Tag Archives: kathe hale

Michigan Fresh has even more to offer

In a March 27 Spotlight, I mentioned how our Michigan State University Extension Michigan Fresh program educates on fruits, vegetables, flowers and ornamentals as well as food safety, food storage, food preservation and gardening. In addition to this long list of important subjects, the Michigan Fresh work team is also busy on many other projects.

Extension educator Eileen Haraminac took over the coordination of the Michigan Fresh team upon Kathe Hale’s retirement.

Extension educator Joyce McGarry is busy heading up new fact sheet development. The team consists of Mary Dunckel, Michelle Jarvie, Ronald E. Kinnunen, Amanda Knox, Laurie Messing, Jeannie Nichols, Jeannine Schweihofer and Rob Weber. Team members arecompiling information on meats: pork, lamb, poultry, beef and fish. In the future, they will compile information for fact sheets on dairy products. Michigan Fresh fact sheets have been available at many of the farmers markets throughout the state as well as online. The fact sheets are also available in Arabic and Spanish. Find them on the Michigan Fresh website: http://msue.anr.msu.edu/program/info/mi_fresh

Other future fact sheets will focus on Michigan chestnuts (Erin Lizotte, Extension educator in the Agriculture and Agribusiness Institute) and growing hops (Greening Michigan Institute Extension educator Rob Sirrine).

Extension program instructor Stephanie Bruno heads up the team that’s developing recipe cards. The team consists of Jennifer Berkey, Becky Henne and Connie Kurple. These new recipe cards will be distributed at several farmers markets to encourage consumers to purchase Michigan-grown food to use as simple ingredients.

 Kristine Hahn and Eileen Haraminac as well as Sean Corp and other MSU Agriculture and Natural Resources (ANR) Communications staff are collaborating with the Eastern Market Corporation to promote a new product ‒ Michigan Fresh Frozen fruits and vegetables. The group is working on recipe cards to be distributed at Detroit Eastern Market and through the Peaches & Greens mobile produce trucks. The cards will promote both the Michigan Fresh program and the new Eastern Market Corporation Michigan Fresh Frozen products.

Eileen said, “We want to encourage people to choose nutrient-packed frozen fruits and vegetables when fresh are unavailable. Fruits and vegetables chosen for freezing are processed at their peak ripeness ‒ time when, as a general rule, they are most nutrient packed.

Extension associate program leader Becky Henne heads up the social media team. Team members are busy working to build a smartphone app and to develop additional videos. They hope to have the app ready to roll out for the 2015 season. This group is working with Dr. Dru Montri, executive director of Michigan Farmers Market Association; Colleen Matts, farm to institution outreach specialist with the MSU Center for Regional Food Systems; and Dr. Norm Lownds, curator of the 4-H Children’s Garden. Additional team members from both the Health and Nutrition Institute and the Greening Michigan Institute include Julie Darnton, Joanne Davidhizar, Dawn Earnesty, Kristine Hahn, Sheilah Hebert, Maggie Kantola and Kendra Wills.

Dr. Cheryl Peters, Maggie Kantola and Kendra Wills have been working with the Michigan Fresh team to develop a common evaluation tool for Michigan Fresh cooking demonstrations offered at the Detroit Eastern Market and the Grand Rapids Downtown Market. These cooking demonstrations benefit the promotion of the Michigan Fresh fact sheets and videos. The free, public demonstrations are designed to inspire people to purchase and consume more Michigan-grown fruits and vegetables. The evaluation tool will gather information from cooking demonstration observers. Recipes used in the cooking demonstrations come from the Michigan Fresh fact sheets and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

With coordination from Extension educator Terry McLean, MSU Extension will staff a kiosk at the Flint Farmers Market this spring.

Michigan Fresh is a great collaboration not only between our own institutes but between local organizations and farmers markets as well.

If you are interested in promoting the Michigan Fresh campaign materials at your community farmers market, please contact Eileen Haraminac (haramin2@anr.msu.edu) for more information.

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What’s new with Michigan Fresh?

Can Michigan Fresh get any fresher? Apparently so. The Michigan State University Extension program that helps people explore the state’s fresh locally grown fruits, vegetables, flowers and ornamentals has updated its website with a fresh new look.

The program, which involves MSU Extension staff members collaborating across institutes, launched May 1, 2012. Back then, we offered three Michigan Fresh fact sheets – on asparagus, rhubarb and starting seeds. Today, we offer nine fact sheets on fruit, 31 on vegetables, nine on general gardening tips and three on food preservation. In addition, we’ve produced five fact sheets in Spanish. Extension educators write the facts sheets designed by Alicia Burnell, Agriculture and Natural Resources (ANR) Communications graphics artist.

We’ve been promoting the fact sheets and the Michigan Fresh program at the Detroit Eastern Market, the Grand Rapids Downtown Market and across Michigan.

We have a new Michigan Fresh flier that explains the program and lists the fact sheets available. It gives some interesting facts about our great state. For example, did you know that Michigan is the leading producer of dry beans and several varieties of annual flowers including geraniums, petunias and Easter lilies? And we’re No. 1 in the nation in production of blueberries, cucumbers for pickles, Niagara grapes and tart cherries. Check out the flier for more Michigan facts as related to food and agriculture.

The Michigan Availability Guide lets us know when to buy fresh locally grown fruits and vegetables.

So fresh we’re still working on putting it up on the Michigan Fresh website, a new Michigan Fresh fact sheet gives fresh produce donation guidelines for gardeners. Authors and Extension educators Kathe Hale of the Greening Michigan Institute and Eileen Haraminac of the Health and Nutrition Institute let us know helpful tips for donating that extra zucchini to food banks and pantries.

In addition, Steve Evans, ANR Communications multimedia production team leader, produced all of the Michigan Fresh videos starring MSU Extension educators and program instructors. Watch them for some great recipes and tips on cooking Michigan produce. In this week’s featured video, Extension nutrition program instructor Maggie Kantola focuses on kale.

Kathe Hale coordinates the Michigan Fresh program. Visit the updated Michigan Fresh website at http://msue.anr.msu.edu/program/info/mi_fresh.

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New ‘Michigan Fresh’ initiative starting to take root

I am excited and proud to spotlight the “Michigan Fresh” initiative, which launched May 1 and continues through October.

I am excited because it is a model for how Michigan State University Extension needs to approach issues in the 21st century – knocking down the silos to collaborate across institutes in important areas, meeting the needs of residents throughout the state both in person and via online channels, and spreading the message through a variety of media and technological outlets.

And I am proud because it is a truly collaborative effort involving members across institutes working together to share their expertise on an important topic – healthy, fresh foods.

Dr. Steve Lovejoy gave a terrific rundown of the program during our Director’s Update on May 7 (starting around the 40-minute mark), which everyone should watch if they were unable to participate in the live presentation. Michigan Fresh focuses on the healthfulness of fresh products. It will educate Michigan residents on tending a home garden and getting more bang for their bucks by growing their own vegetables and reducing spoilage.

Extension educator Kathe Hale sees the benefits of working across institutes.

“I think this has been great because we each come from a different background. Seeing the strengths of all the different people around the table and being able to come together on one project has been awesome,” she said.

Currently, we’ve released fact sheets on asparagus, rhubarb and starting seeds. Each week we’ll feature a new product or theme. We are also pushing this information out to a variety of venues, including Eastern Market in Wayne County where we will have a kiosk with the fact sheets available.

“The goal for Eastern Market is to have a team of individuals on hand at farmers markets to be sharing those weekly fact sheets but also nonfood fact sheets that are about lawn care, fertilizing, and caring for your bedding plants,” said Kathe.

Some of the key people involved in the project include Hal Hudson and Mary Wilson of the Agriculture and Agribusiness Institute; Eileen Haraminac, Jeannie Nichols and Beth Waitrovich of the Health and Nutrition Institute; and Kathe Hale and Terry McLean of the Greening Michigan Institute.

County offices can order copies of Michigan Fresh fact sheets through the MSU Extension bookstore.

Find fact sheets in PDF format on the Michigan Fresh Web page at msue.anr.msu.edu/programs/mi_fresh.

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Macomb County “farm to fork” conference exceeds expectations

“We hit this one out of the ballpark!”

 Those were Michigan State University Extension educator Kathe Hale’s words describing the first “All About Food: From FARM to FORK” conference hosted by the Macomb Food Systems Collaborative Feb. 8. Kathe, who organized the event, believes the overflow crowd at the Macomb Intermediate School District exceeded expectations.

 Topics at the conference ranged from hunger in Macomb County to the benefits of bridge card access at local farmers markets. Mike Hamm, MSU professor, gave the keynote address.

Kathe hopes the conference inspires residents and attendees to play roles in the Macomb Food Systems Collaborative as it tackles its next goal of increasing farmers market access to food stamp recipients.

 Read more in this Macomb Daily article.

 Also read more about the conference and the Macomb Food Systems Collaborative in this MSU Extension News article.

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Michigan State eXtension shines nationally

Michigan State University Extension came off a winner at the 2011 National CoP (Communities of Practice) Workshop in Louisville, Ky., June 29, earning both a team award and an individual award for work with eXtension, the nationwide collaborative web presence for Cooperative Extension.

 The Institutional Teams from MSU and the University of Missouri received the first ever Be Grow Create awards for outstanding work in advocating for and integrating eXtension into their respective institutions. The award recognizes outstanding teams for planning, creativity, organized activities, web conference attendance, director interaction and institutional engagement.

 Team members are Wayne Beyea, Ruth Borger, Erica Ciupak, Kathe Hale, Michelle Rodgers, Chris Skelly, Lela Vandenberg and Liz Wells. Glenn Pape and Erica Tobe were also team members the first year the team was organized in 2009.

 The Institutional Team, known as the I-Team, has made significant strides in the two years since its inception. Most notable are the increases in eXtension IDs, Ask an Expert (AaE) resolved questions and CoP membership. An eXtension ID allows an educator or specialist to contribute to eXtension by answering questions or collaborating with CoPs. Given the strength and commitment of the team’s members and their ongoing effort to promote eXtension involvement, these increases should continue.

 Lela Vandenberg, senior MSU Extension specialist, was one of three recipients of eXtension’s first Be Grow Create Outstanding Institutional Team Member award. The award recognizes her responsiveness and engagement with MSU on behalf of eXtension, her role in institutional team development and sustainability, and eXtension advocacy.

 As chair, Lela has been the driving force behind the eXtension I-Team. She created a series of how-to handouts that have been shared widely. Her online AaE experiential training has dramatically increased staff involvement. More than 150 people have taken the hands-on course. After training, staff members feel competent and excited to answer questions on AaE.

 Lela has shown herself to be a tremendous advocate for eXtension. She’s presented at professional association meetings and statewide conferences to introduce eXtension to the MSUE community, encouraging participation. Lela has worked with the marketing and promoting subcommittee to recruit faculty and staff involvement. Through her leadership, MSU eXtension IDs have gone from 30 in 2008 to 223 in the first six months of 2011.

 The I-Team with Lela at the helm is helping to carry out two of the principles of our redesign – increasing responsiveness and adopting emerging technologies. Clearly, we are doing both with eXtension and winning awards in the process.

 Read more about the I-Team’s win here: http://about.extension.org/2011/07/03/michigan-state-missouri-honored-as-outstanding-institutional-teams/

 Read more about Lela’s win here: http://about.extension.org/2011/07/03/hunnings-hurt-vandenberg-honored-with-be-grow-create-awards/

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MSUE’s Greening Michigan Institute Financial Ed Team participates in Michigan Money Summit

In the current economic situation, Michigan residents are struggling to rebuild lost assets and cope with less income. Michigan State University Extension financial education experts are stepping up to the challenge to assist people in dealing with this situation. MSUE offers assistance in many ways, among them financial classes on budgeting, home repair workshops and foreclosure prevention counseling.

 Increased public awareness of MSUE’s role will allow more residents to receive unbiased information and the education needed to aid in their economic recovery. With that in mind, Macomb County MSUE participated in the annual Michigan Money Summit Oct. 9 at the Macomb Center for the Performing Arts sponsored by WWJ, a major Detroit radio station. Members of the Greening Michigan Institute’s Financial Education Team decided that it was an excellent opportunity to highlight its strong community programs, university research and the new Michigan Money Health website.

Michigan State University Extension participates at WWJ Michigan Money Summit.

Michigan State University Extension participates at WWJ Michigan Money Summit.

 MSUE became an event sponsor at a cost of $4,000 paid through Community Reinvestment Act bank donations. Sponsorship resulted in 20 promotional radio announcements, inclusion on the WWJ Web page and event participation.

MSUE made arrangements for Dr. Lisa D. Cook, Michigan State University assistant professor in the Department of Economics and the James Madison College, to serve on a panel with David Sowerby, chief portfolio manager, Loomis Sayles, LLC, and Ken Ross, commissioner, Michigan Office of Financial and Insurance Regulation. Dr. Cook presented her research paper, “The Financial and Economic Crises: Implications for Consumer Finance and for Households in Michigan” and took questions from WWJ television and radio talent Murray Feldman and the audience. The presentation and discussion were then played on radio throughout the day. MSUE educators staffed a table and distributed program brochures, flyers and materials to attendees.

Michigan Money summit panelists

David Sowerby, chief portfolio manager, Loomis Sayles, LLC; Dr. Lisa Cook, MSU assistant professor; and Ken Ross, commissioner, Michigan Office of Financial and Insurance Regulation; were panelists at the Michigan Money Summit.

MSUE’s participation in the WWJ Michigan Money Summit resulted in a demonstrated link between campus research and the community – a key mission of land-grant universities, higher visibility of MSUE staff members as macro- and micro-economic experts working to improve the financial stability of residents and a funding opportunity for MSUE in the area of statewide investor education. And it also helped me to realize what a great resource we have on campus in the person of Dr. Cook.

 Greening Michigan Institute educators who took part in the summit were Jean Lakin, Anne Lilla, Terry Clark-Jones, Kathe Hale, Connie Costner and Erica Tobe. Thanks to all for helping to move us forward in this high priority even as we continue to develop our plans for new programming in financial literacy!

 The Michigan Money Health website can be found at http://www.mimoneyhealth.com/. The Michigan Money Health Survey is currently at this site. Dr. Cook is continuing to collect data from the site. Staff members may contribute to her research by participating. In a few weeks, the site will also contain financial literacy content.

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