On Thursday, July 12, WKAR, the local NPR affiliate, visited the Eaton County fair and interviewed Michigan State University Extension 4-H program coordinator Kristy Oosterhouse and one of our 4-H’ers, Naomi Saint Amour. The two-minute piece highlighted how 4-H makes a difference in the lives of young people across the state. As many of you already know, Michigan 4-H is the largest youth development program in Michigan, and it provides more than 200,000 young people with experiential learning opportunities to explore new interests and discover their passion.
If you have a free minute or two, you can read or listen to the “4-H Engrains Life Skills in Kids” story online.
Congratulations to Melissa McKendree, Michigan State University (MSU) assistant professor in the Department of Agricultural, Food and Resource Economics (AFRE) with a joint appointment in MSU Extension, who received the Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics (JARE) Outstanding Reviewer Award from JARE and the Western Agricultural Economics Association (WAEA). Melissa was honored for her excellence in reviewing at the annual WAEA meeting in Anchorage Alaska, on June 26. Read more about Melissa’s work and her award on the AFRE website.
On June 25, St. Clair County news station EBW TV interviewed Michigan State University (MSU) Extension 4-H program coordinator Lori Warchuck about 4-H. Lori did a great job telling the story about the work that we do in Extension, especially the variety of our programs. She also shared about 4-H Exploration Days on MSU’s campus and advertised for the 4-H fair in the county.
This is a great example of how we can engage with local media to get the word out about MSU Extension. You can watch Lori’s interview on the EBW TV website.
I love it when our staff members are featured for the great work that they’re doing, and each one of you has an important story to tell.
The Michigan Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics awarded Dawn Earnesty Michigan’s Young Recognized Dietitian of the Year at their annual conference in Bay City on April 26 and 27.
Dawn is a Michigan State University Extension educator who provides statewide support for nutrition and physical activity policy, system and environmental (PSE) nutrition education with child care providers, schools and worksites. The award honors a registered dietitian or dietitian nutritionist who has demonstrated leadership and concern for the promotion of optimal health and nutritional status of the population.
“She truly deserves this award,” said Rebecca Henne, MSU Extension Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program–Education (SNAP-Ed) coordinator. “Not only is she being recognized for this award, but her PSE research and leadership with SNAP-Ed has also been acknowledged by our Regional USDA Food and Nutrition Services office in Chicago.”
Please join me in congratulating Dawn on the recognition of her outstanding work.
As you have likely seen, Michigan 4-H is again this year participating in the Raise Your Hand campaign, which seeks to engage 4-H alums and supporters.
With deep roots in our state and across the country, 4-H has been serving youth for more than 100 years. This key program provides kids with the opportunity to learn by doing, grow from failure and develop the skills they need to handle whatever life throws their way. No one knows this better than 4-H friends and alumni who have experienced these programs firsthand. That is why 4-H alums and anyone who supports 4-H are being asked to Raise Your Hand for 4-H.
Whether you are a program alum or not, as part of our Michigan State University Extension family, I know you will all join me in showing your support of 4-H and raising your hand. By doing so, you’ll be paying it forward to the next generation of 4-H’ers and helping to bring the 4-H experience to additional kids in our state. Every friend and alumni hand raised between now and May 15 will count as a vote for the state of your choice (vote for Michigan!), with cash prizes of $20,000, $10,000 and $5,000 available to the top three states. Even if you have previously raised your hand for 4-H, please do so again this year, as the competition counts each hand raised!
Please join me in empowering kids across Michigan by raising your hand for 4-H and helping to provide youth with 4-H hands-on learning that teaches them responsibility, compassion, respect and the value of hard work. Together we can grow the next generation of true leaders!
I would like to congratulate the Michigan State University Product Center staff on their Industry Ally Award. This award recognizes companies and organizations that continue to help make the food and agriculture industry a source of economic growth and pride. They received the award at the Michigan Food and Agriculture Awards event on Monday, April 9.
“We knew we were one of nine businesses and organizations that were being recognized with an Industry Ally Award,” said Brenda Reau, senior associate director of the MSU Product Center. “What we didn’t know was that we would be named as the overall award winner in that division. It was a wonderful surprise!”
The awards program is a collaboration between the Michigan Food and Beverage Association and Corp! Magazine. The Product Center will be featured in the next issue of the magazine that circulates to 20,000 business leaders in Michigan.
The MSU Product Center Food-Ag-Bio was established in spring 2003 with funds from MSU AgBioResearch and MSU Extension to improve economic opportunities in the Michigan agriculture, food and natural resource sectors.
Congratulations again, and thank you for all you do to help Michigan move forward.
MSU Extension educator Suzanne Pish with other panel members at the 2018 CARET/AHS conference.
Michigan State University (MSU) Extension educator Suzanne Pish was asked to participate on a panel at the annual Council for Agricultural Research, Extension and Teaching (CARET)/AHS Joint Meeting in Washington, D.C., on March 5, and share about MSU Extension’s work with farm stress management. The panel was put together because farm families across the nation have come into the spotlight because of a rise in suicides. Psychologist Dr. Michael Rosmann, featured in an article in The Guardian in December 2017, “On the Ground: Reporting From All Corners of America – Why Are America’s Farmers Killing Themselves in Record Numbers?”, was invited to speak about farm-related stress at the meeting and Suzanne was part of the panel to respond after his talk.
During her time on the panel, Suzanne shared about MSU Extension’s response to the rise in struggling Michigan farm families. Adam Kantrovich, Roger Betz and Suzanne developed a workshop. They also worked with Beth Stuever, Tom Cummins and others from ANR Communications and Marketing to develop a fact sheet and a video. The initial workshop was specially designed for people who work with agricultural producers and farm families who want to know more about managing farm-related stress and learn ways to approach and communicate with those in need.
Additionally, they designed Weathering the Storm: How to Handle Stress on the Farm to help farm families gain a better understanding of the signs and symptoms of chronic stress and cultivate a more productive mindset. The MSU Extension online, self-paced course allows participants to access this information in a comfortable setting at their own convenience.
Suzanne was asked to participate because MSU Extension was recognized as an organization who got involved from the beginning of this emerging issue.
“I hope other Extension services across the country took away the importance of having agricultural educators and family and consumer science educators teaming up to provide this education,” Suzanne said.
Our ability to respond to emerging issues and emergencies in our state make us relevant and essential. I think we are uniquely positioned to provide a national example of how Extension can meet people where they are. At FEC Detroit, you may remember that I discussed the Emergent Issues Incentive Program, an opportunity for cross-institute teams to receive funding to quickly respond to urgent issues in the communities they serve. You can apply for these grants using this link: https://events.anr.msu.edu/msuedirgrant/