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Michigan State University
Spartan Sagas
Michele Payn-Knoper
Alumna, 1993
Lebanon, Indiana
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Michele Payn-Knoper

Shaking the hand that feeds you.

Alumna, 1993
Lebanon, Indiana


Michele Payn-Knoper is a champion for agriculture. The certified speaking professional travels throughout the United States and internationally, helping farmers communicate more effectively about the agrifood industry, while helping consumers understand what’s happening with food production.

The Spartan alumna knows firsthand the rewards and risks of farm life. In addition to now living on a farm in Indiana, she grew up on a family farm in Michigan that was eventually lost.

Since earning degrees in animal science and agriculture and natural resources communications from MSU, Payn-Knoper has dedicated her life to creating a better understanding between food producers and consumers. With 98.5 percent of the U.S. population living in nonfarm settings, her expertise and advocacy are needed more than ever.

“My passion is agriculture,” says Payn-Knoper. “My passion is being able to help people understand where their food comes from and the wonderful people on the other side of the food plate that are called farmers.”