Extension educator Cathy Newkirk received a state-level Michigan Extension Association of Family and Consumer Sciences (MEAFCS) Distinguished Service Award and a national-level National Extension Association of Family and Consumer Sciences (NEAFCS) Distinguished Service Award at the Galaxy IV Conference in Pittsburgh, Pa., Sept. 19. Cathy has 30 years of experience with Michigan State University Extension. She has held positions of Extension educator and county Extension director at the county level, program leader at the state level and program coordinator at the regional level. Cathy has a strong history of collaboration with organizations and agencies within the counties. Today, Cathy provides educational programming in the areas of disease prevention and management for adults in Wayne, Oakland and Macomb counties. She has served as the co-chair of the Disease Prevention and Management work team. Cathy has also been active in research projects through her work at MSU Extension. She was involved with the I Know MI Numbers: Eat Right, Active Life research project that took place in Genesee and Saginaw counties.
Tag Archives: youth
Extension educator receives national and state Extension association awards for distinguished service
This week, I received an email from my counterpart at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Chuck Hibberd, dean and director of UNL Extension. His note gives some interesting background to a story on 4-H that appeared in the British weekly magazine, The Economist. 4-H is not a topic that you might expect to find in The Economist, so it was fun to read about a British reporter’s encounter with 4-H at the Nebraska State Fair. Here is Dr. Hibberd’s story, along with a link to the article:
I’m pleased to share an excellent article from this week’s issue of The Economist magazine entitled, Farming as Rocket Science. The story features Nebraska 4-H and 4-H’s influential role in STEM education and workforce development throughout the United States. Click here to read the full article.
The Economist’s Lexington columnist was curious about 4-H after seeing the 4-H emblem prominently showcased during his travels throughout thousands of communities across the United States. As a result, he reached out to National 4-H Council to learn more about 4-H. He then spent several days seeing 4-H in action in Nebraska – meeting prominent 4-H alumni, University and Extension leadership, collegiate 4-Hers and several 4-H clubs and interacting with the members, volunteers and parents. He also visited the Nebraska State Fair and spent time with young people presenting their projects there.
The article is a great testament to all of our excellent work. Let’s celebrate together in the success of what we do and share in the great attention that this high-profile story will bring to 4-H programs across our nation. – Chuck Hibberd
Thanks to Chuck and his colleagues for taking the time to show the reporter around. By the way, Dr. Hibberd will be joining us for Fall Extension Conference, speaking on “The 21st Century Extension Professional.” Maybe he can show us how to shoot off a rocket, too!
$6,500 – that’s a lot of money for a hog. Ten-year-old Mattea Antrup received that approximate amount for her hog at the Ottawa County Youth Fair after raising it through the 4-H program.
In February 2012, Mattea had hip surgery spending 7 weeks in a near full-body cast. While at Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital, instead of focusing on herself, Mattea saw other kids, patients with problems of their own. Spurred by the memory, Mattea named her hog Helen DeVos and donated the money she received for Helen at the county fair to the hospital.
Mattea ended up getting $28 a pound for the hog. I asked Tom Guthrie, Michigan State University Extension pork and equine educator, about the going rate for hogs. Tom said that normally hogs sold at county youth fairs would go for $2 to $3 a pound.
The giving kept on going when the buyer donated the hog to LOVE INC, an organization that serves people in need.
To view a video featuring Mattea, go to Fox 17 and search for “Helping With a Hog.”
I’ve got a great story in the tradition of Cuppa Jo Java ‒ you know, that coffee shop started and operated by 4-H’ers in Rapid River, Mich.
This story starts with the brother and sister team of Rachel and Derek Hartline of Tustin. Now, you might find that the norm is for teen siblings to not get along or at least to ignore each other, but these two have worked together successfully to open their own ice cream parlor they’ve named the Dairy Station.
The Hartlines used their 4-H experience in raising and selling animals and translated it into making and selling ice cream. Their time in 4-H helped them to become responsible and to learn how to manage money and time. And I’m sure having caring parents had a lot to do with their success.
Read this story about the young entrepreneurs by Mariah Montenegro, Agriculture and Natural Resources Communications technical writer: http://anrcom.msu.edu/anrcom/news/item/teens_start_a_new_tasty_business
The Allegan County 4-H robotic club Team ROCK – Reaching Out to Community Kids – took part in the FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) Championship April 24–27 in St. Louis, Mo.
The team was part of the FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC). FRC combines sports with science and technology. Teams must solve a problem in a six-week timeframe. Given a standard kit of parts, the members build robots and program them to perform tasks against competitors in the Ultimate Ascent competition. In the competition, the teams’ robots compete to score as many discs as they can into their goals.
Team ROCK was the first Michigan 4-H club to qualify for this worldwide robotics championship. This Allegan County News article pictures the team and talks about the members heading for the state finals. In the article, 4-H leader Jerry Williams mentions that the team had a “slim chance” for advancing to nationals. With dedication and teamwork, that chance did happen, and the 4-H’ers took part in the competition in St. Louis. The club members can be proud of the hard work and determination it took to get there. At the championship, the team had 5 wins and 3 losses.
Michigan State University Extension 4-H program coordinator Dian Liepe said, “I am so proud of these youth! They represented Allegan County 4-H and Michigan by exhibiting great sportsmanship and teamwork.”
Read more here.
This FIRST YouTube video gives you an idea of the excitement and fun that contestants had at the event.
In a previous Spotlight article, I let you know about some new Michigan 4-H Youth Development animal science snapshot sheets available online. The fact sheets give an overview of a 4-H project in a “snapshot” or brief summary.
The first series of snapshots focused on dog, goat, poultry and rabbit projects. You may have been disappointed when you didn’t see your favorite animal project featured. Now, 4-H offers more animal snapshots. You can now find dairy cattle, swine, sheep, and horse and pony snapshots on the 4-H website. Try saying “sheep and swine snapshots” quickly, many times!
In addition, 4-H offers new snapshots focusing on other 4-H projects besides animal projects. Now, you can find snapshots on photography and horticulture as well.
The fact sheets let 4-H’ers know what to expect if they choose to get involved in a specific 4-H project. They also offer lists of curricula and resources.
Katie said, “County staff are using them in mainly two different ways: for recruitment of new members in specific project areas for new families and as a tool to help current volunteers gauge what they are doing in their club and build awareness of the resources and opportunities in that project area.”
Veronica Bolhuis, MSU Extension Children and Youth Institute 4-H program coordinator in Kalamazoo County, believes the snapshots are a great resource for both leaders and participants. She uses them when talking to potential participants and volunteers.
“It gives them a quick reference to the bigger picture. I love that they include 4-H resources on both the state and national side along with other resources. New families or new volunteers can be easily overwhelmed with the amount of information presented to them. This is a quick and easy tool to pull out for them and it doesn’t seem so overwhelming then,” Veronica said.
She also uses them as talking points when speaking with community members and other stakeholders.
Veronica said, “Sometimes people think, ‘Well, they’re just growing a garden – so what?’ When we can show the science, life skills, leadership and communication behind the project, then people are more engaged in why it is important to teach these skills.”
Find all of the 4-H project snapshot sheets online at 4h.msue.msu.edu/resources/michigan_4_h_project_snapshot_sheets
On April 15, friends of the military wore purple to show their support of children whose parents serve in the military. Michigan State University Extension 4-H Military Partnerships participated with many other states across the country for the third annual PURPLE UP! For Military Kids!
Purple symbolizes all branches of the military. No matter what branch they’re in, military parents experience long deployments away from their children. People across our state and nation wore purple to support those families including some colleagues and me. (See photo below.)
Read more about PURPLE Up! in this MSU Extension News article: http://msue.anr.msu.edu/news/purple_up_for_military_families
Educator, facilitator, agent, problem-solver, coach – all are terms people use to describe the role that our colleagues who work in community settings play. Gary Williams, Michigan State University Extension Children and Youth educator, received the Youth Sports Coach of the Year Award from the Michigan Recreation and Parks Association at a ceremony in East Lansing on Wednesday, March 20.
Gary oversees outdoor and environmental education programs in Southeast Michigan in a program supported by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources.
The program exposes youth to outdoor activities and helps them build confidence in sports and activities they may not have experienced previously, including hiking, nature observation, fishing, hunting and shooting sports. He is particularly adept at helping young people learn the discipline and observation skills required for success in archery.
For all of these activities, and his passion for helping youth get a solid start in their life path, Alicia Minter, from the Detroit Parks and Recreation Department nominated Gary for this award. He’s a coach in many ways – with youth, and with adults who volunteer to mentor young people, and occasionally with MSU Extension administrators. And we’re all appreciative of his dedication to helping others step up and embrace life’s opportunities.