Michigan State Horticultural Society celebrates sesquicentennial


Michigan State Horticultural Society celebrates sesquicentennial

Before there was the Extension Service, there was the Michigan State Horticultural Society. 

Michigan State Horticultural Society Executive Secretary Ben Smith tells Brownfield for 150 years, the organization has been helping growers in Michigan become better.

“People were trying to grow fruit and not doing it very successfully and recognized there was a need for education, so they created the Hort Society with the purpose of promoting the fruit industry through education,” he explains.

A timeline of milestones and curation of artifacts are stretched across the Devos Place to honor the growth in Michigan’s fruit industry as part of this year’s Great Lakes Fruit, Vegetable, and Farm Market Expo.  Smith says proceeds from the event as well as donations throughout the year fund research projects in the state.

“We love the intermediate projects where we’re able to come in with funding and support a quick finding to be able to help the growers,” he says.

The organization’s trust fund has been able to support $2 million in fruit industry research over the past 35 years.

Smith spoke to Brownfield during the Great Lakes Expo on the Hort’s Society’s history.