Tag Archives: julie chapin

Joining 4-H and Alumni at the MSU Women’s Basketball Game

More than 4,500 4-H youth, their families, and Michigan State University (MSU) Extension staff members and their families attended the MSU Women’s Basketball game Jan. 22.

For the first time, Michigan 4-H alumni and the Michigan 4-H Foundation also hosted an event for 4-H alumni. More than 60 people from across the state attended the event and enjoyed food, coloring for kids, games, a Spartan Selfie Station, a visit from Sparty and general networking. We hope this is the first of many successful alumni events.

At halftime, 4-H’ers from Ingham, Macomb, Oakland and Saginaw counties made their way to the court. They were joined by Patrick Cudney, associate director of MSU Extension, and Julie Chapin, Children and Youth Institute director, as they proudly led the 4-H pledge:

I pledge my head to clearer thinking,
my heart to greater loyalty,
my hands to larger service,
and my health to better living,
for my club, my community, my country and my world.

Youth stand on the court with Julie Chapin and Patrick Cudney and lead the pledge.

Youth from Ingham, Macomb, Oakland and Saginaw counties lead the 4-H pledge with Julie Chapin and Patrick Cudney.

Thank you to everyone who came together to make the alumni event and the 4-H Day at the Breslin so successful!

Comments Off on Joining 4-H and Alumni at the MSU Women’s Basketball Game

Filed under 4-H, Children and Youth

Michigan 4-H youth lead volunteer projects across the state

During the weekend of April 15-17, members of the Michigan 4-H State Youth Leadership Council (SYLC) led, organized and supported six service projects throughout Michigan for several days of national service. The SYLC is a group of outstanding Michigan 4-H teens who promote 4-H throughout the state and provide a youth perspective on the development of various state 4-H programs.

The projects included:

  • A tree-planting event at the Comden Towle Model Forest in Montcalm County. Nearly 40 4-H youth, parents and volunteers from Montcalm and Mecosta counties planted 250 white spruce trees.
  • An agricultural awareness event at an elementary school in Oakland County.
  • A 4-H booth at the Michigan State University (MSU) College of Agriculture and Natural Resources Small Animals Day in East Lansing. At the booth, event attendees created coloring pages that were donated to C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital.
  • A cleanup of the Emmet County Fairgrounds. Fourteen 4-H’ers came together to pick up the grandstands and horse arena in preparation for summer events.
  • A gardening education program for fourth grade students in Oceana County. Students potted a vegetable plant, learned about gardening and were encouraged to donate their vegetable crops to local food donation programs.
  • A book drive to benefit children in Flint. Books were collected through May 16 to be donated to programs serving Flint children as reading has been identified as a way to combat the negative effects of lead contamination.

“We are so proud of both the Michigan 4-H members who planned these service projects and those who gave their time and service to help,” said Julie Chapin, state leader for the MSU Extension Michigan 4-H program. “They’re all a great example of the kind of true leaders we’re growing in 4-H: youth who lend a hand where it is needed, who find solutions to local problems and who have the skills to lead, both in their communities and at the state level.”

Would you like to read more about this event? Take a look at this article by Jamie Wilson of MSU Extension Communications to learn more.

Comments Off on Michigan 4-H youth lead volunteer projects across the state

Filed under 4-H, Children and Youth, Volunteerism

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!

Comments Off on Michigan State Fair a huge success for Extension and the CANR

Filed under fair

We need your help promoting the MSUE Issue ID Survey

We need assistance from all Michigan State University (MSU) Extension staff to help promote our online Issue Identification Survey scheduled to launch Sept. 14. The survey, which will remain open until Nov. 14, is designed to collect input from Michigan residents 18 years and older. This input will be used to shape future MSU Extension educational programming and MSU AgBioResearch research. This survey is not designed for staff to fill out, but you will have several opportunities to give input into the process including a chance to review the information collected from the survey participants in your work groups to shape future work plans. Now, however, we need everyone’s help to promote the survey.

Agriculture and Natural Resources (ANR) Communications will promote the survey online through the MSU Extension website on our homepage, on county pages, through digests and in general throughout our Web presence. ANR Communications will also seek press coverage and will look for other media opportunities to gain coverage for the survey. However, press releases distributed from local MSU Extension offices have a better chance of being printed in local newspapers. That’s why we need all MSU Extension staff to begin planning to distribute press releases to local print and broadcast media. Also, post information on locally controlled county Web pages and on social media such as Facebook and Twitter. In addition, promote the survey to program participants 18 years and older at meetings, events and programs; print the link on agendas and programs; and consider passing out business or index cards with the link information in the office, at meetings or during programs.

To assist in your promotion efforts, ANR Communications will produce templates for print, broadcast and social media that you can use to help promote the survey. These will be sent out to staff members in the coming weeks along with the Web address for the survey.

Unfortunately, youth under the age of 18 cannot fill out the survey due to regulations related to parental approval with online survey taking. However, MSU Extension does value youth input and district coordinators are encouraged to invite youth to the district focus group sessions. The Issue Identification Task Force will also be working with Dr. Julie Chapin and the Children and Youth Institute work teams to ensure youth are engaged in the work group and team portion of the process in early 2016.

We want good survey return rates! To produce a survey report for each county we need a viable sample, which means at least 30 surveys from that county. Of course, we want many more than 30 per county, but we need at least that for any one county. We ask educators and district coordinators to promote the survey in all the counties they serve. A survey report website has been created that will allow district coordinators and others to monitor the survey numbers and pull county specific reports after the minimum number of surveys are reached. Once the survey is closed, this survey report website will be open to staff as well.

In addition to your promoting the survey and creating awareness in the community, we’ve created incentives. People who complete the survey can register for a drawing to win one of three prizes: first prize ‒ two tickets to an MSU Men’s Basketball game; second prize ‒ a basket of Michigan products; and third prize ‒ a $75 gift certificate to www.shop.msu.edu.

Please do your part to help us make our Issue Identification Survey a success!

Comments Off on We need your help promoting the MSUE Issue ID Survey

Filed under issue identification

Action teams are gearing up to work

After the “Building a Colorful Future” presentation at the 2014 Fall Extension Conference, Margaret Bethel, Patrick Cudney and I decided to create three action teams that would convene in 2015. During the postpresentation discussion at the conference and in the months since, Michigan State University Extension staff have made some great suggestions about where the organization could grow. With your help, we’re well on our way toward implementing many of those suggestions. Members of the action teams have been named, and all three teams will have their first meetings in the next few months.

  • Strategic Connections & Communications Team – Patrick Cudney is chairing this team, which will meet February 6. They will determine the best practices for strategic communications for MSU Extension employees, update existing communications tools and develop new ones to help us all build and maintain our strategic connections.
  • Issues Identification Team – Chair Maggie Bethel will convene this team on February 23. They will work to frame the issue identification process that we will use with the district councils in the future. The process will help us pinpoint the issues that are important to the communities we serve and identify how MSU Extension can be involved in addressing them.
  • Team Member Accountability and Performance Feedback Team – Julie Chapin is chairing this team, which will meet in April. They will work to improve our performance review structure and will discuss the role peer feedback should play in those reviews.

We will keep you up to date on the teams’ progress over time. Thank you again to everyone who has provided feedback and support with this process!

Comments Off on Action teams are gearing up to work

Filed under Fall Extension Conference

Agriculture and Agribusiness Institute candidates to address question in public seminars

The search committee for the new Agriculture and Agribusiness (AABI) director, which includes Julie Chapin, Chris DiFonzo, Tom Guthrie, Mike Krauch, Dennis Pennington and search chair Jim Kells, has announced that the search has narrowed to two exceptional candidates: Dr. Ron Bates and Dr. Larry Gut.

As part of the selection process, the two candidates have been asked to address the following question in a 30- to 40-minute public seminar: “Share your vision for AABI and the strategy for implementing that vision.”

The schedule for the public seminars follows:

Monday, January 26
Dr. Larry Gut
10-11 a.m.: Public Seminar ‒ “The MSU Extension Agriculture and Agribusiness Institute in 2020 and How We Will Get There” (Auditorium, MSU Pavilion)
11-11:45 a.m.: Open Roundtable (Classroom A, MSU Pavilion)

Tuesday, February 3
Dr. Ron Bates
10-11 a.m.: Public Seminar ‒ “Making Our Best Better, Driving Progress in Michigan Agriculture” (Auditorium, MSU Pavilion)
11-11:45 a.m.: Open Roundtable (Classroom A, MSU Pavilion)

Feedback from all who attend the presentations at the MSU Pavilion and those who watch the recorded video presentations will be sought and appreciated. Please RSVP to attend the seminar.

Comments Off on Agriculture and Agribusiness Institute candidates to address question in public seminars

Filed under Agriculture, Agriculture and Agribusiness

Kudos and suggestions from the civil rights auditors

As you know, Michigan State University Extension recently took part in a U. S. Department of Agriculture civil rights audit. They occur once every four or five years. I’ve been involved in four of these – twice as a regional director and now twice as director of Extension – the last time was in 2004.

I’m very proud of the work we are doing to demographically reach target audiences. We are reaching the audiences in close demographic comparison in categories of race and gender. You may be surprised by some of the data. For example, of youth participants in the Children and Youth Institute, only 9 percent live on farms. This differs from the popular perception that 4-H only serves farm youth. The data shows that we meet people where the need is great with health and nutrition information as well as financial and money management.

The auditors were thrilled with the way we presented the data. I’d like to thank the many staff involved in helping to gather the data and put it into an understandable format. They include Nancy Axtell, Jessica Nakfour, Jean Schueller, Bruce Haas, Cheryl Peters, Olga Santiago, Kathy Raphael, Mary Wilson, Gloria Ellerhorst, Emily Proctor, Christi Sovis, Doug Brinklow, Michelle Lavra, Marian Reiter, Beth Stuever, Julie Chapin, Dave Ivan, Dawn Contreras, Paul Putnam, Jim Lucas, Pat Cudney, Kelley Hiemstra, Michael Krauch, Shari Spoelman, Don Lehman, Betty Blase, Deanna East, Joe Bixler, Marie Ruemenapp, Matt Shane and Ginger Hentz. Without your hard work for months in advance of this review, we could not have done it.

The auditors took all of that data and examined it. They also went out into the field to get more information from you. They were pleased with everyone’s availability to meet with the reviewers and with the helpfulness of the staff in giving them access to our information – as I am!

They combined the data and the information to give us feedback on a few things we can work on.

In working with people, we need to diversify our overall employment makeup throughout the organization as well as work to integrate and diversify membership within 4-H clubs and broaden the programming we’re doing with female farm operators. We need to expand our nutrition programming to include demonstrated outreach with other agencies.

Consistency is something that came up in several areas. We need to be consistent in demonstrating the work we do in each county through data, and train staff in the method for collecting that data. We need to update our race/ethnicity/gender data collection forms to include the recommended way to collect race and ethnicity data. We need to use the statement concerning accommodations consistently and ensure consistency with regard to civil rights training.

We need to ensure that brochures and other promotional pieces have pictorial displays of diverse populations. I know this is something that we’ve strived to do and we will continue to focus on it.

In addition, we need to revise our Civil Rights Plan and education to include the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act as amended.

The auditors had many good things to say about our accomplishments. They praised our work with Tribal Communities as well as the work we’re doing with prisons. They believe that our work translating program documents and brochures and making them available in Spanish, Arabic and Braille is outstanding. They haven’t seen as much of that in other states. They believe we have great outreach through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program – Education (SNAP-ED) and the Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program (EFNEP). They believe we have strong nutrition programming at the grass roots level.

Please be sure to review the August 4 MSU Extension webinar to view the charts and graphs that we put together for the audit. Viewing them will help you get a better picture of where we stand in our efforts. We’ve worked hard to pull together a lot of information for the audit. This information is not just something that was used for the audits; we can also use this information in many other ways. View the webinar here: https://connect.msu.edu/p4bz0fut3rj/

Also, please keep checking back to the MSU Extension Civil Rights site for additional materials that will be added: http://od.msue.msu.edu/civil_rights_diversity_multiculturalism.

Once again, thank you, everyone, for all of your hard work in making the USDA audit a powerful learning experience for all of us!

Comments Off on Kudos and suggestions from the civil rights auditors

Filed under Uncategorized