Skip to main content


Showing posts from November, 2021

ESP-Pi chapter update

As I cross the finish line in my service as Pi Chapter president, I would like to share some closing thoughts. Mike Knutz, past president of our national board, once said, “A bend in the road is not the end, unless you fail to make the turn.” I hope that you have been able to negotiate the twists and turns that have developed during these challenging times. The connections I have been able to make virtually with colleagues across the state and across the country are a great reminder of why I joined Epsilon Sigma Phi. ESP offers opportunities for Extension professionals to network across all program areas. Leadership development is a strong component for members willing to serve their colleagues as officers and committee chairs or members at chapter and national levels. Professional development is at the heart of the ESP mission. Through this mission, members can learn and grow as well as teach others from their experience. People are at the center of our work both in Extension and with

MAEAP 101st anniversary gathering a big success

The Minnesota Association of Extension Agricultural Professionals (MAEAP) held their 101st anniversary meeting on Sept. 14 at Voss Park of Butterfield in Watonwan County. A business meeting and lunch were followed by mock Extension presentations with period-accurate dress and information from the past 100 years. Other activities included an open mic, dinner and musical entertainment by Julie Weisenhorn's family band, The Abiders. It was a wonderful celebration gathering together many retirees and current educators. Thanks to Brad Carlson, Extension water resources educator, and others who planned this memorable event. Educators dressed in period costume to deliver mock presentations from bygone years, sharing Extension and agricultural history with one another. Front row: George Rehm, Bob Koehler, Neil Broadwater, Marilyn Grantham Back row: Dan Martens, Wayne Schoper, Ray Bisek, Dave Resch, Tim Arlt, Dave Schwartz, Kent Thiesse

Charles H. Casey UMC Equine Arena at U of M Crookston

Congratulations to Dr. Charles Casey , recently honored on the campus of the University of Minnesota Crookston, at a dedication of the Charles H. Casey UMC Equine Arena. His 42 years of outstanding service to the University and the state include: Board of Regents member and chair, College of Veterinary Medicine outreach director, Extension dean and director, and UMC chancellor. Remarks were made at the ceremony by current and former University, political and community leaders. All of them praised his wisdom, his skills and his effectiveness in working collaboratively as a change leader. Chuck’s spouse Barbara Muesing (former Extension and University administrator) was also applauded for her supportive role in his various positions.

Crowdfunding campaign for kitchen in 4-H Building

In mid August, a visionary donor stepped forward with a unique challenge. Their family provided a one-to-one match for up to $25,000 in gifts toward replacing broken equipment in the State Fair 4-H building's kitchen. Crowdfunding more than doubled the matching gift and Extension raised over $72,000 in total, thanks to generous donors. 4-H serves 30,000 meals to youth at the fair each year in the cafeteria and barns. Learn more at U Raise MN .

Calling all former Extension interns

We are trying to identify staff and retirees who discovered their Extension career path by beginning as an Extension intern. Do you have experiences or stories you can share? Send a quick email to Jane Johnson or Brad Starbuck . We’d love to hear about the mentors who shaped your Extension career, and gather impact stories we can share with donors who are considering gifts to support future Extension interns.

Retiree updates (Nov. 2021)

Welcome new retirees Marlene LeBlanc served Polk County, the northwest region and 4-H programs across the state over the past 43 years, 17 years at the regional level and 26 years at the county level. She saw and adapted to many changes throughout her career and provided steady leadership to 4-H programs, regional and local educators, county support staff, and families. Marlene’s last day was Aug. 27. Robin Hartmann retired on Aug. 2 after 15 years of dedicated service to Goodhue County and Extension. She provided exemplary support to the community and the local 4-H Youth Development program. In memoriam Tom Ehlen , passed away peacefully at home Oct. 1 at the age of 79. He is survived by his wife Pat, two brothers, three daughters and eight grandchildren. Tom grew up in Wadena and Alexandria, and worked at Control Data before joining the Extension Information Technology team. He retired in 1998. Clorasteen Wilson passed away on June 11. In 1969, she was hired by the University of M

Retirees in retirement: Sharing your story (Nov. 2021)

The retiree story survey will be back for the next issue, but you can send your updates at any time to Jane Johnson or Catherine Dehdashti . In this issue, we present recent features about and updates from five Extension retirees. We reached out to Sandra Becker after hearing her name come up in the memories of retirees who worked with her on videos that brought the crops team much success. Sandra was hired to lead the Office of Special Programs in 1982 and retired as the head of Extension’s video team. Sandra is currently splitting her time between Albuquerque, N.M., and Bayfield, Wis., and she has become a fan of water exercise/aerobics. In Albuquerque, she volunteers at Cloud Dancers, an organization that provides therapeutic horseback riding lessons to people with disabilities. In Bayfield, she is a docent at the Bayfield Heritage Center. Sandra is also the president of the board of the Minnesota Bach Ensemble, a group of Minnesota Orchestra musicians that perform baroque music a

Media moment (Nov. 2021)

What started as a telecast of the annual 4-H livestock auction has grown into a program about the ways 4-H helps young individuals grow. The Pioneer PBS program is usually filmed at the Minnesota State Fair. This year, the show was produced by Amanda Anderson with a focus on the 4-H agronomy program and Agricultural Ambassadors. Visit Pioneer PBS Compass Presents to watch this year's show, presented with funding from the Minnesota Corn Growers.

Highlighted awards and accomplishments (Nov. 2021)

You can read all about the recipients of the annual dean’s awards at U of M Extension Dean Bev Durgan honors 2021 distinguished friends, faculty and teams . In summary, here are the awards: Friend of Extension: Both Minnesota Corn and Robert Jones, former University of Minnesota professor and leader currently serving as chancellor at Illinois’ land-grant university. Campus-based faculty: Marcia I. Endres, Extension dairy specialist. Field-based faculty award: Neil Linscheid, Extension community development educator. Outstanding leadership: Regional director team, including Cecilia Amadou, Keri Cavitt, Bonnie Christiansen, Lisa Dierks, Susanne Hinrichs, Lisa Loegering, Tammy McCulloch, Kathy Schwantes, D. Craig Taylor, Lori Vicich. Diversity: Craig Hassel, Extension nutritionist. Team award: 2021 Minnesota State Fair 4-H team, including Extension Center for Youth Development’s Amber Greeley, director of state and county fairs; Sharon Davis, director of animal science; Jennifer Skuza, as