By Grace Beck, student writer
Michigan State University’s first student-run company, Land Grant Goods, is cultivating the next generation of food activists, entrepreneurs, and innovators. The company produces organic herbal tea and raw honey, all grown and produced on MSU’s campus by undergraduate students, including those from the Eli Broad College of Business. While the company’s hub is East Lansing, its spokes are reaching customers around the world.
Just in time of the holiday season, Land Grant Goods recently opened an online shop offering a variety of gifts for sustainable-minded Spartans. Among these gifts are handcrafted holiday gift boxes, which include a variety of four herbal team blends, raw honey and/or a signature mug.
“Our retail distribution only extends to locations in Lansing, stopping customers from accessing our products when they come from diverse locations, the solution we chose to remedy this consisted of opening an online store on our website so that any customer in the United States could order our products. The merits of an online store service our business, but they primarily service our customers,” said Jake Standerfer (BA Accounting, ’21) member of the leadership team of Land Grant Goods.
Land Grant Goods is much more than a profit-seeking venture. It represents passion for supporting the food system of the future.
“Land Grant Goods works to educate the next generation of food activists, not only in our buyers but through students involved in the entire process of production from the growing of herbs to selling teas,” said Bethany Kogut, co CEO of Land Grant Goods (BA Education ’18). “We are intentional in how we grow and source our product, package for the consumer, and where we sell, portraying our mission in every step,” she said.
CEOs Kogut and Alex Marx (BA Environmental Sustainability, Entrepreneurship & Innovation ’18) founded the company as a solution to a surplus of herbs being grown in the Bailey Greenhouse and Urban Farm on Michigan State University’s campus. From this evolved a business opportunity where students are given the chance to assess the current food system and produce locally sourced products.