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Dean's Column (Nov. 2019)

Dear Extension retirees,

Please join me in congratulating the recipients of the Dean's Distinguished Awards, announced at Extension's annual Program Conference in September.

Distinguished campus-based faculty: Mary Meyer, Extension horticulturist, Center for Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources

Distinguished field-based faculty: Brigid Tuck, senior economic analyst, Center for Community Vitality

Distinguished diversity and inclusion: Well Connected Communities Team, including:
Family Development: Trina Adler, Laura Bohen, Noelle Harden, Michael StrattenYouth Development: Colleen Sanders, Joyce Strand-Vossler, Jessica Russo, MaryAnn Anderson, Carrie Olson, Mitzi Marlin, Lisa Kasson-BauerCommunity partners: Melvin Giles, Megan Phinney, Kamaludiin Mustafa, Ann Thompson, Ed Irwin Distinguished outstanding leadership: Mary Jo Katras, program leader, family resiliency, Center for Family Development

Distinguished team: Aquatic Invasive Species Program Team, members: Daniel Larkin, Megan…
Recent posts

Looking for Minnesota 4-H history

The Vintage 4-H History Committee, comprised of Mary Ann Bannerman, Pat Morreim, Carol Skelly, Jim Lewis, Mike Liepold, Jim Simon and Bill Svendsgaard, is culminating a two-year effort to find, collect and save Minnesota 4-H history. Committee members will share this information in a webinar from 10 to 11:30 a.m. on Dec. 10 (see below for access details). They encourage any retiree or Extension staff member who may have 4-H historical keepsakes and would like to donate them to the University of Minnesota Archives to contact any member of the history committee.

Access: In order to hear the webinar, your computer will need to have speakers or headphones. We recommend that you set up and test your connection ahead of time. The webinar will be presented in Adobe Connect, which can be tested by going to this URL and clicking on "Install Adobe Connect", and then clicking on "Run Diagnostic Test." If there are any questions or problems, contact Todd Mehrkens.

Source magazine: Extension studies pumpkin varieties on the farm of retiree Rod Elmstrand

The Fall 2019 issue of Source magazine is out and on its way to your mailbox, and one story includes retired Extension educator Rod Elmstrand! Farm to table—and front porch features Annie Klodd, an Extension horticulture educator who is conducting research on 32 pumpkin varieties in collaboration with Rod on his farm in North Branch. Annie and Rod held a field day for pumpkin growers on the farm, with help from the Minnesota Fruit and Vegetable Growers Association, for which Rod currently serves as vice president.

The Source cover story is Cooking up better health, featuring Extension nutrition program participants and educators. This edition also updates readers on Extension’s rural stress task force and related difficulties on farms due to the weather (cover crops are one silver lining with so much prevented planting this year). Other stories are Master Naturalists help conserve native mussels, 4-H youth thrive outdoors, Wells, Minnesota is a wellspring of economic change, and Hort…

U of M President Joan Gabel gets Extension introduction like no other

In the whirlwind that is a new University’s president first months in office, President Joan Gabel took several opportunities to experience Extension research and education. She arrived in July and by the end of August had already visited Extension regional offices, spoken on a panel with Dean Bev Durgan at Farmfest while also hearing farmers’ perspectives, and she was serenaded (“flash mobbed” as she put it) by 4-H Arts-In youth at the Minnesota State Fair. In September, President Gabel helped Master Gardeners harvest vegetables and got a cooking lesson from Cooking Matters, an Extension program taught by health and nutrition staff and community volunteers. She also fed a calf and helped take a manure sample while learning about Extension faculty research. When she gave a keynote speech at Extension’s fall Program Conference, she expressed her strong impressions about Extension’s engagement throughout Minnesota. Extension will continue efforts to involve her in understanding the chal…

Give to the Max Day: Minnesota’s statewide day of giving is on Nov. 14

You can support your favorite University or Extension program at z.umn.edu/extgive. Gifts help Extension reach new audiences and invest in great ideas. If you have questions about Give to the Max, or about giving anytime throughout the year, contact Jane Johnson, Extension director of development. To learn more about how gifts to Extension research and education can make a difference in Minnesota, visit Extension Giving.

IRA charitable rollover provides tax savings to donors

If you are age 70½ or older, you may give up to $100,000 directly from your IRA to qualified charities without paying federal income tax on the distribution. If you’d like to make a gift to benefit the University of Minnesota campus, college, or program of your choice, or if you’re fulfilling an existing pledge, you may choose to make a qualified charitable distribution from your IRA. This option provides tax savings to donors even if they do not itemize deductions. To qualify as a deduction for the current tax year, the distribution must be complete by Dec. 31. For more information visit z.umn.edu/5044 or call the University of Minnesota Foundation's planned giving staff at 800-775-2187 or 612-624-3333.

Awards & Accomplishments (Nov. 2019)

Congratulations to Extension educator Shirley Nordrum, who was selected by the McKnight Foundation and the Minnesota Council of Nonprofits to receive a Virginia McKnight Binger Unsung Hero Award. Shirley is an educator in Cass Lake and works closely with the Leech Lake, Red Lake and White Earth reservations. In addition to her education work with Extension in northern Minnesota, she serves on the board of Extension's Central Regional Sustainable Development Partnership.

Congratulations to the following National Extension Association of Family & Consumer Sciences (NEAFCS) Minnesota affiliate members who were recognized recently at the NEAFCS Annual Session on Oct. 3 in Hershey, Penn.:
Mary Caskey: Continued Excellence, regional and national levelsSuzanne Driessen and Kathy Brandt: 1st place regional and national, Food Safety Award for “Cottage Food: Keep it safe! Keep it legal!” programLori Hendrickson and Becky Hagen Jokela: 3rd place regional Communications Educational Curricul…