Tag Archives: martin nagelkirk

Wheat Field Day at the SVREC

On June 15, the Saginaw Valley Research and Extension Center (SVREC) hosted Wheat Field Day. The SVREC is one of 13 outlying research centers operated by Michigan State University (MSU) AgBioResearch and MSU Extension. During Wheat Field Day, 185 people attended to learn about new varieties, disease management, weed control, nutrient management and sprayer application technology.

The Michigan Wheat Program board announced its commitment to provide $700,000 in support over the next five years to assist MSU in purchasing additional acreage for wheat research. The commitment allows MSU to purchase 150 acres adjacent to the current bean and sugar beet research farm in Frankenmuth. The funding will solidify the land resources to conduct research to further improve the yield, profitability and environmental sustainability of wheat in Michigan cropping systems. It will also allow dedicated crop rotation trials with other key agricultural crops.

The Michigan Wheat Program board of directors presents a check to Michigan State University during the announcement of their donation.

The Michigan Wheat Program board of directors presents a check to Michigan State University during the announcement of their donation of $700,000 over the next 5 years to assist MSU in adding additional land to the Saginaw Valley Research & Extension Center in Frankenmuth. The land will be utilized for dedicated wheat research for years to come. Those in photo left to right: Paul Horny, Ray VanDriessche, Jim Kells, Joe Cramer, Doug Buhler, Carl Sparks, Frank Vyskocil, Art Loeffler, Bill Hunt, Dean Kantola, Dave Milligan and Sally McConnachie.

During the event, Marty Chilvers, assistant professor in the Department of Plant, Soil and Microbial Sciences, and Martin Nagelkirk, senior MSU Extension wheat and crops educator, led a significant discussion about stripe rust because of the unprecedented high infection level in Michigan. Eric Olson, assistant professor in the Department of Plant, Soil and Microbial Sciences, presented other key topics addressing various management practices.

Dennis Pennington, senior MSU Extension educator and wheat systems specialist, conducted a sprayer demonstration with six nozzle configurations designed to provide the best coverage of fungicides for head scab control.

“The field day is a great partnership between MSU researchers, MSU Extension staff, AgBioResearch staff and the Michigan Wheat Committee,” he said.

I’d like to send a huge thanks to our colleagues that put together the successful event. We look forward to the future of the research and extension at the SVREC with the continued support of our partners.

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Extension educators and specialists receive awards at 2012 NACAA conference

Many Michigan State University Extension educators and specialists received awards at the National Association of County Agricultural Agents (NACAA) Annual Meeting and Professional Improvement Conference July 15–19 in Charleston, S.C.

Extension educators in the Agriculture and Agribusiness Institute Kevin Gould and Phil Kaatz earned the NACAA Distinguished Service Award that encourages and recognizes excellence in the field of professional Extension for members with more than ten years of service.

Kevin Gould has served 19 years with Extension, starting in 1993 as an agricultural educator in the Thumb. The following year, he accepted a regional livestock position in western Michigan. Kevin is a leader in the industry, serving on the state cattlemen’s board and state bull evaluation. He is current president of the Michigan Association of Extension Agents (MAEA) and co-chair of the Michigan Agriculture Environmental Assurance Program (MAEAP) Livestock Systems Subcommittee.

Serving 12 years with Extension, Phil Kaatz’s programming focus includes the Michigan Thumb Ag Research and Education (TARE) Program and statewide forage responsibilities for alfalfa and corn silage production. He’s recently been involved in TARE field trials and the Michigan Forage and Grazing Conference. The TARE trials are a unique partnership between field crop producers, agribusinesses and commodity groups.

 Rob Sirrine and Phillip Tocco each received the NACAA Achievement Award in recognition of excellence in Extension service and educational programs given to educators with less than ten years of service.

Dr. J. Robert Sirrine, Extension educator in the Greening Michigan Institute, provides leadership for community food system efforts in northwest lower Michigan, holds statewide leadership responsibilities for hops production and provides expertise in other areas, including  entrepreneurial and value-added agriculture and organic production. He serves as the chair of the Northwest Michigan Food and Farming Network and is affiliated with the MSU Center for Regional Food Systems.

Phillip Tocco, Extension educator in the Agriculture and Agribusiness Institute, serves as secretary of the MAEA and president of his local agricultural council. He has served as a member of the MSU Product Center’s Ag Innovation Counselor network. He has been involved in creating a number of community-based initiatives, including coordinating community gardens at homeless shelters and creating gardening classes to develop capacity among people living in low-income situations to meet their fresh food needs.

Extension educator Erin Lizotte, district horticulturist and Northwest Michigan Horticultural Research Station coordinator Nikki Rothwell, Extension specialist Cheryl Peters and Rob Sirrine were national finalists for the “Search for Excellence in Young, Beginner or Small Farmers/Ranchers” for the Northwest Michigan New FARM (Farmer Assistance and Resource Management) Program, which assists beginning farmers.

Many of our colleagues won communications awards.

Rob Sirrine was a national winner for the website hops.msu.edu on small scale hops production in the Great Lakes Region. The site was built with collaboration from Mallory Fournier, Joy Landis and Annette Kleinschmit. It offers information on every aspect of hops production a potential grower would need to make a decision to enter into this new market.

Senior Extension dairy and beef educator Phillip Durst was a regional winner for a computer-generated graphics presentation “Breakfast on the Farm at Circle K Farms.” Phil put the presentation together with quotes from Breakfast on the Farm attendees and photos taken by Mindy Stokoszynkski.

Rob Sirrine was a regional winner for a feature story “The Good Earth: Carbon and Agriculture.” The article is an introduction to soils and carbon in agricultural production. It appeared in “Edible Grande Traverse,” a community food system/agriculture magazine for northwest lower Michigan.

Phil Tocco was a regional winner for a video presentation “Chlorine as a Sanitizer.” The video is part of his series “Agrifood Safety Minute.”

Martin L. Nagelkirk, senior Extension educator in the Agriculture and Agribusiness Institute, was a state winner for a fact sheet “Winter Wheat.” The document serves as a reference to understanding industry trends and to identifying lessons learned or particular challenges.

Phil Kaatz was a state winner for a publication “TARE: Thumb Ag Research & Education 2011 Field Trials.” Other authors included Robert Battel, Martin Nagelkirk and Dennis Stein. An advisory board consisting of producers, agribusiness and Extension personnel provide oversight for the project. The Extension educators and other technicians were responsible for all phases of producing the crops included in the trials.

Congratulations to everyone!

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Step III promotions approved by MSU, letters of intent for 2012-13 review due July 1

The Michigan State University Provost’s Office has approved promotions of five Extension academic staff members to Step III status. Step III is awarded to Extension academic staff members who have demonstrated excellence and scholarly achievement in their work as Extension professionals over a sustained period. Those who are awarded Step III are promoted to “senior” status and their titles are changed by addition of the senior modifier to the title of educator, program leader or specialist. Please join us in congratulating these outstanding senior Extension educators and specialists:

Lisa Bottomley, Children and Youth Institute
Lisa has built a solid reputation as a mentoring expert not only within Michigan but also across the nation, bringing distinction to MSU Extension. Through her work, she networks with scholars and practitioners throughout the country. Major funders such as the Annie E. Casey Foundation have recognized her work, a testament to the quality of her scholarship.

Deb Barrett, Children and Youth Institute
Deb provides excellent leadership in a diverse county. She demonstrated impact through parent evaluations during the We Can Ride Club program. Program assessments indicated systemic change within the New Buffalo School District leading to healthier food choices and activities for students. This program is an excellent example of success and impacts through collaboration. Deb has facilitated significant changes in the overall Berrien County 4-H program, leading to increases in volunteerism and better club accountability and management. Deb implemented new worm farming entrepreneurship curricula, leading to successful worm growing and sales by the clubs.

Martin Nagelkirk, Agriculture and Agribusiness Institute
Martin is the state’s lead person in MSU Extension for the wheat industry. He uses a wide variety of educational methods while evaluating his efforts and showing impact in significant ways through practice changes and economic increases for the industries he serves. His educational efforts include field research plots, classroom education, demonstrations, newsletters, articles, electronic mailing lists and one-on-one contacts. A tremendous facilitator, Martin works behind the scenes in programs such as the wheat referendum to accomplish many tasks in his Extension role. He works to share his published research results in plant pathology journals with the industry in both written and electronic media. His abilities to maintain funding for his wheat field plots and other activities in the Thumb Ag Research and Education (TARE) project are a result of sustained funding from agribusiness and the wheat industry, which see his work as critical.

Dennis Pennington, Agriculture and Agribusiness Institute
Dennis has become a recognized leader in the bioenergy field, establishing excellent connections within Michigan, the North Central region and nationally. Dennis shows clear evidence for excellence in scholarship including the development of bulletins, fact sheets, education programs and Web pages. Dennis is and will continue to be a major factor in MSUE’s ability to serve the growing bioenergy industry, developing research programs and educational materials to help farmers decide to grow and market bioenergy crops and building capacity through training programs for Extension educators to help develop this growing sector.

William Shane, Agriculture and Agribusiness Institute
William is an outstanding researcher in peach breeding. He has contributed to fruit Integrated Pest Management areas with the development of the Enviroweather system while staying in tune with his peers via professional meetings and conferences. William’s research program demonstrates commitment to the area and expertise in the field with patents generated as new varieties are developed. His strengths lie in the research-based aspects of his work as he has made significant contributions to the advancement of the scientific base of his field. His unique position of both research and Extension education provide the opportunity for enhancing the quality, effectiveness and stability of the fruit industry in southwest Michigan and securing the role of MSU Extension at the cutting edge of horticulture education and practice.

 This leads perfectly into our next announcement. Between now and July 1, we are accepting letters of intent for 2012-2013 review. To be considered for the 2012-2013 Step III Review Process, a letter of intent, which includes names and contact information of potential assessors, is due July 1, 2012, with final portfolios due electronically to your institute director with a copy to your district coordinator and Nancy Axtell by Oct. 1, 2012. You can learn more about Step III and all these processes in the Administrative Handbook at Step I, Step II and Step III Promotions.

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MSUE shines at NACAA Conference

A bunch of Michigan State University Extension folks who are members of the Michigan Association of Extension Agents (MAEA) have made us proud by earning honors from the National Association of County Agricultural Agents (NACAA). All were invited to attend the NACAA Communications Award Luncheon on Tuesday, July 13, during the NACAA Annual Meeting and Professional Improvement Conference in Tulsa, Okla.

This year, Michigan stands out in the limelight in having four national finalists – Robert Sirrine, Mike Staton, Kevin Gould and Phil Durst. And one of our own, Stan Moore, Antrim County Extension educator, took on the presidency of the NACAA at the conference. That’s right – he’s President of the National Association.

Two members of our Extension staff earned the NACAA Distinguished Service Award. The award is for agents with more than 10 years of experience, and it often recognizes a lifetime of service. For the past 10 years, Roberta Dow, district water quality educator, has trained AmeriCorps members who then conduct Home*A*Systs that help Michigan residents identify their risks to water quality and provide ways to lower those risks. For the past 14 years, Bruce MacKellar has provided expertise to southwestern Michigan growers concerning emerging field crop insect and disease control issues.

 Kendra Wills, Kent County Extension land use educator, was honored with the NACAA Achievement Award given to young agents with less than ten years of experience. Kendra’s work largely involves getting urban and rural citizens engaged in addressing urban sprawl. She has been successful in preserving a vast amount of prime and unique farmland in the county.

 Dr. J Robert Sirrine, Leelanau County Extension educator, is a national NACAA category award winner, receiving a plaque and a prize of $500 for a published photo and caption. The photo, which depicts Rob with two hops growers, was published in the June 2009 issue of Michigan Farmer Magazine. See it at http://magissues.farmprogress.com/mif/MF06Jun09/mif001.pdf.

Dr. Sirrine also was a regional finalist in the publication category for “Sustainable Hop Production in the Great Lakes Region.” He was the lead author along with authors Dr. Nikki Rothwell, Erin Lizotte, Dr. Ron Goldy, Steve Marquie, and Diane Brown-Rytlewski. The bulletin can be purchased or downloaded as a PDF at the MSUE Bookstore (formerly called the Bulletin Office) at http://www.bookstore.msue.msu.edu/. Search for bulletin number E3083.

Phil Kaatz, Lapeer County Extension educator, was a regional finalist in the program promotional piece category for work on a brochure promoting the MSU Extension Thumb Ag Team and their efforts to promote regional programming. Phil says that it was really a team effort with Fran Adelaja working collaboratively with him on the piece with the help of the other educators in the brochure to produce the final product. The team members in addition to Phil were Jeannine Grobbel Schweihofer, David Pratt, Steve Poindexter, Martin Nagelkirk, Craig Thomas, Dennis Stein, Bob Tritten, Mark Seamon, Bob Battel and Emily Sneller.

 

George Silva, Eaton County Extension field crops and horticulture educator, was regional finalist for the Communication Awards website competition. George won the honors for his work on the official website for the Soybean 2010 project located at http://web1.msue.msu.edu/soybean2010/. Soybean 2010 project is a collaborative, research, education and communication effort at improving Michigan soybean yield and profitability. The partners include Michigan soybean growers, Michigan Soybean Promotion Committee, Michigan Agribusiness Association, Michigan Farm Bureau and MSUE.

Mark Seamon, Saginaw County Extension bioeconomy innovation counselor and regional innovation counselor, was regional finalist in the fact sheet category for “Fueling the Future: Potential Biomass Crops for Michigan.” The bulletin can be purchased or downloaded as a PDF at the MSUE Bookstore at http://www.bookstore.msue.msu.edu/. Search for bulletin number E3077. And by the way, this fact sheet written by Mark is part of a series of five bioeconomy fact sheets, each by a different author, available at the MSUE Bookstore.

Mike Staton, Allegan County Extension senior agricultural educator, won the National Search for Excellence in Crop Production Award. Mike led a cooperative effort to plan, promote, conduct and evaluate educational meetings designed to help soybean growers identify and overcome the barriers to producing higher-yielding and more profitable soybeans. The programs reached more than 1,500 producers and agronomists and produced projected financial impacts of more than $2.1 million dollars. The other MSU Extension educators cooperating on this project were Ned Birkey, Emily Sneller, Marilyn Thelen, Bruce MacKellar, Bill Robb and Dennis Pennington.

Kevin Gould, Ionia County Extension educator, was the National Search for Excellence award winner in Livestock Production. He led a program that developed a pre-conditioning and marketing system to add value to beef calves in Michigan.

Phil Durst, Oscoda County Extension dairy educator, was recognized as a national finalist for Professional Excellence for the Beginning, Young and Small Farmer Programming Award. Each month, Phil meets with 40 to 50 young dairy producers who are part of two YSD (Young, Savvy and into Dairy) groups in northeastern Michigan. Through Facebook, it is an international group of young people in dairy.

Tom Dudek reported that the weather in Tulsa was – well, very Tulsa-like for the middle of July:  hot (95° F) and humid (heat index = 115). I got the impression they were pleased to escape back to Michigan’s more moderate conditions, but they definitely came back with a lot of hardware in their luggage. The Michigan Association of Extension Agents received a certificate for fourth place in increased membership, with 8 new members added last year.

We are very proud of our colleagues in NACAA and the work that they do in our state. Their innovations and hard work really set a model for what we hope to achieve even more widely in our new organizational design. Thanks for giving us great examples to highlight and learn from!

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