Tag Archives: msu extension news for agriculture

Two communications projects receive ACE awards

I’m happy to announce that College of Agriculture and Natural Resources communicators and their partners received two awards from the Association for Communication Excellence (ACE) for their work with Michigan State University Extension in 2011. The ACE Critique and Awards program recognizes excellence in communication skills.

 Joy Landis, Beth Stuever, Mallory Fournier and Mindy Pratt were awarded a gold award for MSU Extension News for Ag. This pilot project was the launching pad for MSUE News, which now serves as the backbone of the new MSU Extension website. This award is in the Best Innovative Use of Communication Technology category.

 The four recipients focused on developing a system where all of our Agriculture and Agribusiness Institute field and campus staff could effectively deliver timely educational news through the new website. Joy and Beth note that this effort was truly a collaboration of many administrators and staff along with the communicators so in a sense we’ve all won this gold award. The communicators will be sharing their experience from developing MSUE News in a 90-minute session at ACE’s annual meeting in June.

 The second award is a bronze award for a Four-Color Popular Publication. Native Plants and Ecosystem Services (E3167) was a Project GREEEN effort by recent doctoral graduate Anna Fiedler, entomology professors Rufus Isaacs and Doug Landis, and communicator Joy Landis. Sold through the MSUE Bookstore, the colorful publication explains the value of using native plants to enhance the many landscapes that make up our environment. See nativeplants.msu.edu for more about the publication (find the pub under Resources, Teaching Tools) and the Project GREEEN research and extension behind it.

 Both awards will be presented at ACE’s annual meeting in Annapolis, Md., in June.

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What’s new about MSUE? Many are finding out at the MSUE News for Ag site

Michigan State University Extension has been helping people by bringing them the knowledge of MSU for a long time now, and the number of people we are reaching through technology has grown tremendously since we introduced MSU Extension News for Agriculture.

 The online tool helps us get the newest information and research from MSUE to farmers and stakeholders. And they get that information in one convenient, online location. Through the website, faculty and staff members can share their expertise with anyone in the state. They are not limited by county or regional borders.

 The numbers are up, and they don’t lie. In just three months, we have had nearly 40,000 visits to MSUE News for Ag and more than 120,000 page views.

 Our readership increases monthly. From Apr. 26 to May 26, we had more than 25,000 visits, and more than 70,000 pages viewed. We average 834 visitors per day, and the average visitor views 2.8 pages per visit and spends about 2.21 minutes on the site.

  • Visits are split almost equally between first-time visitors (48 percent) and return visitors (52 percent).
  • Weekends are slower than weekdays, but with an average total of 1,131 visitors for Saturday and Sunday (combined) over the last three weekends, weekend traffic is significant – and seems to be growing.
  • In general, Thursday and Friday have the most page views – usually more than 1,000 per day. We’re not sure why this spike occurs, because we are posting new material daily.

Thirty-two percent of our visitors are referred to us from another site. Twenty-one percent are driven to our site via various search engines. This is particularly good news because that means we are ranking higher in search engine results.

 The statistics show that this online tool is proving to be a positive form of communicating knowledge to Michigan residents. Find it at news.msue.msu.edu.

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Did you know?

That another glyphosate-resistant weed has been documented in Michigan? Glyphosate (originally marketed as Roundup) is a widely used herbicide, and its extensive use was predicted to lead to selection for varieties of weeds that can resist the deleterious effects of the chemical. Indeed, genes that confer resistance have been deliberately introduced into the genomes of crops to allow use of glyphosate on fields of growing crops. That there would be natural genetic variations that confer resistance and that those would benefit from the selection process of extensive herbicide use is not surprising. So enough on the lecture – why bring this up? Because I learned about this at the Agriculture/Agribusiness news website, http://www.news.msue.msu.edu/! The specific story was written by crop and soil sciences associate professor Christy Sprague, and the article refers to Extension educator Dan Rajzer or Dr. Sprague for answers to further questions. I continue to find the news site helpful and impressive, and even if the information it’s offering on a particular day isn’t of interest to a particular viewer, it’s still impressive to see the breadth of expertise and information that Michigan State University Extension provides for farmers, agribusiness operators and landscape managers. It tells our story much more effectively than anything I can write in the MSUE Spotlight.

Hear Dr. Sprague talk more on the subject in the following video produced by MSU Agriculture and Natural Resources Communications.


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Get MSU Extension News for Agriculture on your mobile device

A few weeks ago, I bragged about the MSU Extension News for Agriculture, a new website that allows educators in the Agriculture and Agribusiness Institute to share educational information. I’m happy to report that the valuable information they share can now be accessed via mobile devices, too!

Mobile technology is growing in importance, especially in rural areas where high-speed Internet access still lags behind urban and suburban areas. According to Morgan Stanley, in the next five years, more people will connect to the Internet via mobile phone than via a personal computer. Clearly, mobile technology is an important educational outlet for Michigan State University Extension.

 To view the mobile version of MSU Extension New for Agriculture, simply click the aforementioned link from a mobile device. If you have suggestions about how to improve the site, contact Beth Stuever in ANR Communications.


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