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Showing posts from March, 2017

Dean's Column (March 2017)

Dear Extension retirees,

Nearly every week, I’m reminded of how fortunate Extension is to have such a vital and active network of retired employees. You are strong advocates, partners and volunteers as well as generous donors and supporters of Extension research and education.

This summer, I’m looking forward to seeing many of you at our annual luncheons; they will take place on Tuesday, July 11 at the Fireside Restaurant in Detroit Lakes and on Thursday, July 27 at the Midland Hills Country Club here in St. Paul. Both luncheons are from noon to 2 p.m.

I also hope to see many of you at this year’s edition of Minnesota Sparks, a collaboration between Extension and the University of Minnesota Alumni Association that highlights the latest in U of M research and outreach. The first 2017 event will be from 6 to 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, March 30 at the Minnwest Technology Campus in Willmar. More Sparks events are planned for next fall and the spring of 2018, so please watch for updates.


Extension at the Capitol

Seventy key stakeholders from across Minnesota came together Jan. 25 to learn about advocacy and legislative visits on Extension Legislative Action Day. The morning began with President Kaler’s legislative briefing breakfast, followed by updates from Dean Bev Durgan and J. D. Burton, special assistant to President Kaler, and a panel discussion.

In the afternoon, those who went to the Capitol to meet with their state legislators included members from Citizens Advisory Committee, Regional Sustainable Development Partnerships, Public Issues Leadership Development and County Extension Committees, as well as regional directors and 4-H youth ambassadors.

On Feb. 23, Extension joined the College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences (CFANS) and the College of Veterinary Medicine (CVM) in presenting to the House Agriculture Finance Committee. The hearing provided an opportunity to speak with legislators on how Extension, CFANS and CVM serve Minnesota and the agriculture communi…

Celebration of 4-H

4-H friends and alumni, including several Extension retirees, attended the annual Minnesota 4-H Celebration on Feb. 18 in Brooklyn Center. The event celebrates the special and lasting impact of 4-H. Attendees enjoyed music by a 4-H Arts-In performer, Minnesota-grown food and conversations with 4-H youth. The keynote speaker was Sheryl Doering Meshke, co-president and CEO for Associated Milk Producers Inc. (AMPI), a 4-H alum from Blue Earth County. They also heard from Logan Johnson, A Traverse County 4-H alum and recipient of the 2015 David E. Pace and Valerie Halverson Pace Leadership Scholarship. (Logan, David and Valerie are pictured with Dorothy McCargo Freeman, Extension associate dean for youth development.)

David Pace began working in Extension 4-H youth development in 1970 and retired in 2002 as associate professor emeritus. If you are interested in making a gift in support of 4-H scholarships or other Extension programs, please contact Jane Johnson at 612-626-3717 or johns350@…

Sarah Butler helps inmates find financial freedom

Sarah Butler, Dakota County financial empowerment Extension educator, was recently awarded a $1,000 grant to continue teaching Dakota County Jail inmates how to achieve financial stability as they re-enter society. Sarah was recognized in a Driven to Discover story last year for this work. “I love helping people discover within themselves the power to change their financial situations and to meet their goals, and this grant means I can keep doing just that,” she says. Read the story on the Family Development blog.

RSDP publishes Fresh Produce Toolkit

The Extension Regional Sustainable Development Partnerships (RSDP) have published a new Fresh Produce Toolkit. This suite of resources provides information to help small grocery settings handle fresh produce and incorporate locally grown foods. Toolkits were mailed to rural grocers around the state and are available for download on RSDP's rural grocery resource page.

Gordon and Lillian Shafer 4-H Endowment for Youth Leadership and Service

As a tangible expression of their commitment toward ensuring youth in northwest Minnesota have access and opportunity to develop and practice authentic leadership and service beyond self, the Gordon and Lillian Shafer 4-H Endowment for Youth Leadership and Service has been established through a gift from Gordy and Lill. Their family, friends and colleagues have also contributed to the fund. This fund will support innovative programs and approaches designed to engage and prepare youth to lead, serve and make positive change in their communities.

Discover stories on new Extension Highlights website

As an Extension retiree, you know so much more happens in Extension than ever gets told. We want to do better! That’s why we are excited to introduce the new Extension Highlights website, where you will find stories you can share about Extension programs, participants and impacts around the state. Extension research and education take place in all 87 counties of Minnesota, and we hope to eventually have stories from every county. We are launching the site with nearly 100 stories, categorized by topic and region. Thanks for being a part of Extension’s story during your time working here and in your retirement. We invite you to share these stories in your social networks.

Source magazine spring issue available and ready for sharing

Source magazine arrived in mailboxes and on email in mid-February. The Spring 2017 issue shares stories about Extension volunteers, participants and community partners. Here’s a glimpse at what’s inside:
Raising their hands for young people features 4-H volunteers and the 4-H program coordinators who lead, train and support them (cover story).Improving agriculture together tells the story of Extension's role in sharing research with professionals who advise farmers.Thriving in times of change presents innovative initiatives in three Minnesota communities planning their futures.

Awards and Accomplishments (March 2017)

Congratulations to the following Extension faculty and staff receiving awards in the past six months:

Rob Holcomb received the 2016 College of Continuing Education (CCE) Distinguished Educator Award. Rob’s contributions to CCE over the past five years included serving as faculty director, content specialist and instructor for the income tax short course. Rob was also involved in developing the online version of the course, which has gained national visibility.

Krishona Martinson, equine Extension specialist, was awarded the merit award at the 2017 American Forage and Grassland Council conference in Roanoke, Va. This award is presented to individuals who have made superior contributions in some phase of forage and grassland agriculture, and who have earned recognition among their colleagues for work and productivity in research, teaching, Extension, production or industrial development.

The Master Naturalist team received the Carol Mortenson Award for Team Achievement for their significa…

Welcome new retirees (March 2017)

Carolyn Dingfelder, Extension 4-H program coordinator for 14 years in Winona County, retired Nov. 10. She served youth and families with her dedication to quality learning environments. She led efforts to form a State 4-H Lama Committee, develop curriculum and resources, and deliver programs to underrepresented audiences.

Douglas Malchow, Extension educator, water resource management and policy, began his Extension career in 1999 as a leadership and civic engagement educator. Doug’s focus moved to natural resources and environment and he served as the outreach coordinator for the southeast Minnesota wastewater initiative until he retired in December.

Catherine J. Nelson retired on Dec. 9 after 35 years as dedicated Steele County support staff.

Betty Wistrom’s 28-year career as a SNAP-Ed educator in Lake and St. Louis counties, was built on collaborative teamwork and sharing her knowledge of food and feeding families in practical and inexpensive ways. She retired on Jan. 5.

In Memoriam (March 2017)

Lowell D. Hanson passed away on Dec. 3, age 89. With a doctorate in soil sciences from the University of Minnesota, he entered a 30-year career as a professor and Extension agent, pioneering techniques for precision farming, highlighting environmental concerns and working to reduce herbicide dependence.

James B. Stordahl, Extension educator, agriculture production systems in Clearwater and Polk Counties, passed away on March 7, age 61. Jim’s 21-year career produced numerous programs covering dairy, beef, horticulture, small farms/local foods and crops.

Retirees in retirement: Sharing Your Story (March 2017)

This issue highlights Mel Baughman, Ann Bosch, Arthur Frame, Marilyn Grantham, Richard Krueger, Jim Lewis, Phyllis Onstad, Bob Sopoci, Patricia Stumme, Bill Svendsgaard, Kent Thiesse

Mel Baughman serves on the Sawyer County Search and Rescue Team. He helps build and maintain the North Country National Scenic Trail through Wisconsin and occasionally consults with communities or businesses regarding recreational trail design. He was recently featured in the "meet your neighbor" column in the Sawyer County Record Newspaper, which provided a synopsis of his life, reasons for moving to Hayward, his interests and volunteer activities. Mel served as an Extension forestry program leader on the St. Paul campus.

Ann Bosch, former Extension educator and county Extension leader, Kandiyohi County, provides volunteer office support for the Humane Society of Kandiyohi and Meeker counties and assists with special needs clients at the Willmar Area Food Shelf.

Arthur Frame, retired Extension edu…

Media Moment (March 2017)

Extension health and nutrition education continues to receive recognition. Gov. Mark Dayton proclaimed January as Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Education (SNAP-Ed) Month. EatRightTV, the YouTube channel of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, recently featured Andrew Doherty, an Extension SNAP-Ed educator, in this inspiring video.

Learn about new changes and projects in SNAP-Ed in the Family Matters blog.