Tag Archives: agriculture and natural resources technology services

MSU prof inducted into Michigan Golf Hall of Fame

Dr. Paul Rieke was inducted into the Michigan Golf Hall of Fame at Ferris State University in Big Rapids, Michigan, on June 8. He was honored for his service to the golf industry through his teaching, research and extension activities while at Michigan State University.

Paul is the father of Phil Rieke, information technologist in Agriculture and Natural Resources Technology Services.

“He spent a lot of time helping people around the state in the turf industry and made many friends in the process, including former MSU turf program students,” said Phil about his dad.

Dr. Rieke is an MSU professor emeritus whose work included an Extension appointment. He was affiliated with MSU since 1960 and served six years as leader of the MSU Turfgrass Team. He helped develop the MSU Hancock Turfgrass Research Center and was involved in the indoor turfgrass project at the Silverdome for the 1994 World Cup. He’s generally regarded throughout the nation and the world as the authority on turfgrass soils and nutrition.

You can read more about Dr. Rieke’s many accomplishments as well as about the ceremony and the others inducted that day on this Professional Golf Association Web page: http://www.michiganpgagolf.com/michigan-golf-hall-of-fame-inducts-four-at-ferris-state/

By the way, another of the inductees, Becky Iverson, is an MSU graduate.

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Staff members give 4-H website new look

If you visited the Michigan 4-H Youth Development website lately, you were greeted with a colorful interface. If you’ve been to the site before, you’ll notice a change – a redesign of the graphics and styles. Although web features and content did not change, they’re enhanced by the redesign.

The Michigan 4-H home page before redesign

The Michigan 4-H home page before redesign

The new look and feel was a collaborative effort that began in August 2013 between Agriculture and Natural Resources (ANR) Technology Services and ANR Communications. At that time, the 4-H Web Team consisted of ANR Technology Services information technologist and manager of web services Dennis Bond, communications manager in ANR Communications Michelle Lavra, ANR Communications technical writer Mariah Montenegro and ANR Communications graphic artist Marian Reiter.

Besides redesigning the site, the 4-H Web Team completed the goal of realigning 4-H site content and Michigan State University Extension 4-H site content so that topic, program, event, news and resource information flow more consistently between sites.

ANR Technology Services provided the bulk of the work of designing and building the new look and feel. Pablo Contreras, then the ANR Technology Services web designer, worked on the design of the new 4-H website from August to October 2013, providing design revisions as needed. ANR Communications approved the design on Dec.13, 2013. Ken Villapando, an ANR Technology Services student employee, began implementing the new site on Jan. 10 and completed his work Feb. 3. Dennis provided functionality changes and oversight during this process, launching the new design on Feb. 7.

The new Michigan 4-H home page after redesign

The new Michigan 4-H home page after redesign

The 4-H Web Team currently includes Dennis, Marian and Mariah, and additionally Jamie Wilson and Beth Stuever, both communications managers in ANR Communications. Kayci Reava of ANR Technology Services became web designer in early January.

The 4-H Web Team meets weekly and is instrumental in the continued development of the website. Over the next few weeks, ANR Technology Services and the 4-H Web Team will continue to make changes to the design to ensure the highest possible quality.

Visit the site and get a look at the team’s hard work: http://4h.msue.msu.edu/

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Events management hits $1 million mark

Robert (Bob) Kriegel, systems analyst in Agriculture and Natural Resources (ANR) Technology Services, has been busy. At the request of Dr. Suzanne Lang, College of Agriculture and Natural Resources (CANR) associate dean of faculty and administrative affairs, he’s preparing a PowerPoint presentation on the ANR Events Management System and future directions. He shared with me a couple of the metrics he gathered during his analysis for that presentation, and I will share some of that with you now.

As you may have guessed, results of his analysis clearly illustrate the seasonality of Michigan State University Extension event-based programming, with both registrations and revenue peaking in mid- to late winter. You may not be aware though that over the last business quarter, gross monthly revenue is growing at a year-to-year rate of 2 to 3.8 times, so system usage is expanding at a rapid pace.

The events management system has been up and running since March 2012. Nearly 500 events have been created in the system, and more than 300 staff members have accounts in the system. This includes events and staff in MSU Extension, the CANR and AgBioResearch. I’m happy to report that Bob’s analysis shows that on Oct. 11, the events management system passed the $1 million mark for gross revenue, reached in less than 20 months.

Thanks, Bob, for sharing the data, and to the whole team (both ANR Technology Services and ANR Events Management Services) for making this a reality! Thanks also to the faculty and staff members in MSU Extension, the CANR and AgBioResearch who are using the system to manage their events!

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Federal grants extend MSU Extension Firewise efforts

Each year between 8,000 and 10,000 wildfires occur in Michigan. These include forest fires, brush fires and grass fires that damage homes, property and public facilities. Michigan State University Extension has been actively engaged in providing wildfire prevention education since 2002 when former MSU Extension emergency management specialist Mark Hansen collaborated with the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (MDNR) to pilot the Firewise Communities Program in southern Michigan.

 As Mark was able to obtain additional funding through USDA Forest Service and FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) grants, Firewise programming was expanded to the Upper Peninsula, northern Lower Peninsula and select Lake Michigan shoreline counties in southwestern and central Michigan. Since 2002, MSU Extension has received more than $1 million in federal grants to support the Firewise program.

 Though Mark officially retired from MSU Extension in December 2007, he agreed to remain as Firewise project director until June 30, 2011. At that time, Extension educator Elaine Bush assumed leadership duties for the statewide program in addition to providing Firewise educational programming in the northwest Lower Peninsula. Joining Elaine in providing Firewise programming are MSU Extension educators Mike Schira, Dave Andersen, Beth Clawson, Russ Kidd and Dennis McClure. Elaine, Dennis and Mike also applied to their respective counties for Title III funding that has provided each of them with a part-time staff person, greatly expanding their ability to provide local programming.

 The Firewise Project continues to expand. Over the past year, the Firewise team has reached more than 6 million listeners, viewers, program participants and local decision makers in Extension programs and media efforts. You can learn more about Firewise by signing up for the online session being offered during Fall Extension Conference by Elaine Bush and Paul Kollmeyer, MDNR state Firewise liaison.

 You can read about the national Firewise Communities Program here: http://www.firewise.org/ The staff in Agriculture and Natural Resources Technology Services recently redesigned the MSU Firewise website (http://firewise.msu.edu/). Continue to check the site for current information.

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