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Showing posts from June, 2021

Dean's column (June 2021)

Dear colleagues, I hope you are enjoying summer so far. I am pleased to tell you that Extension is returning to in-person events and educational programming, and soon will be re-opening our regional and campus offices. And, as noted below, 4-H and Extension will be back at the Minnesota State Fair! However, re-opening is not as simple as flipping a switch. As you know, most Extension employees have been working remotely for the past 15 months and some of them have found their educational programs can reach more people online, or that they can work effectively from a distance by using technology. I expect that over the next few months, Extension programs and operations will go through a transition period where we evaluate opportunities for flexible approaches in our programming as well as in campus, regional and county offices. We also are considering options for our annual Extension summer retiree luncheons, including having the Twin Cities luncheon early this fall. Please watch your e

ESP-Pi chapter update

We’ve had a hot start to our summer, and this means many of us have been busy keeping our gardens, our fields and ourselves adequately hydrated. If you are feeling the stress of the heat and not enough time to get things done, consider doing something for yourself and taking advantage of the webinars offered by ESP's national professional development committee. On June 29 at noon (central time), join Jesse Ketterman from the Tau Chapter, Maryland, for Health Insurance Options for Farmers and Small Businesses . Registration for the National Conference is now open. You have the option of attending this year’s conference face to face or virtually. (I can’t miss the opportunity to be in Savannah in October.) It’s been my honor to be your president this year, and I hope to see you at one of these professional development opportunities. Robin Trott ESP-Pi president

The Minnesota State Fair is on and 4-H’ers will be there

Shortly after the Minnesota State Fair Board announced on June 11 that the fair would take place this year as the Great Minnesota Get-Back-Together, Extension followed up with a message to 4-H families. Associate Dean and 4-H State Leader Jennifer Skuza emailed families to give details for what promises to be a meaningful and positive year for 4-H’ers, volunteers, supporters and visitors. We hope Extension retirees will be among those.   You can read Jennifer’s message here . Please stay tuned for information to come later this summer about specific 4-H events to attend and other ways to see Extension, such as Master Gardener volunteers and faculty presentations, at the fair.

Driven campaign update

We have exciting news! We are in the ‘home stretch’ of Extension’s Driven fundraising campaign. With one month to go, Extension has achieved 99% of our $16 million goal. When the campaign launched in 2012, our dream was to energize and connect donors to Extension’s mission. We envision a state where strong partnerships, discovery through science and diverse perspectives combine to find smart, creative ways to address 21st century challenges. Through the success of Driven , Extension is in a strong position to achieve that vision now and into the future. We’ve reached a milestone, but the journey isn’t over. As we celebrate the collective impact of gifts that brought us this far, we also know there is a journey ahead. We face the work of the future with the same optimism and determination that fueled us during the 10-year campaign. We are excited to see what donors make possible in the campaign’s final month. (The counting period for Driven ends June 30.) Help us reach our goal! If

Retiree updates (June 2021)

Welcome new retirees Joyce Hoelting retired on April 9. Joyce has been described as the backbone, the heart and soul, and as the glue that bound the Center for Community Vitality together for 20 years. Her contributions and leadership in the center’s writing and communications, in facilitation, marketing and resource development, human resources management, and grant development and reporting empowered the center to become one of the most highly respected and often emulated cooperative Extension community development units in the country. Her grant-writing skills and coordination helped keep the center in the black during times of reduced funding. Joyce co-founded Friends in the Field, which allowed other community development partners to discuss issues of mutual concern in Minnesota, reduced competition and created avenues for greater collaboration. Joyce served Extension as the organization-wide federal reporting specialist and served on a variety of Extension-wide committees. In Me

Media Moment (June 2021)

Gardening without the garden is the latest in a series of biweekly columns for the Forum newspaper chain from Extension Master Gardeners in Becker County. Wanda Foley wrote this column about container gardening, a convenient option for those without the space or time for a traditional garden.

Featured Accomplishments (June 2021)

Congratulations to Terry Straub , Extension educator, Master Gardener Program in Hennepin County, who was awarded the University of Minnesota President's Award for Outstanding Service. This award is given to those whose service has gone well beyond the regular duties of a faculty or staff member, and demonstrates unusual commitment to the University community. Terry has represented the University in Hennepin County, across Minnesota and nationally with effectiveness, integrity and passion.   A team of Extension, College of Pharmacy, tribal health and rural counties public health received the 2021 Priester Culture of Health Award . Rural America and the American Indian communities have been deeply and disproportionately affected by the rise in opioid-use disorders and overdose fatalities. In 2018, a call to action by the USDA for Extension systems to address the opioid crisis nationally propelled colleagues and partners into action. The "opioid team" was given the award