Tag Archives: david smitley

MSU celebrates National Pollinator Week

Michigan State University (MSU) hosted two events on June 19, Bee Palooza and Science on Tap: Beezzz & Brewzzz to celebrate National Pollinator Week.

Bee Palooza, a free, fun and educational event centered on understanding pollinators, is designed for people of all ages. MSU Horticulture Gardens hosted displays that focused on honeybee colonies, bumble bees, the wild bees of Michigan, plants to support pollinators and the importance of bees and other pollinators to the food supply. Hands-on workshops engaged visitors on how to create a native bee hotel and how to identify pollinators in their gardens.

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Beezzz & Brewzzz, an adults-only event, took place at the Beer Grotto in Lansing. Participants heard from MSU experts Dr. Jason Gibbs, Dr. Meghan Milbrath and Dr. Rufus Isaacs about native bees, the work Michigan is doing to protect our pollinators and the role of bees in your favorite drinks. Following the presentations, entomology graduate students answered questions from the audience on topics ranging from the types of flowers to plant for bees and general bee biology to beekeeping regulations in Lansing. There were also special bee-related drinks on tap for the night. Over 100 people attended throughout the night and many received raffle giveaways including photo prints of wild bees taken by Jason Gibbs, pocket guides, local honey, native bee hotels, T-shirts and a Beer Grotto gift certificate.

Are you interested in knowing more about pollinators in Michigan or have you gotten calls with questions about them? Dr. David Smitley worked with a team of entomologists to put together “Protecting and Enhancing Pollinators in Urban Landscapes for the U.S. North Central Region,” a free 30-page PDF resource they hope will answer nearly every question that gardeners, landscapers and tree care professionals may have about protecting pollinators.

Michigan is a leader in honey production and in many pollination-dependent fruit and vegetable crops. With worldwide concerns about pollinator declines, we’re seeking to raise awareness about their importance and spread the word about what individuals can do to help. MSU Extension provides the latest information on pollinators and pollination including fact sheets from the Smart Gardening Program, webinars, educational seminars, email newsletters and other online resources.

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NACAA awards recognize Extension educators on all levels

Congratulations to our National Association of County Agricultural Agents (NACAA) state, regional and national award winners! The NACAA is a professional Extension organization geared toward agriculture, horticulture, forestry, natural resources, 4-H youth development, community development, administration, aquaculture and Sea Grant educators. The award recipients have been announced and will receive recognition at the Future Annual Meeting and Professional Improvement Conference July 24‒28 in Little Rock, Arkansas. This year, our Michigan State University (MSU) Extension colleagues will take home a large number of awards.

Frank Gublo, MSU Extension educator specializing in sustaining community prosperity and serving in the Thumb region, is a national winner for the 2016 Achievement Award.

James Isleib, MSU Extension educator in crop production and food and animal systems in the Upper Peninsula (U.P.), received the 2016 Distinguished Service Award.

James DeDecker, MSU Extension educator specializing in specialty field crops and bioenergy and serving northeast lower Michigan, is a regional winner in the Audio Recording Award category.

Phillip Durst, MSU Extension senior educator specializing in food and animal systems in northeast and central Michigan, is a state winner in the Computer Generated Graphics Presentation award category and national winner in the Search for Excellence in Farm and Ranch Financial Management category.

Erwin Elsner, MSU Extension small fruit and consumer horticulture educator based in Grand Traverse County, is a national winner in the Fact Sheet category.

Stan Moore, MSU Extension senior dairy educator serving northwest lower Michigan and the eastern U.P., is a state winner in the Feature Story category and national winner in the Personal Column category.

Heidi Wollaeger, MSU Extension educator focusing on horticulture in floriculture and nursery crop production and pest management in southwest Michigan, led a collaboration to submit and win national finalist for the Learning Module, regional winner for the Newsletter and national winner for the Publication categories. Her teammates were Raymond Cloyd from Kansas State University; Roberto Lopez and Erik Runkle, both faculty members from the MSU Department of Horticulture; and David Smitley from the MSU Department of Entomology.

Joanne Davidhizar, MSU Extension educator focused on agriculture, product development and business management, received a regional win for the Program Promotional Piece Award.

Phillip Tocco, MSU Extension educator in food safety and animal systems, was selected as state winner in the Published Photo and Caption category.

Please join me in congratulating all of our award winners!

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Simple but smart

Many people tend their gardens and care for their lawns but not everyone knows how to approach these tasks in an environmentally friendly fashion that can save money. Michigan State University Extension educators and specialists are doing their part to make sure that folks become knowledgeable about earth-friendly, research-based lawn-care and gardening techniques through the Smart Gardening initiative.

MSU Extension Master Gardener volunteer Judy Workman (right) of Oakland County helps a client

MSU Extension Master Gardener volunteer Judy Workman (right) of Oakland County helps a client learn about using native plants in the landscape at the Cottage and Lakefront Living Show in Novi on February, 21, 2013. (Photo: Rebecca Finneran)

According to Extension educator Rebecca Finneran, it all started when MSU professor of entomology David Smitley said to her, “Rebecca, the commercial green industry folks are doing a great job of implementing MSUE research to help be better stewards of the environment but not homeowners ‒ why not?”

Rebecca realized that the message needed to be reinforced with home gardeners. Rebecca and the consumer horticulture team members’ desire to reach home gardeners about getting smart about the environment launched the Smart Gardening initiative. Throughout this campaign, the message of smart gardening comes across in everything they do.

Besides Rebecca and Dr. Smitley, other members of the Smart Gardening team include Bob Bricault, Mallory Fournier, Mary Gerstenberger, Gary Heilig (retired), Hal Hudson, Joy Landis, Carol Lenchek, Beth Stuever, Gretchen Voyle, Linda Whitlock and Mary Wilson.

The team’s directed outreach focuses on three simple messages: smart soils, smart lawns and smart plants. That’s it. Simple but smart.

The smart gardening team along with Master Gardener volunteers got out their smart messages to the public at Ag Expo and at home and garden shows in Novi and Grand Rapids that reached approximately 45,000 people. The educators delivered 16 mini-seminars at the two shows.

MSU Extension horticulture educator Mary Wilson (left) shares gardening expertise

MSU Extension horticulture educator Mary Wilson (left) shares gardening expertise Feb. 21, 2013, at the Cottage and Lakefront Living Show in Novi, Mich. This was just one of a series of 16 Smart Gardening lectures provided by MSU Extension staffers at two public shows in winter 2013. (Photo: Rebecca Finneran)

The Gardening in Michigan website redesign produced the Smart Gardening website where folks could not only access fact sheets and watch videos, but also leave their live questions in an “Ask an Expert” box. The team distributes electronic fact sheets across the state to all of the district coordinators who in turn give them to local leaders such as county commissioners who place them in e-newsletters.

The team and volunteers have had thousands of discussions with clients and have distributed nearly 32,000 Smart Gardening tip sheets. They’ve continuously reinforced the smart gardening message through public outreach, conferences, classes, seminars, media work, websites and day-to-day discussions. And of course, it’s all research-based.

Going forward, the team is collaborating with the Ohio State University Extension to pool resources to create an even stronger impact.

A Smart Gardening Conference will take place Sept. 14 in Marquette. Read more here.

The Smart Gardening initiative connects people to the tools they need to care for their lawns and gardens while protecting the earth and saving money as well.

MSU Extension Master Gardener volunteer Linda Dodge of Kent County directs a client

MSU Extension Master Gardener volunteer Linda Dodge of Kent County directs a client to learn more about reducing the use of phosphorous in her lawn March 1, 2013, at the West Michigan Home and Garden Show in Grand Rapids. (Photo: Rebecca Finneran)

 

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ANR Communications projects receive ACE awards

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

The Michigan State University 4-H Revolution of Responsibility campaign earned a silver award in the category for a marketing communications campaign with a budget of $1,000 or above.

National 4-H launched its Revolution of Responsibility campaign in late 2010 and early 2011. Michigan was one of the first states to adopt the campaign and use it as part of an event in early 2011. Since then, Michigan 4-H has expanded on its use of the Revolution of Responsibility theme, specifically to inform decision-makers at the local, county and state levels of the importance of 4-H programming.

A team in ANR Communications worked together to produce an award-winning campaign.

Communications manager Michelle Lavra developed the overall strategy, came up with the original tone of execution for Michigan’s version of the Revolution of Responsibility campaign, wrote the copy and designed the original fliers, posters and banners, provided photography, sought out stories, wrote video scripts, conducted interviews for videos and wrote some of the print stories.

Technical writer Katie Gervasi wrote print stories; worked on story fliers, marketing fliers and posters; posted Web content and social media; provided photography; handled development, design and production of promotional items; and handled all of the logistics for banner orders, printing and distribution.

Natasha Berryman, a former writer for ANR Communications now an AgBioResearch communications manager, wrote print stories, designed and populated story fliers, posted Web content and social media, and provided photography.

Multimedia production team leader Steve Evans was the producer and videographer for all three videos. He also wrote scripts, did all of the video editing and posted the videos to our YouTube site.

Roses for the Home: Growing Roses in the Midwest (E3157), a revision of Roses for the Home, won a bronze award for a one- to full-color popular publication.

ANR Communications graphic designer Alicia Burnell designed the rose bulletin and Patty Adams edited it.

Mary Wilson, MSU Extension horticulture educator, acted as project coordinator on the effort. Rose expert and MSU Extension Advanced Master Gardener Nancy L. Lindley wrote the bulletin.

Mary; Dr. Bridget Behe, MSU professor of horticulture; Janet Byrne, MSU plant pathology specialist; and Dr. David Smitley, MSU professor of entomology; lent their expertise as reviewers.

Read more about the publication in this June 2012 Spotlight article.

Congratulations on these two award-winning projects!

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A rose bulletin by any other name …

It was a long time in the making, but a revised MSUE rose bulletin is now available from the MSU Extension Bookstore. It was worth the wait. The book is not only beautiful, but also informative.

 Produced by ANR Communications, Roses for the Home: Growing Roses in the Midwest (E3157) is a revision of Roses for the Home (NCR 252). Mary Wilson, MSU Extension horticulture educator, acted as project coordinator on the effort. Rose expert and MSU Extension Advanced Master Gardener Nancy L. Lindley wrote the bulletin.

 Mary; Bridget Behe, MSU professor of horticulture; Janet Byrne, MSU plant pathology specialist; and David Smitley, MSU professor of entomology; lent their expertise as reviewers.

Roses for the Home

 The 32-page rose bulletin will make even the gardener who is hesitant about growing roses confident enough to dig in and get going with the popular perennial. Though the bulletin isn’t as large as a coffee-table book, you’ll want to put it on display due to its colorful photographs. The excellent and practical information and useful diagrams and tables put forth in the book make it a reference that rose gardeners will refer to again and again. Please promote this book in your county offices.

 I’ll add my confession to opting for those super-easy ‘Double Knock Out’ roses as a solution to my desire for blooming roses and my lack of expertise at keeping the things healthy and vibrant. Maybe with this bulletin, I can be brave and branch into varieties that maybe take a bit more attention and knowledge, but also pay off with some incredible eye- and nose-candy in our landscape.

 Order it from the MSU Extension Bookstore at bookstore.msue.msu.edu. At $6, it’s a bargain.

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