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Extension > Extension Retiree Newsletter > October 2014

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Thursday, October 16, 2014

Dean's Column (Oct. 2014)

Dear Extension retirees,

One of the highlights of my summer is connecting with Extension retirees at the annual retiree luncheons. On June 12, 26 retirees met in Detroit Lakes, and on July 23, 64 retirees met in Roseville. Guest speaker Marla Spivak, Extension entomologist, joined us in Roseville to share information about her research and outreach on bees.

I continue to be amazed at the energy and generosity of our Extension retirees who are active in their communities and carry Extension messages in many capacities. So many of you continue to extend our shared mission throughout Minnesota as volunteers, donors and even some who return to work for Extension after retirement!

I wish you a healthy, bountiful fall, safe winter travels and I look forward to hearing about your adventures when we meet again!

Bev Durgan

Continuing your legacy through endowment funds

Planting seeds for gardening success: Pam Hartley has created a new endowment fund at the U of M Foundation to support educational programming for the statewide Master Gardener volunteer program. In addition, she has included this endowment fund as part of her estate planning. Pam has served as a dedicated Master Gardener for nearly two decades in Anoka and Ramsey counties, educating residents in sustainable gardening practices. Read more about Pam’s fund.

The John “Jack” Morris Livestock Judging Fund is being established to to honor Jack’s longtime legacy with the Minnesota 4-H Livestock Judging Program. Jack’s career with Extension began in 1965 in Pope County as an agricultural educator, yet he always found time for one of his passions–working with 4-H livestock judging teams. Critical thinking, problem solving and public speaking were important skills being developed by 4-H youth, many of whom have gone on to successful careers. This endowment will recognize volunteers, program coordinators and judging coaches who work with the 4-H judging programs through new and innovative ways to recruit volunteers and increase participation.

The Jean W. Bauer Fund: Jean Bauer (1944-2012), U of M family social science professor and Extension specialist, was a highly respected leader and mentor. Her innovative research and resolute leadership benefited low-income rural families and furthered academic knowledge. “Greater Minnesota was her classroomshe loved being out in the counties, studying how families could make ends meet,” says her husband Marvin Bauer. This fund supports Extension program initiatives in family economics including basic financial literacy programming, public policy education regarding families struggling with limited incomes, development of online resources, and Extension staff professional development in family economics. Marvin has made a generous pledge of support to start fundraising for this fund, and to encourage others to contribute.

For more information about these funds, or to contribute, please contact Jane Johnson, Extension development officer, at or 612-626-3717.

Epsilon Sigma Phi

Are you an Extension retiree who wonders how you can keep up your Extension connections, or has lost touch and are wondering how to reconnect? If so, consider Epsilon Sigma Phi (ESP) life membership as a way to maintain or rebuild your network.

One of ESP's goals is to provide that on-going connection to Extension that has meant so much to so many of us. Becoming an ESP life member will keep you connected to the University and your former co-workers through a retiree newsletter, regular ESP newsletters of current activities by the membership, and a way to help you connect with informal retiree groups that meet periodically around the state.

A lifetime national membership is a one-time fee of $250.00.

Chuck Schwartau
ESP-Pi Chapter Past President

Farm bill education vital to Minnesota producers and landowners

The 2014 farm bill was passed last February. Over the next several months, an estimated 60,000 Minnesota producers and 30,000 non-farming Minnesota landowners will need to make enrollment decisions or lose program benefits. Educating producers and landowners is crucial: the program options are new, the decisions are complicated and the enrollment decisions could have major financial impacts for Minnesota farmers for the next five years.

Extension is partnering with the USDA Farm Service Agency to deliver education and information to help producers and landowners make informed decisions. Over the next few months, more than 80 workshops will be delivered in Minnesota along with webinars and online training. Information about the workshops, as well as fact sheets that provide an overview of the farm bill, are available on Extension's agriculture business management website. Additional fact sheets specific to landowners will be available soon. The training will be led by the Extension ag business management team with help from members of the dairy team and local county educators.

Find Source in your inbox and share it with someone you know

Source magazine landed in your mailbox and your email inbox earlier this month. If are using Gmail and you didn't see it in your primary inbox, look for it in the "Promotions" tab. If you did not receive Source via email, that means we may not have your current email address and you are invited to subscribe online.

This issue of Source showcases creative research-based solutions Extension brings to today's challenges.
  • Pollinating new ideas highlights ways Extension connects research to education so everybody can be a part of the solution for bee population decline.
  • While 4-H has been a part of the fabric of our communities for more than 100 years, 4-H is also opening new doors for newer residents across the state.
  • As horse ownership grows, Extension is helping horse owners meet their need for education on horse health, nutrition, care and pasture management.
Help spread the word about Extension's work throughout Minnesota, and take a moment to share the email or print version with your friends and family.

Retirees are getting social on Facebook

Extension retiree membership on the Retiree Facebook page are growing. Now 72 members strong--up 22 percent from a year ago. Connect with your colleagues and keep informed about what’s happening in Extension by joining the Extension Retiree Facebook page.

Minnesota State Fair 2014

The 2014 Great Minnesota Get-Together was a success and Extension was involved in many ways! On August 31, U of M day at the State Fair, President and Mrs. Kaler visited with 4-H youth at the 4-H building. Extension also featured two exhibits in the U of M building, with a 4-H Science of Agriculture poultry project, and Master Gardener plant diagnostics.

In addition to the more than 6,000 4-H exhibits and performing arts shows, Extension had faculty, educators and volunteers on hand to provide research-based information and to answer questions. This year’s expert topics included honey bees, with Gary Reuter, Extension entomologist; woody invasive plants with Gary Wyatt, Extension forestry educator; invasive insects in yards and gardens with Jeff Hahn, Extension entomologist; and weather and climate, with Mark Seeley, Extension climatologist.

Extension announces photo contest winners

Nearly 230 photos were submitted in the first Extension photo contest, "My Flowers Rock," which invited Minnesotans to enter their favorite photographs of flowers and pollinators. More on the contest, including the winners and a link to an album featuring the honorable mention entries, is available online. All entries are published on Extension's Facebook page.

Awards and Accomplishments (Oct. 2014)

Extension dean's awards were presented at the 2014 Extension program conference in Bloomington to the following teams and individuals:

University of Minnesota Tax Management Office, Kelly Farmer, director; Heather Broneak, assistant tax director; and Kirsten Muller, assistant tax director

Sally Noll, Extension animal specialist - turkeys

Jody Horntvedt, Extension educator, community vitality

Tim Arlt, Extension program leader, EFANS

Diversity and Inclusion Shared Learning Cohort, Center for Youth Development, Planning Committee: Josey Landrieu, Kathryn Sharpe, Judith Conway, Anita Harris, Jacquie Lonning, Ann Walter. 2013-14 Cohort members: Darcy Cole, Joe Rand, Anna Gilbertson, Joanna Tzenis, Carolyn Dingfelder, Joshua Kukowski, Krista Lautenschlager, Amie Mondl.

Institute for Ag Professionals, Leaders: Jochum Wiersma, director, and David Nicolai, coordinator. State Faculty: Jeff Gunsolus, Jeff Coulter, Seth Naeve, Ken Ostlie, Robert Koch, Ian MacRae, Dean Malvick, Madeleine Smith, Dan Kaiser and John Lamb. Regional Educators: Lisa Behnken, Liz Stahl, and Ryan Miller. IPM Educators: Bruce Potter and Fritz Breitenbach. Administrative Support: Larisa Jenrich. Technical Support: Brad Kinkaid, Doug Miller, Steve Quiring, Jim Cameron, Tom Hoverstad, Jodie Getting, Tom Warnke and Mike McClellan.

New Retirees (Oct. 2014)

Welcome new retirees:

Margaret (Peggy) Cooney, Extension support staff, retired on February 14 after 28 years of service in Nicollet County. Peggy’s work included support to 4-H families, agriculture clients, and nutrition educators.

J. William Craig, Extension educator and a member of the agriculture business management team since its inception, retired on August 25 after 14 years of contributions to risk management strategies and crop insurance programs.

DeeAnn Leines, Extension educator, will complete her 34 year career on November 3. She has worked as a county-based educator with 4-H youth development and family development programs, and more recently as a health and nutrition educator in the northwest region.

Bret Oelke, Extension educator in agriculture business management, retired on June 30. During his 20-year career, he was known for outstanding teaching and insights on commodity marketing and farm management, conducting workshops from the local level to international audiences.

Richard Stone, Extension educator and housing technology bioproducts and biosystems engineer, retired on June 30 after eight years of service with Extension’s Housing Technology Team.

Ann Walter, Extension educator in youth development, retired on June 30. Her 22-year career impacted thousands of youth and volunteers by her contributions to cultural competency, youth program quality and youth worker training.

In Memoriam (Oct. 2014)

Edith Elaine Anderson passed away on June 21 in Cedar, MN at age 95. Edith earned a B.S. degree in home economics from the University in 1942, and worked as an Extension educator in Beltrami and Anoka Counties for many years until retirement in 1991.

Ronald D. Seath, age 88 of Austin, MN, passed away on September 24. He received his B.S. degree from the University of Minnesota in 1949 and master’s degree from Colorado State University in 1966. He served as a 4-H educator for Mower County for 29 years.

Media Moments (Oct. 16, 2014)

Generous gift worth over $4 million to 4-H
A beautiful story was shared on KARE-11 in June on love and loss and Curt Chergosky's generous gift worth over $4 million to 4-H. His gift supports 4-H programs statewide and in southwestern Minnesota, as well as a scholarship in memory of his late fiancée, 4-H program coordinator Andrea Ruesch. If you have not already shed a tear over this story, please take a few minutes to watch what KARE-11 called a gift for the ages.

Weeds resistant to herbicides challenge farmers
Herbicide resistance in weeds is far from a new concept to Extension agronomists, who have been conducting research and education on it for three decades. But it is an increasingly challenging issue for crop producers. Recently, Star Tribune reporter Tom Meersman spent several hours with Extension weed scientist Jeff Gunsolus to better understand science behind the problem, and on Aug. 2, published this story.
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