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CANR announces new staffing

Ron Hendrick, Dean of the Michigan State University (MSU) College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, recently announced two new members of the college’s leadership. We are fortunate to have Dru Montri joining us as our new director of governmental affairs and stakeholder relations, and Quentin Tyler as our new associate dean of diversity, equity and inclusion.

Headshot of Dr. Dru Montri.Dr. Montri is coming to us from the Michigan Farmers Market Association (MIFMA) where she has provided overall leadership to MIFMA through long-term strategic planning to achieve its mission. At MIFMA, she managed staff members and volunteers, developed and maintained sound financial practices, oversaw membership recruitment and retention, promoted Michigan farmers and farmers markets, and directed special events. You might remember Dr. Montri from her attendance at our Fall Extension Conference in Detroit – she received a Michigan State University Extension Key Partner Award on behalf of the Michigan Farmers Market Association. Her appointment will be effective Jan. 8, 2018.

Headshot of Quentin TylerDr. Tyler currently serves as assistant dean and director of diversity at the University of Kentucky’s College of Agriculture, Food and Environment. In that role, he has provided leadership in strengthening workplace diversity, recruiting and retaining a diverse student body, and building cultural competency, as well as monitoring assessment and reporting activities. He will begin in March 2018.

Please join me in welcoming Dr. Montri and Dr. Tyler on campus with us in the new year.

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Register for the ANR Week Luncheon – time is running out

On March 8, as part of Agriculture and Natural Resources (ANR) Week, the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources (CANR) invites you to attend the ANR Week Luncheon. The event will take place in Kellogg Center Big Ten A/B from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. To register for the luncheon, simply click on this link to the ANR Week Luncheon registration page.

The ANR Week Luncheon recognizes supporters of the MSU College of Agriculture and Natural Resources and those who have made outstanding contributions to Michigan agriculture and natural resources. During the luncheon, worthy recipients will be honored with the following awards: Distinguished Service, Outstanding Agriculture Educator, Distinguished Partner in Study Abroad, Distinguished Faculty, Alumni Service, Outstanding Young Alumnus and Outstanding Alumnus.

Before the luncheon, you can join us for a poster reception that showcases the breadth and depth of CANR research and outreach programs.

The last day to register for the luncheon is March 5. Here’s the link: https://events.anr.msu.edu/event.cfm?eventID=6116C04C6E73C5DF.

The ANR Week Luncheon is just one important part of ANR Week, scheduled for March 4-11. The program does an outstanding job of offering a wide variety of conferences and workshops in many areas, including agriculture, horticulture and natural resources. Check out the schedule and consider joining us for even more than just the luncheon. See you there.

 

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ANR Communications staff member named CANR Staffer of the Month

Kraig Ehm, Michigan State University Extension television producer/director in Agriculture and Natural Resources (ANR) Communications, has received the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources (CANR) Staff Advisory Committee October 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.

Eileen Gianiodis, communications manager in ANR Communications, nominated Kraig for his outstanding work on a series of videos, which highlight CANR faculty members. The videos will help draw high school students into CANR majors, focusing on science, technology, engineering and math.

Eileen said, “The project was a quick turn-around, with less than two weeks to shoot, edit and finalize three long-form videos (2‒3 minutes) as well as three :30 spots. His willingness to go above and beyond to meet the deadline at the same time producing a quality product makes it easy to recommend him for this award.”

Congratulations, Kraig! Thanks, Eileen!

You can view the videos below:

Jade Mitchell full:

Jade Mitchell 30 second:

Dawn Reinhold 30 second:

Dawn Reinhold full:

Lisa Tiemann 30 second:

Lisa Tiemann full:

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Michigan State Fair a huge success for Extension and the CANR

By Patrick Cudney

Many of our colleagues spent this Labor Day Weekend, Sept. 4‒7, at the Michigan State Fair at the Suburban Collection Showplace in Novi.

We can all be proud of the work being done to enhance the Michigan State University Extension presence in southeastern Michigan. More than 112,000 visitors attended the fair this year, so the event created the opportunity to build awareness of our programs to a huge audience. The College of Agriculture and Natural Resources was fully engaged with us in the marketing effort.

Julie Chapin, Children and Youth Institute director, and I attended a VIP pre-opening event, which gave us a firsthand look at our giant 60-foot by 40-foot exhibit space that was free to MSU Extension. Credit for obtaining the free space goes to Debra (“Debbie”) Morgan, MSU Extension 4-H program coordinator, who has been coordinating a 4-H presence at other expos at the Suburban Collection Showplace since 2005. This is the first year we’ve had a coordinated presence from all of Extension. Debbie helped us to build on the base that she created through her previous work at the fair.

Michigan State University Extension staff contributed to the success of the Michigan State Fair that took place Sept. 4‒7, at the Suburban Collection Showplace in Novi, Mich

Michigan State University Extension staff contributed to the success of the Michigan State Fair that took place Sept. 4‒7, at the Suburban Collection Showplace in Novi, Mich:
Front row (left to right): Fran Adelaja, MSU Extension specialist; Debra Morgan, MSU Extension 4-H program coordinator – Oakland County; Margaret Stockert, MSU Extension 4-H support – Oakland County; Glenda Weiss, MSU Extension 4-H program coordinator – Wayne County
Back row: Patrick Cudney, MSU Extension associate director; Julie Chapin, MSU Extension Children and Youth Institute director; Alan Jaros, MSU Tollgate Education Center and Farm director; Karen Craig, MSU Tollgate Conference Center coordinator; Jason Scott, MSUE 4-H program coordinator – Oakland County; Jake DeDecker, MSU Extension children and youth associate state leader; Mary Blumka, 4-H program coordinator- Oakland County.
Photo credit: Lou Waldock, Waldock Tree Farm

Debbie said, “In 2014, I was invited to the press conference where Oakland County and District 11 were offered space at the 2014 Michigan State Fair. When I was invited in 2015, I asked if we could have a larger space to include all of MSU Extension and they said ‘absolutely – what do you need?’ It is a win-win situation and the folks with the Michigan State Fair and Suburban Collection Showplace have been super accommodating and so easy to work with. I believe we have created a mutually beneficial relationship and a great opportunity to showcase all the services MSU Extension has to offer to the public.”

She added that when Extension educator Alan Jaros, who is director of the MSU Tollgate Education Center and Farm just miles down the road from the Suburban Collection Showcase, attended the press conference with her this year, she knew then we were going to do something bigger and better this year.

Tollgate is Extension’s 160-acre learning laboratory visited annually by 12,000 people who explore food systems, agriculture and horticulture, and experience a greater connection to our natural resources.

“With Tollgate’s strong roots in Novi and the surrounding area, our partners and the local community have come to expect high-quality, unbiased, research-based and interactive educational opportunities from MSU Extension. When we were approached to have a stronger presence at the fair, it was an obvious chance to build a greater awareness of MSU Extension’s impact beyond Tollgate,” said Alan.

The fair provides the perfect opportunity for our 4-H youth to showcase their projects and apply for the scholarships offered to youth exhibitors. In fact, this year scholarships totaled $40,000.

It would be impossible to list everyone involved in our success. The following people were involved in coordinating the event. Besides Alan and Debbie, they included Fran Adelaja, Megghan Honke, Betsy Braid, Mindy Tape, Jake DeDecker, Kristine Hahn, Kristi Evans and Mary Wilson.

Others contributing to the event’s success included Beth Stuever, Kittie Butcher, Carol Lenchek, Mary Gerstenberger, Margaret Stockert, Glenda Weiss, Karen Craig, Jason Scott, Ed Scott and Mary Blumka.

In addition, approximately 80 staff and volunteers signed up to help set up, tear down and work the booth throughout the weekend. It really was a team effort!

Patrick Cudney, MSU Extension associate director, tests his skill at hoverball archery

Patrick Cudney, MSU Extension associate director, tests his skill at hoverball archery as Julie Chapin, MSU Extension Children and Youth Institute director, looks on at the Michigan State Fair that took place Sept. 4‒7, at the Suburban Collection Showplace in Novi, Mich.
Photo credit: Debra Morgan.

The large space was well utilized by each institute. The Children and Youth Institute supplied hands-on activities including crafts, hoverball archery (yep, I tried it, it’s fun), the 4-H Commodity Carnival interactive game, Legos, an early childhood sensory table and the 4-H Life Skills Wheel. 4-H Tech Wizards provided Rockets to the Rescue. The Agriculture and Agribusiness Institute Master Gardeners presented Smart Gardening daily, and the Health and Nutrition Institute provided information and a nutrition and health wheel game. Greening Michigan staffed a resource table with information on foreclosure counseling, Sea Grant and the Michigan Fresh program.

I appreciate all of your efforts in moving our organization visibility forward. This is an excellent example of how MSU Extension can improve our engagement and understanding of the work we do in fulfilling our mission. Strategic connections at the finest!

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ANR Week honors industry leaders at luncheon

This week is Agriculture and Natural Resources (ANR) Week. On Tuesday, March 10, several people were honored with awards at the ANR Week Luncheon.

Each year the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources presents Distinguished Service Awards to those individuals or partners who have made outstanding contributions to Michigan’s agriculture and natural resources industries and who possess high standards of integrity and character to positively reflect and enhance the prestige of the CANR. These individuals demonstrate a commitment to Michigan State University and the CANR by continuing outstanding volunteerism and leadership on behalf of or in conjunction with the university on a local, state, national or international level. I’d like to call attention to the three people who received Distinguished Service Awards: Richard H. Lehnert, William L. Sheridan and David L. Smith.

 Richard H. Lehnert, associate editor of Good Fruit Grower, is a 1963 MSU alumnus. He served the Michigan agriculture sector as editorial assistant and editor of Michigan Farmer. Additionally, he owned and operated his own communications agency for another decade. Richard was managing editor of Fruit Growers News and associate editor of Vegetable Growers News. He earned national recognition for his reporting when the fire-retardant chemical polybrominated biphenyl (PBB) was mistakenly added to animal feed, leading to the destruction of thousands of cattle, pigs and chickens. For this, he received the Detroit Press Club Foundation Professional Award. He received the Heath Cooper Rigdon Conservation Writer Award for his coverage of soil conservation.

William L. Sheridan, auctioneer and realtor, is a 1972 MSU alumnus. He has operated several businesses in mid-Michigan, including Sheridan Auction Service, Owosso Livestock and Sales Company, the Brokerage Land Company and Sheridan Realty. A Mason resident, he was named the Michigan Cattlemen’s Association Member of the Year in 2014 and was recently inducted into the National Auctioneers Hall of Fame. He was appointed by former Gov. John Engler to the Michigan Beef Industry Commission and served as chair from 1998 until 2006. William maintains strong ties to the MSU Department of Animal Science, serving on its advisory and scholarship committees. He has also served on the CANR Alumni Association Board and serves the CANR as an auctioneer at AutumnFest, the college’s indoor tailgate event.

David L. Smith, executive director of the Michigan Vegetable Council, has been an advocate for the Michigan vegetable industry and for Michigan agriculture in general. In his current role, he has helped secure more than $2 million in grants for research on major vegetable disease problems. He launched the merger of the annual conference of the Michigan State Horticultural Society and the Michigan Vegetable Council to form the Fruit, Vegetable and Farm Market Expo. David is a member of the Michigan Farm Bureau, the Monroe County Extension Council and the Board of Review for Erie Township, Michigan, and an active member of several community organizations.

All three of these individuals have been outstanding partners for MSU and Michigan State University Extension. Congratulations to all three Distinguished Service Award winners!

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N:15 ‒ ANR Communication creates news in 15 seconds

In today’s fast-paced and constantly connected world of smartphones, social media and more, we have to stay competitive if we want to attract people to our material as they scroll over multiple news items a day. Michigan State University Extension is well known throughout the state in the agriculture community and among people in the older population, who are more likely to rely on traditional news delivery. But how can we make sure that we’re catching the eye of the younger generation who want information now?

Agriculture and Natural Resources (ANR) Communications is working to create 15-second videos that will offer a quick-pitch delivery of relevant news. These videos could work either as an introduction, to entice viewers to watch a longer video or to read an article, or as a full explanation of a concept, such as in “How to Convert Grams of Sugar into Teaspoons.

Kraig Ehm and Katie Gervasi, who lead the project, have created a few short videos based on content they already have. They’ve found that they can film an entire recipe in 15 seconds, as they did on this video:

The possibilities are endless!

Check out the ANR N:15 YouTube Channel to see the videos created so far, and stay tuned for more to come!

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Visitors acquire knowledge at Ag Expo

This year as they do every year, our Michigan State University Extension colleagues were out doing what they do best ‒ educating the public and promoting our programs at the Ag Expo, which ran July 22‒24 on the MSU campus. Two out of the three days produced comfortable temperatures in the 70s ‒ a welcome relief from the past few years in which staff worked in 90-plus degree heat and high humidity.

The College of Agriculture and Natural Resources (CANR) tent featured diverse exhibits and educational presentations.

A new and popular presentation focused on drone technology. A representative from the MSU Department of Geological Sciences gave daily presentations about the unmanned aerial vehicles, their uses and pending litigations.

Michigan 4-H Youth Development featured traditional exhibits with new twists. Children received free books, which promoted early childhood literacy. They learned about science from “Oobleck,” a substance made from common ingredients. The idea comes from the Dr. Seuss book “Bartholomew and the Oobleck.” Attendees spun the Targeting 4-H Life Skills Interactive Educational Display wheel and learned about the 4-Hs in 4-H (head, heart, hands and health). The Commodity Carnival game taught visitors about how weather and commodity prices affect profit when selling livestock.

Michigan State University Extension educator Makena Schultz interests a visitor in the Targeting 4-H Life Skills Interactive Educational Display wheel at Ag Expo

Michigan State University Extension educator Makena Schultz interests a visitor in the Targeting 4-H Life Skills Interactive Educational Display wheel at Ag Expo. The event ran July 22-24, 2014, on the MSU campus. Photo credit: MSU ANR Communications

Master Gardeners exhibited the Smart Gardening initiative.

Our MSU Extension staff educated visitors with a variety of presentations. Gardeners enjoyed presentations on insect friends and foes in the garden as well as on growing smart tomatoes. They learned how to care for soil through talks on the foundation of soil and on the MSU soil test mailer. They also learned how to preserve food after harvest.

Producers learned about how rainfall simulation expands knowledge of crop production. They attended presentations on the porcine epidemic diarrhea virus (PEDv) and deer mortality composition. Visitors also learned about the Affordable Care Act and the 2014 Farm Bill.

Staff at the MSU Extension Bookstore tent gave away free pesticide manuals and other products of interest to visitors. They also gave away promotional materials to direct people to the bookstore’s website.

 

Two Ag Expo visitors examine baby chicks at Ag Expo.

Two Ag Expo visitors examine baby chicks at Ag Expo. The event ran July 22-24, 2014, on the MSU campus. Photo credit: MSU ANR Communications

The distribution of knowledge was not confined to the grounds. Our staff also gave tours of the MSU Horse Teaching and Research Center and the MSU Poultry Teaching and Research Center.

Finally, it wouldn’t be Ag Expo without the opportunity to taste the traditional free dairy store ice cream or to hold a baby chick.

I don’t have the space to cover everything that our Extension staff presented or exhibited at Ag Expo. If you want to talk about your exhibit or presentation, feel free to let us know in the comments below this article.

Thanks to all of our staff who made the event a successful educational opportunity! Whether you worked out front or behind the scenes, we appreciate you!

 

 

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