Skip to main content


Showing posts from July, 2019

Dean's Column (July 2019)

Dear Colleagues, Extension is fortunate to have such a vital and active network of retired employees. I appreciate the work that you do as advocates, partners and volunteers, as well as your generosity in supporting Extension research and education. I’m looking forward to seeing many of you at our annual luncheon in St. Paul. It will take place from noon to 2 p.m. on Thursday, July 18 and will again be at the Midland Hills Country Club. Our speaker will be Megan Weber, an Extension Educator who is based in the Andover regional office. You may have seen her in the University’s “Driven to Discover” advertisements that feature Extension’s Aquatic Invasive Species Detectors volunteer program. She will update us on the success of that program and Minnesota’s ongoing challenges with non-native species in our lakes and rivers. Extension makes a difference to Minnesota and the world largely because of the dedication of our faculty and staff. I appreciate your continuing dedication to our work

Extension announces rural stress taskforce

In April, Dean Bev Durgan announced the creation of an Extension rural stress task force combining programming and expertise from across Extension to help rural Minnesota families and communities confront a variety of issues. The team works with state agencies and agricultural organizations as well as colleagues throughout the University of Minnesota. The task force members also recognize that Extension faculty and staff themselves may be feeling stress and anxiety because of the challenges in rural communities. One of the first initiatives from the group will be Mental Health First Aid training, so Extension representatives understand how to help people in crisis as well as take care of themselves. Emily Wilmes, Extension livestock educator in Stearns, Benton and Morrison counties has been appointed as director of the initiative.

See Extension at the 2019 Minnesota State Fair

If you go to the "Great Minnesota Get-Together," visit with Extension colleagues, volunteers and participants. There will be 4-H’ers in the 4-H building and barns, Master Gardeners in the Ag-Hort building and Extension faculty and educators on the DNR stage. Watch Extension’s Facebook page for detailed information to come out in early August. You can also check the 4-H State Fair website for information about shows and other scheduled 4-H events.

Minnesota 4-H Golf Classic nets $35,000 for youth development

4-H friends and alumni, along with their families and business associates, gathered at Top Golf for the Minnesota 4-H Golf Classic on June 17. It was a new venue for this event and lots of fun for all. Participants supported Minnesota 4-H youth programs with their sponsorships, registration fees and silent auction purchases. 4-H members circulated among the golfers to talk about projects that are making an impact on their lives. Thank you to our official sponsors Land O’Lakes and Minnesota Corn Growers Association, as well as sponsors United Healthcare, Minnesota Veterinary Medical Foundation, Green River Energy, Gut Bugs, U of M Extension and Extension Center for Youth Development. While we are still sorting through funds received and outstanding expenses, we anticipate the event this year will net approximately $35,000. Thanks to everyone who gives of their time and other resources to support Extension research and education to create a stronger Minnesota. If you know of indiv

Awards and Accomplishments (July 2019)

Extension Dean's Distinguished Awards: The following were recognized at the 2019 Extension Staff Conference on May 7 on the St. Paul campus: Campus-based Staff Award: Jeanne Laqua, office administrative service supervisor, Extension Center for Family Development Field Staff Award: Casey Olson, executive office and administrative specialist, Extension Regional Office Morris Nutrition Educator Award: Marilyn Hofland, SNAP-Ed educator, Wadena County Program Staff Award: Britt Forsberg, program coordinator, fisheries, wildlife and conservation biology Terry Straub, Master Gardener Program Extension educator, received the Minnesota Association for Volunteer Administration (MAVA) Volunteer of the Year Award. The award recognizes a volunteer who has demonstrated exceptional commitment to the volunteerism industry and MAVA.

Retiree Updates (July 2019)

Welcome new retirees Robert Byrnes retired June 30, after 40 years of contributions and accomplishments for Extension. Bob began his career as an Extension crops educator and concluded it as the Director of Field Operations. Bob was appointed to many special assignments including the emergency initiative for the 1990s Minnesota flood crisis and in 1999 for the social and economic crisis in rural Minnesota. Dean Herzfeld, coordinator, pesticide safety and environmental education, Extension Center for Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources, retired on March 29 after 30 years of contributions and leadership for pesticide safety programs. Jeanne Laqua, office administrative service supervisor for the Center for Family Development for over 20 years, retired June 3. Jeanne’s leadership and management of numerous events and projects in health and nutrition programs were appreciated. Don Nitchie, Extension educator, agriculture business management, retired June 19. Don provided leadershi

Media Moment (July 2019)

KEYC-12: Truman children assist with school garden Truman Schools are incorporating fresh veggies in their lunch straight from their own garden started this summer. KEYC-12 in Mankato reported that this is “all possible thanks to University of Minnesota Extension Master Gardener, Michael Taylor, who has been wanting to get a garden like this started for years now. With the support of the Minnesota State Horticultural Society, he is now using the garden to educate and plant plenty of curiosity.” Watch Truman children assist with school garden . “It is a shining example of everything good about the Master Gardener program,” says Tim Kenny, statewide director of the Extension Master Gardener volunteer program