For over two years, the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services, formed by the United Nations in 2012, conducted four regional assessments of biodiversity and ecosystems services. Brian Klatt, director of the Michigan Natural Features Inventory, a program of Michigan State University Extension, was a coordinating lead author for the Americas assessment, leading a team of 15 scientists, from eight countries, to synthesize information on trends in biodiversity, the factors affecting biodiversity, the likely implications of those trends and the actions humans can take to lessen the factors negatively affecting biodiversity.
The Americas assessment found that while the Americas possess a phenomenal amount of biodiversity, human activities have decreased biodiversity (as measured by mean species abundance) by 30 percent since European settlement, with an anticipated loss of an additional 10 percent by 2050 unless steps are taken; the most promising pathways are to lessen human consumption and address climate change.
The four regional assessments were approved in March 2018, and the summaries for policy makers for all four regions are now available at https://www.ipbes.net/event/ipbes-6-plenary.
Jackson County local news station JTV interviewed Michigan State University Extension program instructors Jae Gerhart and Angela Maniaci about their partnership with the Jackson County Agricultural Council and the Grand River Brewery in Jackson, Michigan, to put on a community event that took place June 4. Jae is the Washtenaw County food systems program instructor, and Angela is a nutrition and physical activity program instructor based in Jackson County. The purpose of the event was connecting people with local produce and providing examples of ways to prepare fresh fruits and vegetables.
Jae engaged a local farmer to provide produce, and Angela put together and cooked recipes using the local produce for the event held at the Brewery. The tasting event allowed participants to vote and see their selection appear on the Grand River Brewery’s menu for the season.
You can watch the JTV interview with Angela and Jae by visiting their website.
I had a chance to sit down June 8 with Russ White for an interview on MSU Today, a weekly radio show on WKAR, to share my vision for Michigan State University (MSU) Extension. You can listen to the interview on the WKAR website.
During the interview, I had a chance to preview my new podcast, Partnership and Peninsulas, which I will launch in the fall. It will focus on MSU Extension programming and partnerships across the state. I’ve recorded several episodes so far on veteran programming, managing farm stress, living the 4-H life, the opioid epidemic and urban agriculture in Detroit.
I’m hoping that you can help by sharing interview ideas with me. Who are the great Extension partners in your community who can tell their Extension story and would be comfortable being interviewed?
Share your ideas with me by filling out the online form for the podcast. I look forward to hearing from you.
On Thursday, July 12, WKAR, the local NPR affiliate, visited the Eaton County fair and interviewed Michigan State University Extension 4-H program coordinator Kristy Oosterhouse and one of our 4-H’ers, Naomi Saint Amour. The two-minute piece highlighted how 4-H makes a difference in the lives of young people across the state. As many of you already know, Michigan 4-H is the largest youth development program in Michigan, and it provides more than 200,000 young people with experiential learning opportunities to explore new interests and discover their passion.
If you have a free minute or two, you can read or listen to the “4-H Engrains Life Skills in Kids” story online.
Congratulations to Melissa McKendree, Michigan State University (MSU) assistant professor in the Department of Agricultural, Food and Resource Economics (AFRE) with a joint appointment in MSU Extension, who received the Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics (JARE) Outstanding Reviewer Award from JARE and the Western Agricultural Economics Association (WAEA). Melissa was honored for her excellence in reviewing at the annual WAEA meeting in Anchorage Alaska, on June 26. Read more about Melissa’s work and her award on the AFRE website.
On June 25, St. Clair County news station EBW TV interviewed Michigan State University (MSU) Extension 4-H program coordinator Lori Warchuck about 4-H. Lori did a great job telling the story about the work that we do in Extension, especially the variety of our programs. She also shared about 4-H Exploration Days on MSU’s campus and advertised for the 4-H fair in the county.
This is a great example of how we can engage with local media to get the word out about MSU Extension. You can watch Lori’s interview on the EBW TV website.
I love it when our staff members are featured for the great work that they’re doing, and each one of you has an important story to tell.
The Michigan Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics awarded Dawn Earnesty Michigan’s Young Recognized Dietitian of the Year at their annual conference in Bay City on April 26 and 27.
Dawn is a Michigan State University Extension educator who provides statewide support for nutrition and physical activity policy, system and environmental (PSE) nutrition education with child care providers, schools and worksites. The award honors a registered dietitian or dietitian nutritionist who has demonstrated leadership and concern for the promotion of optimal health and nutritional status of the population.
“She truly deserves this award,” said Rebecca Henne, MSU Extension Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program–Education (SNAP-Ed) coordinator. “Not only is she being recognized for this award, but her PSE research and leadership with SNAP-Ed has also been acknowledged by our Regional USDA Food and Nutrition Services office in Chicago.”
Please join me in congratulating Dawn on the recognition of her outstanding work.
As you have likely seen, Michigan 4-H is again this year participating in the Raise Your Hand campaign, which seeks to engage 4-H alums and supporters.
With deep roots in our state and across the country, 4-H has been serving youth for more than 100 years. This key program provides kids with the opportunity to learn by doing, grow from failure and develop the skills they need to handle whatever life throws their way. No one knows this better than 4-H friends and alumni who have experienced these programs firsthand. That is why 4-H alums and anyone who supports 4-H are being asked to Raise Your Hand for 4-H.
Whether you are a program alum or not, as part of our Michigan State University Extension family, I know you will all join me in showing your support of 4-H and raising your hand. By doing so, you’ll be paying it forward to the next generation of 4-H’ers and helping to bring the 4-H experience to additional kids in our state. Every friend and alumni hand raised between now and May 15 will count as a vote for the state of your choice (vote for Michigan!), with cash prizes of $20,000, $10,000 and $5,000 available to the top three states. Even if you have previously raised your hand for 4-H, please do so again this year, as the competition counts each hand raised!
Please join me in empowering kids across Michigan by raising your hand for 4-H and helping to provide youth with 4-H hands-on learning that teaches them responsibility, compassion, respect and the value of hard work. Together we can grow the next generation of true leaders!
Jordan Burroughs and Ritchie Harrison, co-directors of the Great Lakes Leadership Academy (GLLA), shared that GLLA will be inducted into the Michigan Environmental Hall of Fame on May 9 at the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum in Grand Rapids.
The Michigan Environmental Hall of Fame was established in 2010 by the Muskegon Environmental Research & Education Society. They are recognizing GLLA under the category of colleges and schools that are longtime supporters of the environment.
The mission of the GLLA is to promote positive change, economic vitality, and resource conservation and enhance the quality of life in Michigan by encouraging leadership for the common good. You may recall that GLLA was formed in 2007 and was recently moved into the Michigan State University Extension Greening Michigan Institute portfolio under the leadership of Jordan and Ritchie.
Congratulations to all the people involved in past and current GLLA facilitation and leadership efforts.
I would like to congratulate the Michigan State University Product Center staff on their Industry Ally Award. This award recognizes companies and organizations that continue to help make the food and agriculture industry a source of economic growth and pride. They received the award at the Michigan Food and Agriculture Awards event on Monday, April 9.
“We knew we were one of nine businesses and organizations that were being recognized with an Industry Ally Award,” said Brenda Reau, senior associate director of the MSU Product Center. “What we didn’t know was that we would be named as the overall award winner in that division. It was a wonderful surprise!”
The awards program is a collaboration between the Michigan Food and Beverage Association and Corp! Magazine. The Product Center will be featured in the next issue of the magazine that circulates to 20,000 business leaders in Michigan.
The MSU Product Center Food-Ag-Bio was established in spring 2003 with funds from MSU AgBioResearch and MSU Extension to improve economic opportunities in the Michigan agriculture, food and natural resource sectors.
Congratulations again, and thank you for all you do to help Michigan move forward.