Skip to main content


Dean's Column (Nov. 2018)

Dear Extension retirees,

It was a pleasure to see so many of you this summer during our annual retiree luncheons.

In October, I did one of my favorite duties as dean, honoring our employees and friends with the Distinguished Dean’s Awards at the annual Program Conference. It is an honor to recognize the work, dedication and impact of our colleagues and friends.

Please join me in congratulating the award winners! You can learn more about the 2018 award winners on the Extension intranet.

Campus-based faculty: Jenifer McGuire, associate professor and Extension specialist, family social science

Field-based faculty: Antonio Alba Meraz, Extension educator, family resiliency

Diversity and inclusion: Eriks Dunens, statewide Extension educator, leadership and civic engagement, and Fernando Burga, assistant professor, urban and regional planning

Outstanding leadership: Tim Kenny, state director, Master Gardener Volunteer Program, director of education, University of Minnesota Landscape Arboretum

Team: …
Recent posts

Extension giving society: The Dean’s Circle

In mid-October, we launched a new giving society to recognize major donors to Extension. The Dean’s Circle recognizes benefactors who have contributed cumulative lifetime cash gifts of $10,000 or more to any area of Extension, including 4-H. These benefactors are part of an esteemed community who fuel Extension’s success as a leading provider of education, outreach and research. If you’d like to learn more about becoming a member of the Dean’s Circle, or making a gift to Extension, please contact Jane Johnson, Extension development director, at 612-626-3717 or

University of Minnesota’s Driven campaign

As you know, private giving is a growing part of how Extension programs are funded. For the past several years, Extension has been part of the University of Minnesota’s $4 billion fundraising campaign, “Driven.” Our Extension supporters are doing their part. At the end of October, we were at 61 percent of our $16 million goal. From creating new endowments, to supporting programs and positions, internships, 4-H scholarships and much more, private philanthropy is allowing us to support innovative programming and reach new audiences. To learn more about giving, visit Extension’s giving page.

New Driven to Discover PR campaign launches

University Relations launched the 2018-19 Driven to Discover campaign on Oct. 1. Eight new stories take the public on a journey across our great state to show how U of M discoveries affect everyday Minnesotans. Three of the stories focus on Extension’s work and feature Extension researchers:
Jake Overgaard, Sowing the Seeds of Success: a new set of learning tools for Minnesota’s farmersKathy Draeger, From Garlic to Grocery: turning empty trucks into bigger business for rural MinnesotaDan Larkin and Megan Weber, Our Lake, Our Legacy: protecting Minnesota’s life at the lakeWatch the videos and learn more about the stories at

4-H State Ambassador program 50th reunion

Since 1969, more than 1,300 young people have contributed to their communities through their leadership as 4-H State Ambassadors. Hundreds of Ambie alumni continue to be involved in 4-H today as mentors, judges, club leaders and donors. On Sept. 1 (the largest single day attendance at the Minnesota State Fair!) about 650 ambassador alumni and family members gathered at the 4-H building to reconnect, share stories and celebrate the program and its leaders. Photos of the special day can be viewed on Smugmug.

Opportunity to share your thoughts on Source magazine

You have probably recently received the Fall 2018 issue of Source magazine in both your mailbox and your email in-box. Thank you for reading and sharing the stories.

We also thank you in advance for completing surveys you will soon receive by mail (for the print issue) and/or any surveys that pop up as you are reading the stories online. The surveys are specific to print and web versions, so it is fine to both complete the paper survey and to complete the surveys that pop up online. However, please do not complete the paper mail-in survey and the online version of that same survey (link will be included in the letter that is mailed to you).

If you have any questions about the surveys or thoughts you would like to share directly with the managing editor of Source, please send them to Catherine Dehdashti at

Visit Extension Highlights for current feature stories