Tag Archives: award

MSU Extension staff member named CANR Staffer of the Month

Betsy Braid, Michigan State University Extension educational program coordinator in Agriculture and Natural Resources (ANR) Event Services, has received the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources Staff Advisory Committee September 2015 Administrative/Technical Staffer of the Month award.

The award goes to a member of the CANR support staff who has done something special or noteworthy within his or her college or unit.

Steven Safferman, associate professor in the Department of Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering, and Bindu Bhakta and Terry Gibb, Extension educators in the Greening Michigan Institute, nominated Betsy. The three recognized her for her enthusiasm and efficiency in taking on the coordination of the MSU Extension Comprehensive Onsite Wastewater Management Education Program. They believe her tackling this challenging program shows the “spirit of MSUE.”

Congratulations to Betsy and thanks to Steven, Bindu and Terry for nominating her.

Comments Off on MSU Extension staff member named CANR Staffer of the Month

Filed under Awards

Extension educator recognized by Michigan Lake and Stream Associations

At their annual conference on May 1 and 2 in Boyne County, Michigan, Michigan Lake and Stream Associations, Inc (ML&SA) presented senior Extension educator Jane Herbert with an award to celebrate her career in light of her upcoming retirement in 2016. This lifetime achievement award was presented “in recognition and appreciation for her hard work and long standing commitment to preserving and protecting Michigan’s legacy of high quality inland lakes.”

Jane is a nationally recognized expert on inland lake management with an emphasis on natural shoreline landscaping and bioengineered shoreline erosion control. She has been a major asset to Extension in the development, delivery and evaluation of regional and statewide water resource Extension programming since she joined Michigan State University Extension in 1996.

Jane’s work with ML&SA has been a vital partnership to maintain our natural resources work. Since the 1980s, ML&SA has partnered with MSU Extension to educate waterfront property owners as well as local decision makers on practices and policies to protect Michigan’s 11,000 inland lakes and 36,000 miles of streams and rivers. ML&SA has also provided strong support to statewide partnerships in which MSU Extension provides key leadership, including the Michigan Inland Lakes Partnership and the Michigan Natural Shoreline Partnership.

Jane said, “It’s been a pleasure and a privilege to work shoulder to shoulder with ML&SA for all these years. The award was unexpected but very much appreciated.”

Congratulations, Jane!

Comments Off on Extension educator recognized by Michigan Lake and Stream Associations

Filed under Awards

MSU Extension promotional materials win awards

Two projects from Agriculture and Natural Resources (ANR) Communications recently received Association for Communication Excellence (ACE) awards. The ACE Critique and Awards program recognizes individuals and teams for excellence in communication and technology skills.

The Michigan State University Extension and MSU AgBioResearch 2013-2014 Legislative Report won gold in the Special Report category. This report recounts impact stories, data factoids as well as funding information presented with pie charts and infographics, pulling it all together in an attractive, easy-to-read format that we can share with stakeholders.

The project was managed by Sean Corp, editor with ANR Communications, but also featured the writing, design and editing of Natasha Berryman, James Dau, Jane L. DePriest, Soundarya Sri Raja Kalidindi, Holly Whetstone, Katie Gervasi, Nichole Hersch, Mariah Montenegro, Mindy Maxwell Tape, Paula Sheynerman, Beth Stuever, Jamie Wilson, Patricia Adams and Marian Reiter.

The report received a perfect score, showing just how hard our team worked on this project.

One of the judges included, “This report is an excellent example of how an organization should communicate its products and services to a diverse audience. The pictures were vivid and high-quality, and portrayed racial, age, and ethnic diversity. The copy was also very informative, detailed and thorough.”

Additionally, the MSU Extension Catalog of Programs and Services won the silver award in the Single Marketing Item category.

Quite a few of you may already be familiar with the catalog – each work team contributed to the content on its programming – but if you haven’t seen the finished product, you can take a look at it online. Sean Corp managed the project, with editing by Rebecca McKee and design by Alicia Burnell.

Both of these publications are great tools to help illustrate our work to potential partners and current contacts alike. If you aren’t sure what is happening outside of your work team, you can read simple descriptions of programming and their impacts. If you need some support materials to describe your own programming, you will find it in easily digestible statements that you can share with the people you interact with.

Congratulations on these two award-winning projects!

Comments Off on MSU Extension promotional materials win awards

Filed under Accomplishments, Awards

Senior educator earns Charles Eastin Award

Yesterday, the Agriculture Council of America awarded our very own Dennis Pennington, Michigan State University Extension senior educator from Barry County, the Charles Eastin Award for involvement in agriculture advocacy. Dennis received the award at the Celebration of Agriculture Dinner held at the U.S. Department of Agriculture in Washington, D.C., on National Ag Day.

The Charles Eastin Award highlights individuals who advocate for agriculture awareness, as well as accurate communications between rural and urban audiences. It is named after Charles “Charlie” Eastin, whose “passion and dedication will continue to inspire those who work on behalf of promoting a greater understanding between rural and urban folk” according to the National Ag Day website.

Dennis was surprised to learn that he had been nominated for this award, and he is very proud of the work that led him to receive it.

“I have leveraged partnerships between MSU Extension, Farm Bureau, 4-H and FFA in my community to help teach kids and adults about agriculture and food production. I would not have been able to achieve this without the strong support of volunteers and kids in each of these organizations. They are what keeps my passion ignited,” he said.

Rachelle Lehman from the Barry County Farm Bureau nominated him, citing his willingness to communicate with the public about agriculture through educational efforts at the fair, Ag Awareness Day and online informative videos. For example, the videos he produced with the Hastings FFA students reached thousands of viewers, spreading research-based facts about agriculture to new and expanding audiences.

Our work advocating for agriculture awareness is never done, and it’s individuals like Dennis who inspire us to do more. Congratulations, Dennis!

Comments Off on Senior educator earns Charles Eastin Award

Filed under Awards

Snow sculpture packs on fun in Wexford County

Staff members of the Wexford County Michigan State University Extension Office have donated many hours over the past two weeks to design and create a 4-H snow sculpture to enter into the North American Snow Festival Snow Sculpture Contest. Leading the team was Tracy Trautner, 4-H program coordinator in Wexford County, who thought that entering the sculpture into the competition would be a great way to participate in the community, as well as increase awareness of local MSU Extension services. The sculpture took second place out of four entries.

Snow Sculpture in Wexford County “I think the main goal of this project was initially to build a snow sculpture for our first time. As it evolved, it turned out to be much more than that – it is located right outside of one of our larger school buildings, so it gets quite a bit of visibility on a daily basis,” Tracy said, “More than that, the snow festival will bring thousands of people to town and increase visibility for 4-H. In the end, it was a great team-building experience for our office, and I’m impressed with how everyone jumped in and donated a lot of time and effort to make our snow sculpture a success.”

The process took some time and required the dedication of the entire office as well as members of their families, but the team was dedicated to completing their project. In addition to Tracy, staff members who participated included Jill O’Donnell, Shari Spoelman, Erin Lizotte, JoAnne Benthem, Sara Keinath and Carol Blake as well as 4-H leader Dan Valley and family members.


The North American Snow Festival takes place during the first weekend of February every year in Cadillac, Michigan. In fact, it has been held in the Cadillac area for more than 30 years. This is a great way for the Wexford County staff to collaborate with the larger community, to participate and to give back. Congratulations to all of them for a job well done!

Comments Off on Snow sculpture packs on fun in Wexford County

Filed under Accomplishments

Epsilon Sigma Phi recognizes friends and employees of MSU Extension

There have been a couple of very exciting awards received recently! At the 2014 Epsilon Sigma Phi National Conference in Indianapolis, Indiana, two very notable awards were given to friends of Michigan State University Extension.

Epsilon Sigma Phi is a professional organization for Extension professionals, and as part of their yearly conference, they awarded Deanna East and Frank Ettawageshik for their contributions to MSU Extension.

Deanna East, district coordinator of MSU Extension District 4, was recognized with an administrative leadership award. Epsilon Sigma Phi presents the administrative leadership award to recognize Extension professionals who have shown noteworthy administrative enthusiasm, performance and accomplishment during their Extension careers. Deanna has been with MSU Extension since 2003, and during her time, she has been the county Extension director in two counties, has supervised several health and nutrition programs, and has worked with the Birth-Five Program as a parent educator.

In addition, Frank Ettawageshik was recognized as a key partner of Extension. With his assistance and support, the Building Strong Sovereign Nations Program is being offered again for the third year as a training prior to the United Tribes of Michigan October quarterly meeting. This has allowed Building Strong Sovereign Nations to continue on a consistent basis in conjunction with the United Tribes of Michigan quarterly meetings. This scheduling provides considerable savings of time and travel cost, and encourages tribal leaders to participate in both of these important meetings. This joint program ties traditional teachings with a contemporary government focus. MSU Extension partnered with the MSU Native American Institute, the Indigenous Law and Policy Center of the Michigan State University College of Law, and several Michigan Tribal governments in 2005 to begin developing an educational program tailored to newly elected tribal leaders as well as tribal citizens interested in running for tribal political office. The employees of MSU Extension currently involved in this effort include Emily Proctor, John Amrheim, Brad Neumann, Beth Prykucki, Julie Pioch, Elaine Bush and Ann Chastain.

The contributions from both Deanna and Frank are very important to all of us at MSU Extension. Congratulations!

Comments Off on Epsilon Sigma Phi recognizes friends and employees of MSU Extension

Filed under Accomplishments, Awards

MSU Extension educator and MSU professor receive award

Michigan State University Extension greenhouse and nursery educator Heidi Wollaeger and Dr. Erik Runkle, MSU professor of horticulture, received the AmericanHort Alex Laurie award for 2014. The award is given to the authors of one manuscript in ornamental horticulture per year by a panel of three industry professionals with doctoral degrees. The manuscript “Growth Responses of Ornamental Annual Seedlings Under Different Wavelengths of Red Light Provided by Light-emitting Diodes,” published in the December 2013 issue of HortScience, was determined to have the greatest potential for a significant practical impact on the floriculture industry in the near future. Heidi and Dr. Runkle accepted the award at the floriculture conference and trade show Cultivate’14 on July 13.

The award was established in honor of the late Alex Laurie, renowned floriculture teacher and researcher at The Ohio State University and founder of the Ohio Florists’ Association (now AmericanHort.).


Comments Off on MSU Extension educator and MSU professor receive award

Filed under Awards

Retired educator honored as hero of sustainable agriculture

Dale Mutch was recently named as a North Central Region‒Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (NCR-SARE) Hero. Coordinated by the NCR-SARE Alumni Organization, this recognition honors the leadership, vision, contributions and impact individuals have made in the field of sustainable agriculture.

Dr. Mutch is a retired Michigan State University senior Extension educator and adjunct professor in the Department of Plant, Soil and Microbial Sciences. He spent more than three decades as an IPM vegetable scout, agricultural agent, district and state field crop integrated pest management coordinator, senior district Extension educator and coordinator, consultant and professor. As a founding member of the Midwest Cover Crops Council, he championed the promotion and demonstration of cover crops to improve soil health and create more sustainable agricultural practices throughout the region and nationally.

I encourage you to read more about Dale as well as the tributes from many of our MSU colleagues in this NCR-SARE article: http://www.northcentralsare.org/About-Us/Regional-Initiatives/NCR-SARE-Hero-Recognition-Program/Past-NCR-SARE-Heroes/Dale-Mutch-NCR-SARE-Hero

Congratulations, Dale!

Comments Off on Retired educator honored as hero of sustainable agriculture

Filed under Awards

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.

Comments Off on MSU prof inducted into Michigan Golf Hall of Fame

Filed under Awards

Don’t forget to nominate key partners and key colleagues

The occasion of the Extension Centennial seems appropriate for a reminder that we need to recognize those volunteers and decision makers who partner with us to ensure our success in fulfilling our mission. Associate director Steve Lovejoy has moved the nomination process earlier to ensure that the people we honor at our Fall Extension Conference (2014 FEC) have time to plan to attend the ceremony at Michigan State University.

All MSU Extension staff and faculty members are encouraged to think of partners who have helped them succeed in carrying out their Extension work and to nominate them for a Key Partner or a Friend of Extension Award. We also honor colleagues for their outstanding service to MSU Extension and to the people of Michigan.

In order to simplify the process for nominators, we have created a folder on SharePoint titled “Awards and Recognitions.” There you will find a short description of the various awards, previous award winners and nomination forms for both staff awards and for Key Partners. Find those files here: https://share.anr.msu.edu/MSUE/Awards/default.aspx

Please take a few minutes to nominate your colleagues and partners for their outstanding work in furthering the mission of MSU Extension and assisting the individuals, families, businesses and governmental units in achieving their objectives. The deadline for submitting nominations is May 30.

Comments Off on Don’t forget to nominate key partners and key colleagues

Filed under Awards