There’s still time to submit your proposed offering for SERV

Sharing Extension Resources Virtually (SERV) is an online professional development opportunity we provide twice annually to facilitate skills development among Michigan State University Extension staff. Most offerings are provided by MSU Extension staff or faculty members who have experience worth sharing. Please consider submitting a proposal for one or more SERV sessions of three possible lengths: 10, 25 or 50 minutes. Sessions can focus on core competencies and skills, knowledge or information relevant to some aspect of MSU Extension, or reports of projects or programs you think your colleagues should know about. And feel free to submit (and host) sessions led by colleagues and partners from outside MSUE. Our one request is that you make your sessions engaging and participatory. Click on this link for more information and to apply. The last day to submit a proposal is April 24.

Leave a comment

Filed under professional development

Breakfast on the Farm hosts recognized as outstanding dairy farmers

MSU Dairy Farmers of the Year Gertie (left) and Geert (right) van den Goor from Goma Farms near Marlette received a citation from the Sanilac County Commission commending them for their Dairy Farmers of the Year award at a commission meeting on April 15, 2014, in Sandusky, Mich.

MSU Dairy Farmers of the Year Gertie (left) and Geert (right) van den Goor from Goma Farms near Marlette received a citation from the Sanilac County Commission commending them for their Dairy Farmers of the Year award at a commission meeting on April 15, 2014, in Sandusky, Mich.

I had an opportunity to see Gertie and Geert van den Goor commended by the Sanilac County Board of Commissioners on April 15 in Sandusky. They received the MSU Dairy Farmers of the Year Award from the Department of Animal Science at Michigan State University. The award presentation took place on February 7 at the Great Lakes Regional Dairy Conference, and the Sanilac commissioners wanted to add their endorsement to the recognition.

Gertie and Geert are the owners and operators of Goma Farms near Marlette, Mich. They hosted more than 2,500 visitors to their farm in 2012 for Breakfast on the Farm. They began their operation in 1999 with 100 dairy cows and have grown their operation to 2,800 Holstein cows, 2,500 head of young stock and 34 employees today. More important, they are great ambassadors for agriculture and the dairy industry, and really nice people. It was heartening to see them recognized for their many contributions to their community and to the Michigan dairy industry.

Read more in this MSU Extension news article: http://msue.anr.msu.edu/news/sanilac_county_farm_named_msu_2014_dairy_farm_of_the_year

Leave a comment

Filed under Awards

Extension retirees recognized, continued

In last week’s Spotlight, I shared some brief information about nine of our 17 new Michigan State University Extension retirees. As promised, here are the other eight.

Extension educator Roberta Osborne began her career with MSU Extension in 1980. She has served 15 counties as agricultural agent, dairy and livestock agent, county Extension director and agriculture educator. She worked extensively with nutrient management planning, training programs and research with crops and animals. She was responsible for planning and delivering holistic programs in all aspects of dairy production, including funding, nutrition, sustainability research and techniques to improve quality. In recognition of her contributions to the dairy industry, she received the Epsilon Sigma Phi State Team Award in Sanilac in 1986. In addition to her dairy management work, she specialized in livestock with an environmental focus. She provided small ruminant education and researched parasite management practices. She co-chaired the manure team, where she established training programs for Extension agents and producers. She also worked on water sustainability research and farmland preservation and management, winning Branch County Farm Bureau recognition for her work in writing the farmland preservation ordinance for Branch County and creating a land use plan for the entire county that saved $20,000.

Senior district Extension educator Charles Pistis was selected to be the first Sea Grant agent for southwestern Michigan in 1977. In 1994, he was appointed the Ottawa County Extension director, holding that position until 2007, when he was appointed the Michigan Sea Grant Extension state program coordinator. He provided planning, implementation and evaluation of Sea Grant Extension programs educating citizens, communities, businesses, public officials and organizations on critical issues such as coastal zoning, marina management, fisheries, shoreline erosion and pollution. He also provided leadership for the Sea Grant team in fish contaminants, aquatic nuisance species, sport fisheries, charter fisheries, recreational boating and marinas. He led several initiatives to adapt, slow and prevent the spread of aquatic invasive species, establish Michigan bottomland preserves, expand Michigan’s commercial fishing industry and provide water safety education. He has received many awards such as the Michigan Boating Industries Association Lighthouse Award in 2008 and 2004. He received the MSU Extension Distinguished Staff Award in 2002, and the MSU Cooperative Extension Service Director’s Award for Excellence in Performance in 1986. He received several Michigan Council of Extension Associations Awards for Program Excellence for his Coast Watch and rip tides research and education programs.

In 1990, Extension educator Mary Robb began her career with Extension as home economist for Montcalm and Ionia counties. Contributions include “Building Blocks,”a newsletter for families, and Foster Grandparents that involved 75 grandparents working with children. She collaborated with other educators to reach inner-city students through after-school programs establishing community forums to identify family needs and challenges. She became the Kent County leadership and community development educator and collaborated with the Kent County Health Department and Grand Rapids Public Schools to develop the School Health Project and the Families in Touch program. As the county Extension director for community and leadership development in Muskegon County, she established the value and relevance of Extension; she oversaw professional development, established herself as a county expert in group facilitation, and connected with local organizations to collaborate and provide funding for programs. She worked with the MSU Agricultural Product Center to deliver workshops for businesses and designed the Product Center curriculum, reaching more than 100 entrepreneurs. She was awarded the Government Encouraging Entrepreneurs Awardfrom the Chamber of Commerce of the West Shore Governmental Affairs Committee.

Extension educator Warren Schauer served for 32 years in Extension, creating and implementing programming focused on financial analysis, farm business succession and estate planning, and youth market livestock record keeping. He was involved in Telfarm accounting as well as in Annie’s Project that strengthened women’s roles in farm enterprises. He also served as an agricultural innovation counselor. He was responsible for collaborating and organizing effective educational efforts such as Bay de Noc beef producer feeder cattle marketing and the Bay de Noc Garden Conference, as well as dairy, wind energy and bioenergy programs. He communicated with the community through his weekly news column and monthly radio program, reaching northeastern Lower Michigan, the Upper Peninsula and Delta County. He was also widely involved in international Extension efforts, such as his collaboration with the Citizens Network for Foreign Affairs in Mozambique and his work in the Ukraine, teaching farm management principles, business skills, credit and accounting. He also participated in the Caribbean agricultural Extension project in St. Lucia, collaborating with local universities and agencies to establish extension demonstration districts, develop farm management accounting materials and provide training. In 2011, he received the National Association of County Agricultural Agents (NACAA) Distinguished Service Award serving over 10 years, the Distinguished Service to Agriculture Award from the Growing UP Ag Association in 2008 and the President’s Citation from the Michigan Association of Agricultural Agents in 1985.

Extension educator Sheryl Schrot joined Extension in 1989 as a 4-H Youth Development educator in Menominee County. She provided direction and leadership to the 4-H program through planning, organizing, implementing and evaluating youth development programs according to the needs of the county. She developed the vision and brought several agencies together to create the Bay Area Summer Enrichment Camp (BASEC), which provided weeklong sessions on visual and performing arts as well as environmental education. She received the 1994 Michigan Association of Extension 4-H Youth Staff (MAE4-HYS) Team Award for BASEC. She also participated in the 4-H Camp Molinare to provide overnight camping experiences for children living in low-income situations. She worked with public schools to develop a conservation curriculum and to create after-school programs. She also coordinated 4-H international exchanges with Mexico, Japan and Poland, and received the 2001 Michigan 4-H International Award. Her awards include Distinguished Service Awards from the MAE4-HYS and the National Association of Extension 4-H Youth Staff in 1995 and 2004, respectively.

Extension specialist Cynthia Straus began her 32 years of service to Extension as Alpena Extension home economist, later serving as associate program leader and Extension specialist for technology services. Other notable accomplishments include her leadership development programs and her collaboration with Canadian Extension, the Michigan Sea Grant program and regional staff members to organize the International Water Conference for which she received the Epsilon Sigma Phi Pal Project Award in 1986. She received the same award in 1990 for her work with the Water Quality Grant. Also in 1990, she received the Epsilon Sigma Phi Extension Team Award for her work in family and community leadership. She helped to develop food safety education and the materials database as a result of the national Grant for Food Safety Education. Awarded the presidency of the Agriculture Network Information Collaborative (AgNIC) organization, her technology work had a vast impact, beginning with her home maintenance and repair database, her implementation of the MSU Extension portal, and her role in organizing publications and education pieces into an accessible, digital format.

Extension educator Mary Swiderski worked with Extension 4-H from 1985 to 1990 and became a Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program‒Education (SNAP-Ed) educator in 1994. She taught healthy eating, nutrition, cooking and budgeting, especially for families living in low-income situations. Fifty to 60 people per year benefited from her nutrition programs. Her most notable accomplishments were a result of her creation of the Wellness Coalition, which brought together Michigan Extension, the Sault Ste Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians, Mackinac Straits Hospital, St. Ignace schools and the North Country Hiking Trail. Working with the coalition, she participated in implementing programs to improve the health of youth and their families by preventing weight problems and chronic health issues. The coalition reached out to schools to implement wellness policies and to create healthier menus as well as vending machines and fund-raisers. To promote physical and emotional well-being, the coalition set up programs such as Get Movin’ in May and Walk with the Principal to encourage physical activity, healthy eating habits and an active lifestyle. Additionally, she was responsible for putting together 20 television shows used in local schools. The shows emphasized healthy recipes, food safety tips and physical fitness activities. Additionally, she was named the 2011 Child Advocate of the Year by Mackinac County for her work as the Mackinac County child protection coordinator and her work with the Child Protection Roundtable.

In 1995, Extension educator Craig Thomas, came to Extension with a wealth of experience with Extension programs, agriculture and agribusiness from previous positions in California, Florida and Wisconsin. He became the dairy Extension educator for Huron, Lapeer, St. Clair, Sanilac and Tuscola counties, conducting education programs for agribusinesses, financial institutions, dairy producers and the public. His programs specialized in dairy production technologies and computerized accounting systems, financial planning and economics, and milking parlor management and design. He worked with dozens of dairy farms across the state to educate on performing budget analysis to assist them in obtaining financing for dairy expansions and modernizations, and to reduce costs. These efforts brought millions of dollars of new investments in dairy production facilities in Michigan. He received the John Hannah Award for Program Excellence in 2011 for his collaboration with now retired Extension educator Fred Hinkley on the 18-year program Agriculture Market Update. This agricultural marketing program reached out to crop, dairy and livestock farmers and other agriculture professionals, providing them with commodity marketing education.

Leave a comment

Filed under Retirees

Making connections in Washington, DC

PILD Conference left to right: Phil Durst, Tom Coon, Seaman Knapp (Iowa, Texas, and USDA), Lynnae Jess, Rep. Asbury Lever (South Carolina), Bindu Bhakta, Sen. Hoke Smith (Georgia), Deanna East, Bev Przystas, and Sharon Jeffery.

MSU Extension delegation at the Public Issues Leadership Development (PILD Conference, along with a few retirees – left to right: Phil Durst, Tom Coon, Seaman Knapp (Iowa, Texas, and USDA), Lynnae Jess, Rep. Asbury Lever (South Carolina), Bindu Bhakta, Sen. Hoke Smith (Georgia), Deanna East, Bev Przystas, and Sharon Jeffery. The conference took place April 6-9 in Alexandria, Va. near Washington, D.C.

I had the good fortune of spending some time with colleagues from Michigan State University Extension at the Public Issues Leadership Development (PILD) Conference in the Washington, D.C. area this week. The conference offers workshops and features speakers on the federal side of the partnership that makes up Cooperative Extension. It also provides opportunities to meet with leaders in the U.S. Department of Agriculture National Institute for Food and Agriculture (NIFA) who support and work with Cooperative Extension programs across the country. The capstone to the conference was visiting Congressional offices to meet with elected members of Congress and their staff members to help them learn about what we do in MSU Extension to help people improve their lives.

This year’s conference had a good dose of history in recognition of the centennial of the Smith-Lever Act, which established the federal partnership with land-grant universities and county government to form our uniquely American institution. We even had life-size cut-out figures representing Seaman Knapp, Congressman Asbury Lever and Senator Hoke Smith. Knapp pioneered the concept of farm demonstration agents, which gave rise to Extension agents, and Lever and Smith were the co-sponsors of the Congressional Act, which carries their names. Lever was from South Carolina and Smith was from Georgia. The seven Spartans at the conference couldn’t pass up a photo opportunity with Knapp, Smith and Lever.

I was joined by Bindu Bhakta, Phil Durst, Deanna East, Sharon Jeffery, Lynnae Jess and Bev Przystas, each representing his or her professional Extension association.

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Conferences

Everything you’ve ever wanted to ask about copyright

The editors on the production team at Agriculture and Natural Resources Communications would like to hear your questions about copyright and intellectual property issues. Maybe you have big-picture questions (“What on earth is fair use?” or “Who owns the copyright to Michigan State University Extension materials?”) or queries at the nitty-gritty level (“Can I put that Calvin and Hobbes comic strip with the dinosaurs in it in my PowerPoint for this workshop?” or “How much do I have to change this brownie recipe to make it legal?”). No one will laugh at your questions and no one will turn you in to the copyright police for asking them. The team will use your questions to decide what to include in an update of the MSU Extension Guidelines for Using Copyrighted Materials, which was originally produced in the late 1980s and as you can imagine, really needs some work today.

Please send your questions (along with your name and contact information if you’re willing to have someone contact you about your questions) to editor Rebecca McKee at mckeer@msu.edu, by April 30.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Extension retirees recognized

The Faculty and Academic Staff Retirement Luncheon took place April 8 at the Kellogg Hotel and Conference Center. The luncheon recognizes faculty and academic staff who have retired in the past year. Michigan State University Extension and Epsilon Sigma Phi co-host a reception prior to the luncheon. I’d like to share some brief information about each retiree. We had 17 new retirees, so I’ll feature nine this week and the other eight in next week’s Spotlight.

Alternate: Steve Lovejoy, Renee Applegate, Mary Robb, Chuck Pistis, and Brenda Reau at the retiree reception hosted by MSU Extension and Epsilon Sigma Phi, April 8, 2014. Photo credit: Katie Gervasi

Left to Right: Michigan State University Extension associate director Steve Lovejoy, retirees Renee Applegate, Mary Robb and Chuck Pistis, and MSU Product Center associate director and past president of Epsilon Sigma Phi Brenda Reau at the retiree reception hosted by MSU Extension and Epsilon Sigma Phi, April 8, 2014, at the Kellogg Hotel and Conference Center in East Lansing, Mich. Photo credit: Katie Gervasi

Extension educator Renee Applegate started out as an MSU Extension 4-H program assistant in 1982, later serving as a 4-H youth agent in Gratiot and Jackson counties and as the Michigan international exchange coordinator. As Gratiot County 4-H youth development educator, she had responsibilities for numerous 4-H clubs, members and leaders as well as for school programs. She served on the Child Advocacy Board, the Youth Advisory Council of the Gratiot County Community Foundation, the 4-H Environmental Education Programming Committee and the 4-H International Programming Committee. She was involved in teaching for numerous 4-H programs and workshops such as 4-H Exploration Days and the Pork Quality Assurance Plus Youth Education Program in addition to her educational collaboration with Jackson County Public Schools. As the state international exchange coordinator, she was responsible for coordinating Michigan and regional programs to Belize, Jamaica, Mexico, Poland, Australia and Finland. She increased the overall outreach of the exchange program and engagement of host families and youth. Through her work, more than 300 Michigan youth and 600 international youth experienced travel through the 4-H exchange program. In 2008, she was awarded the 4-H Extension Presidential Citation.

Extension specialist Douglas Brahee served as the regional director of the Upper Peninsula (U.P.) from 1990 through 2010 and served as interim district coordinator for District 1 until his retirement. He has enhanced MSU Extension through his servant leadership, work ethic, compassion, organizational commitment, teamwork and dedication to grow and expand the outreach of Extension in the U.P. He worked closely with Extension colleagues, local offices, Native American communities, county directors, county boards and commissioners as well as government officials to plan, develop, deliver and manage effective programming, structuring and development of Extension outreach in the U.P. He also worked closely with the Native American communities with the Federally Recognized Tribes Extension Program (FRTEP) to provide essential training and to build strong relationships. His important contributions to Extension include development and implementation of a volunteer system, his work on grants for program funding, and his work on civil rights and improvement.

Extension educator Ned Birkey began his career in 1989 as agricultural agent for Newaygo County and in 1992 transferred to Monroe County. In 2007, he became the Monroe, Wayne and Washtenaw district Extension educator. An excellent educator, he assessed the needs of local farmers and developed effective programs using a variety of teaching techniques to meet clientele needs and provide effective leadership. He managed the Michigan Soybean Yield Contest as part of the Soybean 2010 Project and served as chair of the Karst Committee of Monroe County. He was an MSU Product Center ag innovation counselor, a member of the Wheat 2000 Project and president of the Michigan Association of Extension Agents (MAEA) in 2008. He was also committed to engaging the community with local farmers and began organizing farm tours in 1994 for Congressman John Dingell. He received many awards throughout his career, including the 2009 Excellence in Extension Award from the Michigan Soybean Promotion Committee in addition to his presentations and awards at many National Association of County Agricultural Agents (NACAA) conferences.

In 1973,Extension educator Michael Erdman worked on a purebred farm at MSU as a beef cattle fitter and from 1973 to 1975 as the senior chemist at the Beef Cattle Teaching and Research Center. He began his career with Extension in 1989 as the Menominee County Extension director. He was a valuable educator in Menominee County for 21 years. A highlight of his career was his work with the Dairy Team and his participation in and development of an effective dairy management program across the U.P. In addition, as a microbiologist, he planned, developed and instructed Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP), and ServSafe training and workshops in various locations for the appropriate training and certification of restaurant owners and food service managers throughout the U.P. He completed the Eating Right Is Basic series with county fourth graders in the food safety and agriculture class to reach out to county youth. During the Extension restructuring process, he became the District 1 coordinator and was able to secure funding for all nine counties in the district by working with department heads, administrators, controllers and comptrollers, clerks, treasurers and county commissioners to keep all offices open.

Extension educator Sherry Grice devoted 34 years to MSU Extension 4-H in Calhoun County where she has had a profound impact on the youth, volunteers and community. Each year, she reached more than 900 young people through club work and 1,000 through special interest programming. She oversaw the six-week Creative and Expressive Arts Program, enrolling 60 to 70 children each year. Much of her work focused on minorities and programs to encourage young people from families living in low-income situations to participate in 4-H and to pursue continuing education after high school. She was involved in many key initiatives such as Calhoun County Communities that Care (Title V Delinquency Prevention Program), the Kellogg Youth Initiative Partnerships (W.K. Kellogg Foundation), the National Conversation on Youth Development in the 21st Century, Community Partners for Albion’s Youth and the Albion Positive Youth Development Task Force. She also provided leadership for more than 350 volunteer leaders yearly through recruitment, training, management, assistance and motivation. During her tenure, minority youth enrollment increased to 13 percent and the participation of culturally diverse volunteer leaders also increased. In recognition of her work, she received the 2009 North Central Regional Diversity Award and the 2009 Diversity Award from the National Association of Extension 4-H Agents (NEA4-HA). She also received the American Association of University Women Educational Equity Award in 2003 as well as recognition from the Albion Multi-Cultural Hall of Fame.

Extension educator Katherine Hale began working with MSU Extension in 1987, conducting needs assessments, facilitating community work groups and planning committees, and writing grants. In her 17 years as Extension educator for family and consumer sciences, she provided health, nutrition and child development education and raised funding for programs through community collaboration, contracts and grants. For six years, she was the county Extension director in St. Clair County, collaborating with community organizations; developing, promoting and marketing MSU Extension programs; and helping establish programs for local Project Fresh markets and Food and Farm Trails tourism. As the special projects southeast region educator, she worked in grant writing, conducted program evaluations, and coordinated special health projects and media. Her notable accomplishments include implementation of the Macomb Food Collaborative now serving Macomb as a nonprofit organization as well as the annual All About Food conference serving more than 200 people, including farmers, food service organizations, health educators, gardeners and food connoisseurs.

Extension educator Russell Kidd served as a district Extension forestry agent, organizing and leading educational programs for a variety of audiences such as private forest landowners, Christmas tree growers, maple syrup producers, loggers, and Master Gardeners and 4-H groups over 20 counties. He served as county Extension director in Oscoda, Crawford and Roscommon counties, assuming larger administrative and leadership roles while maintaining his involvement in educational programming and training. He established a 30-year relationship with the maple syrup industry, and for his contributions, he has been made an honorary life member of the Michigan Maple Syrup Association. He was an integral participant in education programs such as Ties to the Land, forest health programming, gypsy moth intervention and logger education. He was often sought out for his expertise in forest health across northern Michigan. Additionally, he worked with the Michigan Sustainable Forestry Education program to train loggers and industry foresters about green certification programs so they could comply with government mandates. During his participation, his team raised more than $2 million to advance the outreach of the program.

Extension educator Margaret Lashore has served Extension in the Saginaw Bay area and Bay County since 1986. Her leadership and dedication directed Extension efforts to educate the community about personal health management and quality of life, offering financial management and home ownership classes as well as nutrition education, and establishing the Bay Area Housing Corporation through her role as chairperson of the Housing Task Force. In October 2005, her role expanded to work with creating and managing the statewide system for reporting and evaluating the effectiveness of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program‒Education (SNAP-Ed), Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program (EFNEP) and Breastfeeding Initiative (BFI) programs and educator training. She also established and worked with ANR programmers to develop the Activity Report Online and the BFI Reporting System that report data to the Michigan Department of Human Services monthly and to the Food Stamp Nutrition Education and Administrative Reporting System annually to continue Extension federally funded programs. She has received numerous awards from the National Extension Association of Family and Consumer Sciences (NEAFCS), such as the Florence Hall Award in 2009, the Continued Excellence Award in 2003 and the Distinguished Service award in 2000.

 Since 1980, senior Extension educator Dale Mutch has served in many capacities in MSU Extension. He has been an agricultural agent; district and state field crop integrated pest management coordinator; senior district Extension educator specialist; and coordinator, consultant and professor for the Department of Crop and Soil Sciences. His career has focused on low-input and organic farming systems, and his applied research emphasized projects with farmer advisory teams. He has also served on the NorthCentral Region ‒ Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education(NCR-SARE) Administrative Council, participated in the Technical Committee and Producer Grants Program and was Michigan’s sustainable agriculture state coordinator for NCR-SARE in 2007. As a result of his research, He has authored or co-authored more than 30 papers, published or presented in professional settings. In 2004, he was chosen for the 2004 Distinguished Staff Award for his work with farmers, university scientists and Extension agents to design, conduct and publish research helping producers operate farms that are environmentally and economically sustainable. He received two NACAA Communications Awards(2000 and 2008) for his MSU Extension bulletins and the Friend of Michigan Organic Food and Farm Alliance Award in 2004. He remains a reviewer for NCR-SARE grants and is helping to coordinate the National Cover Crops and Soil Health meeting in Omaha, Nebraska.

Leave a comment

Filed under Retirees

Placed-based education documentary airs tonight

Michigan State University Extension contributed to a PBS placed-based education documentary produced by documentary filmmaker Bob Gliner. “Growing Up Green” will air on PBS nationally throughout the month of April.

Extension educator Brandon Schroeder let us know about the documentary: “Two of the nine hubs leading this work in Michigan are MSU-led – our Northeast Michigan Great Lakes Stewardship Initiative (GLSI) and GRAND Learning Network (Shari Dann) – and so we are well represented in this statewide GLSI documentary. Exciting!”

Kelley Hiemstra, District 4 coordinator said, “What a great example of MSUE programs. It has all of the components, great partners, education, and leadership AND now nationally recognized.”

Read Brandon’s MSU Extension news article to find out more about the program: http://msue.anr.msu.edu/news/growing_up_green_documentary_explores_great_lakes_place_based_education

Watch tonight! The first showing is at 10:30 p.m on PBS station WCML in Alpena, WCMV in Cadillac, WCMZ IN Flint and WCMW in Manistee. It will be showing on various PBS stations at various times across Michigan throughout April. Brandon’s article contains a broadcast schedule for the documentary.

Congratulations to all on your hard work!

View details and trailer online at http://www.docmakeronline.com/growing_up_green.html

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized