing equipment and more for these companies to come in and test their new products. Peterson says it will be unlike any other in the nation.
Peterson is leading the effort to build the new Food Processing and Innovation Center. He says that the capability of food processing companies to develop new products varies with the size of the company.