Tag Archives: grants

Teaching wellness online with grant from NIFA

Dawn Earnesty, one of our educators for Michigan State University Extension in the Health and Nutrition Institute, took the lead in creating an online nutrition education course called My Way to Wellness. On August 18, Dr. Jean Kerver, a specialist within the Health and Nutrition Institute, received news that our multilevel approach to worksite wellness would be receiving funds ($147,000) from NIFA, as part of the Rural Health and Safety Education Competitive Grants Program.

If you haven’t heard about it already, My Way to Wellness is an opportunity for individuals to learn through self-paced learning modules that include the following subjects: personal goal-setting, nutritional needs and physical activity, building a healthy MyPlate, energy, picking the best portions, healthy habits for a healthy life and more. Although a healthy lifestyle is important for those of any age, making positive choices in terms of health and fitness as adults is crucial in determining many factors. Eating well reduces the risk of chronic disease, promotes energy and ultimately affects an individual’s weight and the way he or she feels.

Because the My Way to Wellness course is offered online, it is easy to accommodate to any schedule. Participants can complete the program at ease in the comfort of their own homes or in personal settings.

The convenience and accessibility of the program made it a prime candidate for the Rural Health and Safety Education Competitive Grants Program. This fills a serious need because, according to the USDA, “Many individuals and families living in rural areas and communities experience disparities related to health and well-being…the opportunity to receive health information, or engage in health promotion activities is often limited…” This program will provide easily accessible, research-based information to those constituents.

The grant will provide an opportunity to provide a comprehensive worksite health promotion program with a personalized online component for individual Shiawassee County school district employees using resources developed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and MSU Extension.

Reaching our audiences where they are has always been a goal of MSU Extension, and it’s exciting to see our educators get additional resources to help them do that.

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USDA grant allows research of effects of grassland harvest on insect pollinators

Rufus Isaacs and Doug Landis, both Michigan State University entomology professors who have MSU Extension and AgBioResearch appointments, have received a U.S. Department of Agriculture grant to study the effects of grassland harvest on pollinator populations.

The research team is seeking landowners and managers to assist with the project this fall. Appropriate sites include those in southern Michigan with at least 10 acres of grassland that will be mown, not mown or mown leaving a 10 percent refuge strip. Landowners can keep the forage. The team will sample the fields for two seasons for bees.

The project will investigate ways to manage grasslands with minimal damage to insect pollinators.

The team will connect with Extension educators and specialists as the results of the research become available.

Read more here.

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$185k in 23 days

Dr. Julie Chapin, director of the Children and Youth Institute, received notification yesterday that MSU Extension is being awarded a grant for $185,000 from the New York Life Foundation (NYLF) and the National 4-H Council. The grant is part of the Metro Youth in Governance Project funded by NYLF, intended to start new 4-H clubs in the Detroit area, expand the number of youth from underserved neighborhoods in community engagement activities, increase the number of volunteers working with youth in metro Detroit and provide opportunities for youth from these clubs to participate in the Citizenship Washington Focus program at the National 4-H Conference Center. Detroit is one of four cities to receive this funding.

 We always welcome grants that help us achieve our goal of expanding the number of youth we serve, and this one is no exception. What is really remarkable about it to me is that we learned about the opportunity on May 23. The grant was due by June 13, three weeks after we first learned of the opportunity. Dr. Chapin was notified that the grant had been awarded to us late yesterday, June 15. So in the course of 23 days, Dr. Chapin and the team from District 11, consisting of Sandra Griffin, Laurie Rivetto and Tom Schneider, pulled this proposal together and were successful in taking advantage of this opportunity. Cheryl Howell, executive director of the Michigan 4-H Foundation, provided critical assistance in pulling together the proposal as well. The past 23 days haven’t exactly been calm and bucolic around MSU Extension, so this team’s ability to focus and put their best work forward on very short notice is remarkable. As to their success – a nice final endorsement to what we already knew about our team.

 Thanks to the entire team who responded so quickly and so well to this great opportunity and for helping to show how MSUE is ready to respond quickly to ensure that we’re bringing resources to bear on Michigan’s critical needs.




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Filed under 4-H

Sign up now for writing grants workshop

Tomorrow is the last chance for Michigan State University Extension educators to sign up for the “Write Winning Grants” workshop sponsored by the Michigan Agricultural Experiment Station. The daylong event takes place on Jan. 6 on the MSU campus. The cost is $90. If you are interested, you can sign up at http://www.maes.msu.edu/news/grantwrite_jan2011.htm. Available seats are going quickly.

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4-H club receives garden mini-grant

Michelle Dekuiper, Michigan State University Extension Mason County 4-H program associate, would like me to mention the accomplishments of the Color Me a Rainbow 4-H Club. Led by club leaders, Diane McCallum and Vicki Marie, the group received a garden mini-grant from the Mason 4-H Advisory Council from funds donated by the Mason County Garden Club. Money from the grant allowed the club members to attend the Environmental and Outdoor Education, Plant Science and Entomology Workshop at Kettunen Center this year. The hands-on opportunity to explore plant- and insect-related topics meant that club members came away excited as well as educated about gardening.

 During club meetings, each club member planted three different herbs in peat moss in a coconut-fiber hanging basket. By using the container-gardening method, members demonstrated that you do not need a large area to grow plants, and that drainage and make-up of the soil can offer different options for container gardening. With the new skills they learned, the 4-H’ers will now be able to cultivate plants that they can eat, use in cooking or use for craft projects.

 The club members displayed their gardens and recipes at a craft booth at the Western Michigan Fair.

Color Me a Rainbow Fair Booth

The Color Me a Rainbow 4-H Club booth at the Western Michigan Fair

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MSUE 4-H and partners use grant to develop leaders in racial healing

The staff of Michigan State University Extension (MSUE) are experts at working with partners to obtain results that benefit individual youth and ultimately the entire community. The W.K. Kellogg Foundation launched a five-year, $75 million initiative, “America Healing,” that aims to improve life outcomes for vulnerable children and their families by promoting racial healing and eliminating barriers to opportunities. Sherry Grice, MSUE Calhoun County 4-H educator, was approached by the Albion Community Foundation director to assist in pursuing the W.K. Kellogg initiative with a grant proposal. The foundation called on Sherry to provide the leadership with Substance Abuse Prevention Services within the Albion community for the next three years if they were successful in obtaining the grant. Albion Community Foundation in partnership with Calhoun County MSUE 4-H Youth Development and Substance Abuse Prevention Services received a $120,000 grant for racial healing in the Albion community as part of W.K. Kellogg Foundation’s $75 million effort. The community partnership proposal was one of 119 chosen from among 925 grant proposals from across the nation

 Albion’s “America Healing” initiative will focus on developing the leadership skills of local youth as they examine the root causes of racial issues that they face. The youth will use a racial healing approach to develop solutions for the problems they experience. Youth will participate in key programming such as Folkpatterns, a cultural-heritage project; 4-H Exploration Days, a pre-college program that exposes young people to diversity from across the state; and PeaceJam Programs. PeaceJam involves a two-day workshop at Western Michigan University in which the youth work with a Nobel Peace Laureate on social justice issues. The youth then take what they have learned and implement a community service-learning project in their community.

 Hats off to Sherry for the terrific work that she and the youth are doing in Calhoun County.

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MSUE Kalamazoo County’s BFI program awarded grant

Michigan State University Extension educator Leatta Byrd, M.A., R.D., recently submitted a grant proposal on behalf of the Kalamazoo County Breastfeeding Initiative (BFI) Program to Western Michigan University’s (WMU) Non-profit Leadership Program, WMU Students4Giving, which is part of the School of Public Affairs and Administration, American Humanities program. A $3,000 grant was awarded to Kalamazoo County’s BFI to purchase breast pumps for the BFI breast pump loan program for participating mothers. MSUE folks are notorious for finding opportunities to bring resources to support our programs – Leatta’s continued the tradition. Thanks, Leatta!

Leatta Byrd holds grant check to Kalamazoo County MSUE

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MSUE awarded DNRE grant

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources and Environment (DNRE) announced that Coastal Zone Management grants totaling $174,000 were awarded for eight separate projects in the Saginaw Bay Area. Among the grants was a $42,000 award to Michigan State University Extension for the Michigan Natural Features Inventory project. This project will identify and map coastal areas of the Saginaw Bay that are important to the migration of waterfowl and shorebirds. Mapping these areas in advance will help determine where future wind energy projects might be located to avoid bird impacts. Funding for this grant program was provided by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration through the DNRE’s Coastal Management Program.

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Filed under grants, natural resources

Check out the competitive grants opportunities at USDA

The official United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) Request for Applications (RFA) was released as scheduled on Monday this week. You can find the listing of all seven RFAs at the NIFA grants Web site. Dr. Roger Beachy, director of NIFA, presented a webinar on the grant opportunities on Tuesday this week, and a recording is available at NIFA’s news Web site. In addition, there will be a series of webinars (not yet scheduled) available through NIFA to provide more information on each specific program area.

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Grant will help find future of wind energy in Michigan

Thanks to a grant from the Michigan Department of Energy, Labor & Economic Growth (DELEG), Michigan residents may have more wind energy options in the future. DELEG recently awarded $83,000 to Steve Harsh’s wind energy team to fund the installation of anemometers on five tall towers in Michigan. The anemometers will accurately measure wind speeds at three heights, allowing MSU to assess Michigan’s wind energy potential and encourage development of renewable wind energy.
“Wind energy is a valuable resource that we’re anxious to tap,” said Gov. Jennifer Granholm in a press release. “This project will support our efforts to build a vibrant wind energy industry in Michigan, further diversifying our economy and creating good-paying jobs for Michigan workers.”

Harsh, MSU Extension specialist and principal investigator on the project, says the project is important because most publicly-available wind speed data was gathered at relatively low heights. Most commercial wind turbines are 70 to 100 meters tall, therefore Michigan needs tall tower wind speed data to accurately measure and map the state’s wind energy potential.  

Harsh will use the new information to create a validated 100-meter wind power map for Michigan, allowing the state to identify and promote those areas best suited for wind power development. Data collected in other Midwest states indicates current Michigan wind speed measurements may underestimate the state’s wind energy potential. 

The grant may help energy producers determine the areas where more power-generating wind turbines can be built.

Data will be collected in Gratiot, Delta, Antrim, Mason and Hillsdale Counties. Harsh has been collecting data from a tower in Berrien County since April 2009. Data will be posted online to make it available to the public and interested parties.

This is a great illustration of what we mean by “Greening Michigan” as one of our statewide programs in our redesign of MSUE.

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Filed under Agriculture, Economic development, Funding, Land use, Resources