Thomas Smith

Thomas Smith

Associate Director

Institute of Agricultural Technology
Michigan State University
East Lansing, MI

Phone: 517-353-4822



Course(s): VIN 211 - Integrated Pest Management

My major responsibilities are developing and enhancing Community College Partnerships to collaboratively offer IAT Certificate programs at the local level.  Part of this effort includes developing new program areas to meet the specific social, economic and educational needs of the local community and the development of on-line and blended curricula.  That’s how I first got involved with VESTA when our Michigan wine and grape industry asked MSU to develop a certificate program to meet the needs of the industry.  Partnering with VESTA provided a way to respond to the industry rapidly and still deliver high quality programs.  I serve as the institutional representative for VESTA at Michigan State University and the VESTA state coordinator for Michigan.

My relevant background to this class is the expertise that I developed in Integrated Pest Management (IPM) as part of my business activities.  I was part of a regional team to develop a no-pesticide approach to lawn care in the Great Lakes basin, taught at the university and community college level and lectured extensively to a variety of audiences on IPM, and was an expert witness in a legal case on pesticide exposure.

Prior to joining MSU in March of 2008, I was the Executive Director of the Michigan Turfgrass Foundation and the Michigan Ground Water Association, and owned and operated businesses in the green industry and technology transfer for over 30 years.

I earned a BS and MS in Crop & Soil Science from MSU.