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.
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.
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.
Congratulations to Michigan State University (MSU) 4-H Extension educator Tracy D’Augustino, who received the Informal Science Educator of the Year distinction from the Michigan Science Teachers Association (MSTA). Tracy was recognized because of her unique and extraordinary accomplishments, active leadership, scholarship contributions and direct improvement of nonschool-based science education, reaching over 3,200 youth during her career.
Another point to celebrate is that this is the second year in a row that MSTA has chosen an MSU Extension educator for this award. Read more about Tracy and her award on our website.
Congratulations to Philip Schwallier, George Silva and Lois Wolfson, who received the 2018 Distinguished Academic Staff Award from Michigan State University. What do they all have in common? They have Extension appointments, and they are making a difference statewide and nationwide. Read more about each person and their work in MSU Today.
The Distinguished Academic Staff Award recognizes the outstanding achievements of those professionals who serve MSU in advising, curriculum development, outreach, extension, research and teaching. Up to four Distinguished Academic Staff Awards are given annually. These awards provide universitywide recognition and reward to outstanding individuals with careers demonstrating long-term excellence and exceptional contributions to MSU.
On February 6, MSU Extension held a reception to honor Phil, George and Lois at the Kellogg Hotel and Conference Center where we heard from their nominators, Amy Irish-Brown, Ron Bates and Jo Latimore, respectively. A huge thanks to everyone who attended the reception and who participated in putting it together. Please join me in congratulating Phil, George and Lois.
Please join me in congratulating Michigan State University (MSU) Extension 4-H program coordinator Glenda Weiss who received the American Rabbit Breeders Association (ARBA) Distinguished Service Award Nov. 27. Glenda received the award because of her years of service and outstanding impact on rabbit and cavy programs as well as the industry.
Glenda has been a member of the ARBA for 20 years and has used many of her skills and abilities to serve. She has:
- Served 13 years as the Michigan State Rabbit Breeders Youth Association adviser.
- Served on the State 4-H Rabbit and Cavy Show committee, organizing the scholarship auction for over 10 years, where she raised more than $25,000.
- Worked with more than 100 youth over 16 years to coach and train them to be ARBA judges and registrars.
- Served 21 years as a club leader for Lapeer County’s Busy Beavers 4-H Club for which she was the founding leader.
- Served as the Lapeer County fair’s rabbit superintendent for 19 years.
Josh Humphries, ARBA president, presented the award to Glenda at the Michigan State Rabbit Breeders Association fall show at the MSU Pavilion for Agriculture and Livestock Education. Glenda was delighted that joining him was David Moll, ARBA district director, who was a member of her judging and breed identification teams as a youth. Isn’t it so fulfilling when our work comes full circle?
I’ve only listed a few contributions that she has made – so make sure you congratulate Glenda and take a moment to hear about all the other ways she’s had an impact on youth and the rabbit industry.