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Dean's column (March 2021)

Dear colleagues, This month marks one year since Extension faculty and staff began working remotely. We have seen overwhelming change in a short time, and I am very proud of how Extension pivoted so quickly to offer its educational programming online or in distanced formats. As COVID-19 vaccinations become more widely available, restrictions on public gatherings are relaxed and the end of the University of Minnesota’s order to work remotely approaches, many people are asking if typical Extension summer events will be held this year. Unfortunately, we do not yet know the answer to that question. Decisions will be guided by state and University public health rules, which are continually evolving. Most Extension programs are planning for some in-person or hybrid events this summer, as we expect a gradual lifting of restrictions, but plans will have to be flexible. Please watch for further announcements in the coming weeks about our summer retiree luncheons; I hope that we will be able to
Recent posts

New local websites are live

Extension’s new county web pages are now live with more robust content about Extension’s work in each county. The pages are integrated with the main Extension website, giving local work more visibility to the public. Editors in each county and the central web team are fine-tuning and enhancing the content on the pages, as well as the processes for posting and editing news and events. This project was several years in the making and involved more than 80 editors who very quickly learned new technology and processes. Thank you to the county and regional support staff and educators who worked on the project for their cooperation and flexibility in reaching this goal. Becky Beyers, Communications director Amy Baker, Extension Learning Technologies director

ESP-Pi chapter update

I am enjoying working with everyone as the president of Epsilon Sigma Pi chapter. Thank you all for your support and service.   Thank you for being a part of our state organization. Your membership enriches our chapter and benefits all of us. There are many things on the horizon from our national organization, including website updates, scholarship, service and professional development opportunities. March Connection Newsletter now online Feedback on new website is encouraged 2021 National Conference will open with a Forrest Gump connection , Savannah, Georgia, Oct. 26-29. I hope you have a wonderful start to your spring and that you see brighter days ahead. Robin Trott ESP-Pi president

Find your fit in Family Development webinars

On March 18, 1-2 p.m., a webinar in the Finding Balance series will address financial exploitation of older adults. More webinars in this series will be added later this spring. The Who Gets Grandma's Yellow Pie Plate video helps family members understand and address common decision making obstacles when passing on personal possessions. This free 38-minute YouTube video is filled with practical suggestions, proven strategies, and real-life stories.

Arena to be named for chancellor emeritus Chuck Casey

The equine arena in the University Teaching and Outreach Center on the University of Minnesota Crookston Campus will be named the Charles H. Casey Equine Arena . Chuck is known to many retirees because he was the dean of Extension for six and a half years, ending in 2005 when he was appointed as chancellor of the University of Minnesota Crookston and Bev Durgan was appointed as Extension dean. Chuck has also served as a University of Minnesota regent.

Spring issue of Source magazine coming soon

Visit Source magazine or watch your mailbox in April to read stories about Master Gardeners and memory care, 4-H Afternoon Adventures, mental health and nutrition education, agriculture, and a Q and A with Extension’s new climate scientist, Heidi Roop. Contact Catherine Dehdashti with feedback on Source magazine and monthly Source e-newsletter stories.

Driven Campaign update

With 3 months left to go in the Driven campaign , Extension has raised 95 percent of our $16 million goal . Thanks to generous Extension faculty, staff and retirees, we have seen lots of enthusiasm and momentum during our first capital campaign. All gifts made before June 30, both current and estate gifts, are included in Driven: The University of Minnesota Campaign . If you would like to make a gift during the campaign or discuss an estate gift, please contact Extension development staff: Jane Johnson at johns350@umn.edu or 612-859-9564, or Brad Starbuck at bstarbuc@umn.edu or 612-500-8896.