Ron Bates, agriculture and agribusiness institute director for Michigan State University (MSU) Extension, sent a great event summary that I would like to share:
MSU Agriculture Innovation Day: Focus on Soils had a very successful inaugural launch August 24 at the Saginaw Valley Research and Extension Center. The planning committee, representing a broad spectrum of Michigan agriculture and MSU Extension faculty and educators, presented a great program that over 430 participants truly appreciated.
The MSU Extension Events Management staff did a tremendous job putting together the logistics for the day, ensuring the event ran smoothly. We were fortunate to have great volunteers from across MSU Extension as well as people from private industry. Our partners in the MSU Land Management Office provided important logistics assistance along with set-up and clean-up.
The terrific speakers for Focus on Soils provided important content along with ways to use their information in practice. Featuring U.S. Rep. Dan Kildee and President Lou Anna K. Simon along with Dean Ron Hendrick, Dr. Doug Buhler and Dr. Jeff Dwyer for the lunch program was very well received.
A special feature of the lunch program honored the McCray family for 50 years of variety trial collaboration with MSU.
The event was successful due to the tremendous collaboration across our many partners.
I couldn’t have said it better myself. I was delighted to attend the event and would like to send a huge “thank you” out to the Events Management team, the presenters, MSU and Extension staff members, the volunteers and all of the participants for a successful launch!
Last week I had the privilege of attending the MSU Extension Reception for our Distinguished Academic Staff Award recipients: Phil Durst, Terry Gibb and Kurt Schindler. As I mentioned in an earlier blog post, this year Extension cleaned house, taking home three of the four DAS awards given. It was great to come together with our award winners, their families and colleagues to celebrate at the Kellogg Center.
Group photo with our MSU Extension award recipients. Left to right: Jeff Dwyer, Kurt Schindler, Terry Gibb, Phillip Durst, Patrick Cudney. Photo courtesy of ANR Communications.
It was such a privilege to be able to get to know more about our distinguished colleagues and their outstanding work.
As I promised in the January 2016 issue of Spotlight, here is the link to the Michigan State University news release highlighting our award winners’ accomplishments:
2016 Distinguished Academic Staff Awards
As I listened to each nominator speak about Phil, Terry and Kurt, I realized how much Extension staff members rely on each other and how important mentoring is in this organization.
I would like to thank Betsy Braid, Megghan Honke Seidel and the rest of our Events Management team, and Terri Badgley for a great event. I would also like to express my gratitude again to Phil, Terry and Kurt for their outstanding service.
As this is my last Spotlight, I thought I would spend a little time reviewing all that we (meaning ALL of us – and especially you) have accomplished in the last year or so. At the 2014 Fall Extension Conference, we set out to make some adjustments in Michigan State University Extension that we felt would help improve the organization. We set up a series of committees and task forces including strategic connections, issue identification, MI PRS (Michigan Extension Planning and Reporting System) improvement, mentoring and several more. It was great to see how many of you engaged in these committees and proved without a doubt how much you care for MSUE. I was also really pleased to see very thoughtful work that each of the teams in each institute put into strategic and staffing plans. These forward-looking documents, along with the information gathered through issue ID, will help guide MSUE toward that more “colorful future” that interim director Maggie Bethel asked us to move toward in fall 2014. As we have talked about, teams are an important part of MSUE and that is how we “get things done.”
One team that has proven to be invaluable to me has been the administrative team that also consists of the institute directors, district coordinators, and budget and human resources leadership, along with associate director of operations Patrick Cudney and me.. I can’t thank them enough for all of the work that they do on behalf of MSUE. Patrick, in particular, has been invaluable in helping me navigate through the many issues that face the Director’s Office and the organization.
Equally important has been the outstanding support that I have received from Terri Badgley, Julie Delgado and Katie Nicpon – the folks that really run the Director’s Office. Just saying thank you very much hardly approaches the deep appreciation I have for all that they have done for me. These three folks also provide a warm and welcoming atmosphere for all who visit the office here in the Morrill Hall of Agriculture – and this is the sense of welcome that radiates throughout all of MSUE.
It has been a real privilege to serve MSUE over the last 18 months, and this time has been one of the most rewarding of my 35-year career at MSU. I have greatly enjoyed getting to know more of you and learning more about what MSUE does across the state. I also know that I leave you in very good hands with the new interim director Jeff Dwyer, Patrick and the entire administrative team.
As I look ahead, what I see for MSUE is perhaps best paraphrased from a Timbuk3 song – “MSUE’s future’s so bright, we gotta wear shades.” Best wishes for the future and thanks for all of your great work!