Tag Archives: kelley hiemstra

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!

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Placed-based education documentary airs tonight

Michigan State University Extension contributed to a PBS placed-based education documentary produced by documentary filmmaker Bob Gliner. “Growing Up Green” will air on PBS nationally throughout the month of April.

Extension educator Brandon Schroeder let us know about the documentary: “Two of the nine hubs leading this work in Michigan are MSU-led – our Northeast Michigan Great Lakes Stewardship Initiative (GLSI) and GRAND Learning Network (Shari Dann) – and so we are well represented in this statewide GLSI documentary. Exciting!”

Kelley Hiemstra, District 4 coordinator said, “What a great example of MSUE programs. It has all of the components, great partners, education, and leadership AND now nationally recognized.”

Read Brandon’s MSU Extension news article to find out more about the program: http://msue.anr.msu.edu/news/growing_up_green_documentary_explores_great_lakes_place_based_education

Watch tonight! The first showing is at 10:30 p.m on PBS station WCML in Alpena, WCMV in Cadillac, WCMZ IN Flint and WCMW in Manistee. It will be showing on various PBS stations at various times across Michigan throughout April. Brandon’s article contains a broadcast schedule for the documentary.

Congratulations to all on your hard work!

View details and trailer online at http://www.docmakeronline.com/growing_up_green.html

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Extension colleagues take part in leadership session

Several of our Michigan State University Extension colleagues took part in a session of the North Central National Extension Leadership Development (NELD) workshop held in Chicago Jan. 23–26. The session, “Understanding Our Roles as Leaders,” was the first of four sessions scheduled for 2013 exploring leadership and facilitated by the University of Minnesota Extension.

NELD’s mission is “to build leaders in Cooperative Extension at all levels and provide them with the vision, courage, and tools to lead in a changing world.”

The program helps the participant to develop leadership skills on a personal level and then use those skills to improve the effectiveness of extension programming.

The first session, an intense introduction to leadership, included developing facilitation skills and techniques, and working on team and consensus building.

Each participant did a self-assessment of emotional intelligence, which evaluated the leadership style each feels most comfortable using. In times of stress, people default to this style. When facing a difficult situation, people are less likely to use the leadership style they tend to be weak in. The program concentrates on getting participants to strengthen the weak areas so they have a variety of strengths to use in various situations.

Each participant also developed a personal philosophy of leadership and a plan of work in the leadership field to learn and implement in the upcoming year.

Participant Kelley Hiemstra, MSU Extension District 4 coordinator, had this to say about the experience: “The first session of NELD was fantastic. I look forward to the entire program and I am sure that it will assist me in my leadership roles.”

Besides Kelley, other participants from MSU Extension included Extension educators Eileen Haraminac, Erin Lizotte, Kendra Moyses and Kendra Wills.

Each are assigned to core groups of four to continue the work between sessions and act as mentors and coaches to each other. Each group consists of Extension employees from North Central Region states.

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