To promote personal financial management for everyday consumers, the Federal Reserve Bank created Money Smart Week. During this week, organizations collaborate together to offer free educational programming for people no matter their incomes or demographics. This year, between April 20 and April 28, the MSU Extension Kalamazoo County team of Leatta Byrd, Krystal Avila, Stonia Hunter and Cathy Drew partnered with various organizations such as the Kalamazoo Probation Enhancement Program (KPEP), Ministry with Community, Kalamazoo Regional Educational Service Agency, the Salvation Army and Borgess Medical Center.
Last month, financial educators partnered with the nutrition instructors in Kalamazoo to provide education on how to make a healthy lifestyle affordable for everyone. Along with the pros of maintaining a healthy lifestyle, participants were taught the tools of budgeting and price tracking. They were given recommendations to lower food costs. Some events were offered in both English and Spanish.
Stonia Hunter taught nine participants nutrition and food budgeting at the KPEP on April 28. Krystal Avila reached eight participants with Eat Healthy, Be Active at Ministry with Community on April 20. Later that evening, Krystal presented Healthy Foods, Healthy Families in English and Spanish to nine participants at the Salvation Army. Leatta Byrd taught four participants through Eat Smart‒Spend Less April 26 at the Borgess Medical Center.
MSU Extension nutrition education programs aim to improve the knowledge, skills, attitudes and behavior of how individuals view nutrition. Through promotion, planning and delivery, staff members work with diverse audiences at a local, county and state level to help implement everyday changes to individuals and family diets for an increased nutritional well-being.
Making improvements in your financial situation can be time consuming and difficult. If you have questions or you would like to ask an expert, Michigan State University Extension has access to many resources. Visit the MiMoneyHealth page for more information and answers to your questions.
In a recent Spotlight article, I let you know that Breakfast on the Farm (BOTF) is entering its fourth season this year. BOTF is a popular event that attracts Michigan residents who want to learn more about how a farm operates, have a delicious down-on-the-farm breakfast and just enjoy a Saturday with family or friends.
The first BOTF took place in Clinton County in 2009. This Michigan State University Extension program guided by a statewide advisory council has held 13 events from 2009 through 2011. This year, eight events will take place in eight counties.
The first 2012 BOTF occurred June 16 at Myers Farms LLC near Scotts in Kalamazoo County, the first time the event took place in southwestern Michigan. Despite the more than 90-degree heat, 2,430 visitors from 71 cities and 8 states got a firsthand look at how farmers care for the environment and their animals, and how they produce a safe, wholesome food supply. Nearly 50 percent of those who completed surveys stated this was the first time they had visited a working dairy farm in at least the past 20 years. Many were impressed with the cleanliness of the operation.
Jackson County’s first Breakfast on the Farm took place June 23 at Choate’s Belly Acres near Cement City. This BOTF set a new attendance record of 2,658 attendees. Long lines did not dampen the interest of the visitors who came to enjoy the pancakes, sausage, eggs, applesauce and yogurt breakfast, and to learn from the more than 200 volunteers about modern agriculture. This family farm uses technology in their dairy and cropping system. The majority of those completing surveys said the event increased their knowledge and changed their perceptions about modern food production, including how farmers care for the environment, how they treat their animals and how they provide comfortable housing for them. They also reported that their participation increased the likelihood that they will purchase Michigan products and increased their trust in milk as a safe food.
MSU Extension agriculture literacy educators Nancy Thelen and Mary Dunckel would like to thank all of the Extension educators, specialists and district coordinators who’ve assisted or will assist in BOTF and the generous statewide and local sponsors and many local volunteers who make the events possible. They say local planning committees are the key to implementing each breakfast.
Enjoy a visit to the Goma Dairy in Sanilac County on July 21 or check the schedule for a BOTF near you.