Tag Archives: betty jo nash

Presenting our curricula on a national level

Several Michigan State University Extension staff members shared their knowledge and expertise with the national 4-H community at the National Association of Extension 4-H Agents (NAE4-HA) Conference held October 26‒30 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. This was a great opportunity for MSU Extension to expand our reach to a nationwide audience of our peers.

Deb Barrett, Frank Cox and Janice Zerbe presented on the Career Exploration and Workforce Preparation work group’s National 4-H curriculum “Build Your Future: Choices… Connections… Careers.” Health and nutrition experts Janet Olsen and Karen Pace presented “Be SAFE” – to help addressing bullying in 4-H and other out-of-school settings. Judy Ratkos and Jennifer Weichel joined a panel conversation on using data to creatively make the case for 4-H, and Kendra Moyses, Betty Jo Nash and Jodi Schulz presented “Back to the Basics” – life skills curriculum packages to help 4-H leaders increase their impact. Three staff members, Christine Heverly, Glenda Kilpatrick and Janice Zerbe, were also recognized at the event for their service to Michigan 4-H.

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4-H’ers given challenge to innovate

A growing population puts an increasing demand on agriculture to feed the world. Who better to look for new ways to solve the problem than our young people? The National 4-H Council and Monsanto recognize the creative minds and natural inclination of youth to help others. The two organizations together created a new initiative to get today’s kids interested and involved in agriculture. The 4-H Ag Innovators Experience will not only spark enthusiasm but also help youth develop skills that would help them succeed in future agriculture-related careers as well as careers in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math). And these future farmers and scientists may be on their way to solving the world’s hunger problem.

The 4-H Ag Innovators Experience is being piloted in eight states and Michigan is one of them. Michigan 4-H Youth Development received a $15,000 grant to fund the program. Michigan State University Extension educator Betty Jo Nash coordinates the program for our state.

 Three teen 4-H members attended training this spring at the National 4-H Youth Conference Center in Chevy Chase, Maryland, just outside of Washington, D.C. The teens will in turn train other teens as well as local 4-H clubs. In the end, a thousand youth will have participated in Michigan and as many as 8,000 are expected to participate in the eight states taking part in the initiative.

 The pilot program involves the “Fish Farm Challenge.” Participants will engineer a simulated fish-food distribution system using limited resources. Ultimately, they should recognize the value of aquaculture while stimulating innovative approaches to a real-world problem – ensuring farm-raised fish have equal access to food. After completing the challenge, participants can create a video to show their ideas to their local communities. Four winners of $2,500 each will be chosen. Look for further details about the video contest on the National 4-H Council website after June 1.

 Read more in this Agriculture and Natural Resources Communications article: http://anrcom.msu.edu/anrcom/news/item/michigan_youth_to_participate_in_the_4_h_ag_innovators_experience

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MSU Extension staff members receive NAE4-HA national awards

At the Galaxy IV Conference Sept 16‒20 in Pittsburgh, Pa., two Michigan State University Extension staff members received National Association of Extension 4-H Agents national awards.

Extension program instructor Jan Wendland received the National Meritorious Service Award, a national award for staff members with 15 years of service in 4-H youth work. Recipients must previously have won the National Distinguished Service Award prior to being nominated.

Jan has been a 4-H volunteer for 50 years. She started working for MSU Extension in 1984 as a program assistant, eventually becoming program coordinator. Aside from encouraging volunteers and youth to attend training workshops and events, Jan has accomplishments ranging from event planning to hosting training sessions. Jan planned, organized and chaperoned three bus trips of more than 200 youth to participate in Citizenship Washington Focus in Washington, D.C. Through Jan’s leadership, many young people have experienced state exchanges. As part of The Academic Success Science work team, Jan has helped plan, organize and teach sessions at the Michigan 4-H Science Camp statewide science workshop for the last three years.

During her 4-H career, Jan has written and received several grants. One particular grant she worked on helped develop a 4-H in-school and after-school club with a focus on gardening, community service and entrepreneurship.

Recently, Jan helped 4-H youth in Saginaw County promote a community service project, raising poultry and donations for the Saginaw East Side Soup Kitchen.

Her commitment to quality 4-H programing has had an impact with many young people in Saginaw County.

Extension educator Betty Jo Nash received the National Achievement in Service Award, a national award for staff members with 3 to 7 years of service in 4-H youth work. Applicants are evaluated on professional attitude, improvement and accomplishments as well as personal attitudes and interests, community involvement and special honors received.

Betty Jo worked as the 4-H Extension educator in Cass County from 2005 through 2007, and in Ingham County from 2008 to the present. Betty Jo has played an integral role in helping the county 4-H program transition through staff downsizing.

She has had responsibility for overall program management and financial oversight for up to 60 clubs and committees, administering the volunteer selection process for new volunteers and maintaining current records on more than 300 volunteers per year, as well as communicating with club leaders and members.

She has helped recruit and secure funding for 4-H members to attend 4-H educational opportunities. She has also had responsibility for maintaining the local 4-H website and worked on a number of local educational initiatives.

Most recently, Betty Jo is a member of the Life Skills work team within the Academic Success area of the Children and Youth Institute. She has provided leadership to one of the major undertakings of the work team, authoring the work team’s educational curriculum.

Every five years, the Joint Council of Extension Professionals (JCEP) sponsors and provides leadership for a Galaxy Conference for the Cooperative Extension System. The conference invites participation from all JCEP organizations, the Extension Committee on Organization and Policy (ECOP) and other partners critical to the Extension mission.

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Step II and Step III promotions approved by MSU

The Michigan State University Provost’s Office has approved promotions of 10 Extension academic staff members to Step II and five to Step III. Step II is awarded after successful completion of a three-year and six-year portfolio review process, and is analogous to the promotion to associate professor rank for faculty. For individuals appointed in the MSUE Continuing Employment (CE) system, Step II also comes with award of CE status. Step III is awarded to Extension academic staff members who have demonstrated excellence and scholarly achievement in their work as Extension professionals over a sustained period. Those who are awarded Step III achieve “senior” status, analogous to achievement of the professor rank among faculty, and their titles are changed by addition of the senior modifier to the title of educator, program leader or specialist.

 Individuals who were successful in the Step II process this year include:

  • Janis Brinn, Children and Youth Institute
  • Kittie Butcher, Children and Youth Institute
  • Ryan Coffey, Greening Michigan Institute
  • Elizabeth Ferry, Agriculture and Agribusiness Institute
  • Andrew Hayes, Greening Michigan Institute
  • Glenda Kilpatrick, Children and Youth Institute
  • Betty Jo Nash, Children and Youth Institute
  • Nikki Rothwell, Agriculture and Agribusiness Institute
  • Brad Slaughter, Michigan Natural Features Inventory
  • Dixie Ward, Greening Michigan Institute

 Those who were promoted to senior status this year include:

  • Phil Durst, Agriculture and Agribusiness Institute
  • Kathy Lee, Agriculture and Agribusiness Institute
  • Amy Irish-Brown, Agriculture and Agribusiness Institute
  • George Silva, Agriculture and Agribusiness Institute
  • Jane Herbert, Greening Michigan Institute

 Congratulations to all for this significant achievement. You can learn more about the Step II and Step III processes in our Administrative Handbook at Step I, Step II and Step III Promotions.

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