MSU’s 2013 Hoophouse Gala Raises More Than $80,000 for Student Organic Farm

Photo Courtesy of MSU Residential and Hospitality Services

MSU’s 2013 Hoophouse Gala Raises More Than $80,000 for Student Organic Farm

By FOX 47 News . CREATED Oct 15, 2013

EAST LANSING, MI ­— MSU’s fifth annual Hoophouse Gala had record attendance on Sept. 29, with more than 270 people gathering at the Michigan State University Student Organic Farm (SOF) for the evening. The event raised more than $80,000 for the MSU SOF, which supports the training and education of future generations of organic farmers.

Guests were treated to a seven-course, local and sustainably produced meal prepared by MSU’s award-winning chefs. The meal showcased pork raised at the MSU SOF and products from Michigan farms and wineries.

The MSU SOF is a 15-acre, certified organic year-round teaching and production farm. The farm collaborates with The Division of Residential and Hospitality Services (RHS) through on-campus residential programs and selling organic produce to MSU dining halls, campus food trucks and The State Room Restaurant. The gala is supported RHS and the MSU SOF.

“The MSU Student Organic Farm is a testimony to our institutional commitment to the Land Grant mission,” said Laurie Thorp, director of MSU’s Residential Initiative for the Study of the Environment (RISE) program. “This farm and the scholarships you provide keep alive this important social contract.”

Scholarships were awarded to seven student farmers during the 2013 Hoophouse Gala. Larry and Faylene Owen Emerging Farmer Awards and Vennie Gore Emerging Farmer Awards were given to David Chickering, Ellen Murphy, Elizabeth Wysocki, Mallory Quackenbush, Samantha MacFarland and Tyler Toszak. Charles DeFever received the Cyde Piece Scholarship Award.

In addition to support for scholarships, event attendees made donations throughout the night to raise funds for building or relocating a barn at the SOF. The barn would provide the SOF with a dry, protected space for teaching and learning, space for storage and the ability to host more special events.

“The record attendance we had tonight is a phenomenal demonstration of the commitment this community has to providing opportunities for students,” said Vennie Gore, vice president for RHS auxiliary enterprises. “The donations put forward for an SOF barn underscore that commitment even further.”

For more information on the event or to become a sponsor visit www.msuorganicfarm.com