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Showing posts from June, 2016

Dean's Column (June 2016)

Dear Colleagues,

This year, we are bringing greater awareness to the many ways Extension reaches all corners of Minnesota. To do this, I am in the process of visiting all 15 of our regional offices and as many counties as possible!

During these trips, I am meeting with Extension employees in the regional offices, visiting with donors and partners, attending local program events and conducting some media interviews along the way. It is always so inspiring to see our work, meet with our staff and partners, and find more ways to highlight Extension’s education, research and impact.

In addition, Extension has been participating in the University’s new SPARKS program, which offers an opportunity for people in Greater Minnesota to hear from three University faculty who each give a 20-minute presentation. The Spring SPARKS events were held in Red Wing in March, Brainerd in April and Mountain Iron in June. Extension faculty Mark Seeley, Brian Horgan and Laura Kalambokidis all received positiv…

Connect at a summer Extension retiree luncheon

It’s always great to learn what you are doing and share the news of Extension. There are three summer luncheons coming up. I hope you can make it to one of them!Northwest Minnesota: Friday, July 22, 12-2 p.m., Fair Hills Resort (optional cruise on Pelican Lake after lunch), 24270 Co Hwy 20, Detroit Lakes; RSVP by July 15.Twin Cities: Wednesday, July 27, 12-2 p.m., Midland Hills Country Club, 2001 Fulham St., Roseville; RSVP by July 20.Southern Minnesota: Wednesday, Aug. 10, 12-2 p.m., The Kahler Grand Hotel, 20 SW Second Avenue, Rochester; RSVP by Aug. 3. Please RSVP to Wan Tansatit, Extension development office, at (612) 624-7971 or wtansati@umn.edu with your name and the luncheon location you will attend.

Jane Johnson Director of Development

New grant award of $1 million to multidisciplinary team

The Extension Center for Family Development received nearly $1 million in new grant funding from the National Institute for Food and Agriculture (NIFA) to improve the health of children. The Latino Fathers Promoting Healthy Youth Behaviors project aims to prevent obesity among Latino adolescents by engaging families, especially fathers or other male caregivers in the household. The multidisciplinary team working on this project includes faculty from several departments at the University; Extension educators from health and nutrition, family relations, and family resource management; SNAP-Ed educators; and Latino community leaders. See the full story

Stay current by reading Source magazine, Summer 2016 issue

The Summer 2016 issue of Source magazine is live on the Extension website, as well as in your mailbox. Reading Source helps keep you to up to date with what’s happening in Extension, and it’s also a great way to find stories to share with your own network. Source highlights Extension research and education that creates a stronger Minnesota.

Summer 2016 stories:

Small grains, big benefits features wheat research conducted on working farms with the collaboration of Minnesota farmersStories on cover crops and tomato diseases in high tunnels highlight more Extension research conducted in collaboration with growersNew Extension faculty are driven to discover introduces Extension’s newest specialists who have joint faculty appointments in University collegesWidening the focus on water explores Extension's integrated, multifaceted role in discovering solutions and guiding decisions about water resourcesMaking the healthy choice the easy choice tells the story of Extension's expanded …

More Extension impacts

Extension makes a difference in many more ways than can fit into Source magazine. Here are a few more recent highlights:
There are fewer neglected horses in Minnesota, a trend experts attribute to an improved economy, education and other preventive measures. Krishona Martinson, Extension equine expert and livestock program leader, explains Extension’s role in this success in Education and prevention help boost horse welfare, which was also featured in the Star Tribune. The activities of the Master Gardeners benefit schools, community gardens, youth programs, environmental education programs and farmers markets, to name a few. Learn more in the 2015 Master Gardener Annual Report.More than 2,800 participants from Minnesota and beyond have graduated from Extension's leadership and civic engagement programs. On the Leadership makes a difference website, several of these program alumni tell how their Extension education helped them contribute in their communities. Read Choosing how to l…

Awards and Accomplishments (June 2016)

Ryan Cox, Extension meat science specialist and an associate professor, received the Outstanding Faculty Award from Block and Bridle, a club for students interested in animal agriculture. He received the award for his research on meat quality, work with the meat lab, and involvement with FFA meat judging contests.

Brian Horgan,
Extension turfgrass horticulturalist, was honored at the 2015-2016 CFANS College Awards as part of the May 4 CFANS Spring College Assembly. Brian received the Distinguished Extension/Outreach Award for his work in turfgrass and his contributions to the Department of Horticultural Science.

Gary Johnson,
Extension urban and community forester, received the Frederick Law Olmsted Award as part of the 2016 National Arbor Day Awards. He received this award for improving tree care and planting practices across Minnesota in both small towns and cities for the last 25 years. View a video about award.

David Kjome,
Extension specialist, will be one of five National Dairy S…

Welcome new retirees (June 2016)

Sherry P. Boyce, Extension educator, Center for Youth Development, retired on May 19 after 35 years of service. Her understanding of the theory and practice of positive youth development, along with teaching, program planning and evaluation led to successes in supporting employees, volunteers, youth development professionals and partners in St. Louis County.

Debra Drange,
Extension finance and planning, has worked in many roles for the University over the past 41 years. Her contributions as a contract and voucher specialist for Extension have been exceptional and she will hard to replace. Debra will retire on June 30.

Larry Jacobson’s
career as an Extension engineer in bioproducts and biosystems engineering spanned 41 years. His innovative research led to development of Extension programs in animal housing systems, ventilation and environmental control, energy conservation, and effective manure and odor management. He retired on May 20.

Connie Vaplon, Wabasha County Extension support…

In Memoriam (June 2016)

Beth R. Jarvis was a project coordinator for Extension where she trained Master Gardeners, retiring in 2008. She also was a long time graphic designer of the Finnish American Cultural Association newsletter. She lived in Crystal and passed away on June 16 at age 64.

Floyd Wesley Jorgensen, age 89, of Bemidji, died April 4. Floyd worked as an agricultural Extension agent on the Red Lake Indian Reservation. He is remembered for his devotion to the Red Lake Nation and teaching his love of nature to others.

Mercedes L. Kirk, of Dayton, was 95 and passed away June 16. She was a dedicated Extension nutrition educator for Hennepin County.

Russell Krech,
a long time Houston County Extension agent in Caledonia, died June 15 at age 91. Russ was a strong educator in the southeast area as well as a great supporter of the 4-H program.

Robert Leary passed away April 14 in Le Center, at age 84. After serving in the Navy during the Korean War, he received a bachelor of science degree from the Univer…

Retirees in retirement: Sharing your story (June 2016)

This issue highlights Sharon Rezac Andersen, Cindy Bigger, Juanita Reed-Boniface, Jayne Hager Dee, Glenice Johnson, Barbara Piehl, and Ann Walter

Sharon Rezac Andersen, former executive director, Central Region, Sustainable Development Partnership, has taught seven semesters through the University of Arizona Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) adult learning courses plus attended many classes. Sharon remarked, “I have begun to know at this age what I don't know. With teaching and taking classes, one has an opportunity to meet people from a variety of cultures, professions and locations.”

Cindy Bigger, retired regional educator in community vitality, Fergus Falls region, volunteers at the Alexandria Housing and Rehabilitation Authority and currently is serving a third term as commissioner. She also chairs the Citizens Advisory Committee for Pioneer Public Television. She still finds time to do a bit of 4-H county fair judging. Cindy is also busy with Bigger Associates, a cons…

Epsilon Sigma Phi collects Extension stories

Extension professionals have some of the greatest stories! The ESP History and Archives Committee has been sorting files, searching for photos and discussing ways to preserve stories. They would love to capture (in writing) a few memories from the past to share with others (via ESP newsletters) and hope that you can help them out. Follow this link to an online form where you can share a story.

Not sure what to share? You might describe the work you did, the office(s) you worked in, what or how you taught people. Or, maybe you have a funny story about something that happened in your work or a memorable moment shared with a co-worker or participant. We look forward to collecting your stories to add to our archive and preserve them along with other memorabilia in our files. Thank you for taking the time to share.

NOTE: If you have more than one story to share, you can go to the site as many times as you'd like. If you have photos you'd like to share, send them to Jody Horntvedt vi…

Media Moment (June 2016)

Minnesota 4-H has been prominently featured in news media recently, with Associated Press coverage of the second annual 4-H Science of Agriculture competition being carried by dozens of news organizations nationwide, including the Washington Post. Following the June 19 competition on the St. Paul campus, stories appeared in the Star Tribune and on KARE-11. Visit the program website to watch several videos that tell the story of these innovative young people and their work with coaches and mentors from Minnesota’s community of agricultural leaders.

4-H True Leaders Campaign

National 4-H Council has recently embarked on a multi-year marketing campaign, raising awareness of how effective 4-H is in developing leaders. Because of Dean Bev Durgan’s strong commitment to 4-H in Minnesota, our state has earned the opportunity to be a target market for this exciting True Leaders campaign. Over the next three years, 4-H will be highlighted in Minnesota media including TV, radio and print. More and more people across our state are going to see just how impactful 4-H is in the lives of our youth. This is an exciting time.

In 4-H, girls and boys develop critical life skills like creativity, problem solving, persistence, collaboration and leadership. They build deep and long-lasting friendships while exploring topics of their choosing and having a lot of fun. And down the road, when we need passionate and compassionate leaders to innovate new ways of living in and sharing our world, today’s 4-H youth will be there. Because of 4-H, they will be ready to lead the way i…