Jackson County local news station JTV interviewed Michigan State University Extension program instructors Jae Gerhart and Angela Maniaci about their partnership with the Jackson County Agricultural Council and the Grand River Brewery in Jackson, Michigan, to put on a community event that took place June 4. Jae is the Washtenaw County food systems program instructor, and Angela is a nutrition and physical activity program instructor based in Jackson County. The purpose of the event was connecting people with local produce and providing examples of ways to prepare fresh fruits and vegetables.
Jae engaged a local farmer to provide produce, and Angela put together and cooked recipes using the local produce for the event held at the Brewery. The tasting event allowed participants to vote and see their selection appear on the Grand River Brewery’s menu for the season.
You can watch the JTV interview with Angela and Jae by visiting their website.
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.
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!
Jordan Burroughs and Ritchie Harrison, co-directors of the Great Lakes Leadership Academy (GLLA), shared that GLLA will be inducted into the Michigan Environmental Hall of Fame on May 9 at the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum in Grand Rapids.
The Michigan Environmental Hall of Fame was established in 2010 by the Muskegon Environmental Research & Education Society. They are recognizing GLLA under the category of colleges and schools that are longtime supporters of the environment.
The mission of the GLLA is to promote positive change, economic vitality, and resource conservation and enhance the quality of life in Michigan by encouraging leadership for the common good. You may recall that GLLA was formed in 2007 and was recently moved into the Michigan State University Extension Greening Michigan Institute portfolio under the leadership of Jordan and Ritchie.
Congratulations to all the people involved in past and current GLLA facilitation and leadership efforts.
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.
The March 26 Marquette Area Climate and Health Adaptation Workshop, a multi-organization collaboration to discuss health and climate change issues, received positive press from Local 3 News and the Mining Journal last week. The workshop is one of three, and is part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Climate-Ready States and Cities Initiative. The goal of these workshops is to design interventions to address climate- and health-related issues in the area. Pat Crawford, associate professor in the School of Planning, Design and Construction, and Extension specialist Wayne Beyea are the co-principal investigators on this project.
The collaboration involves Michigan State University Extension, the Marquette County Climate Adaptation Task Force, the Marquette County Health Department and the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services.
“The project demonstrates how MSU Extension can help bring multidisciplinary teams together to solve problems,” said Wayne.
I’d like to send a huge thank you to Wayne, Pat, Marquette residents and all of our collaborators for coming together around this important initiative.
Congratulations to Michigan State University (MSU) 4-H Extension educator Tracy D’Augustino, who received the Informal Science Educator of the Year distinction from the Michigan Science Teachers Association (MSTA). Tracy was recognized because of her unique and extraordinary accomplishments, active leadership, scholarship contributions and direct improvement of nonschool-based science education, reaching over 3,200 youth during her career.
Another point to celebrate is that this is the second year in a row that MSTA has chosen an MSU Extension educator for this award. Read more about Tracy and her award on our website.
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/
Last week, four Michigan State University (MSU) Council for Agricultural Research, Extension and Teaching (CARET) volunteers traveled to Washington, D.C., to attend the annual CARET meeting and to meet with each of our Michigan congressional offices.
Have you met our CARET representatives? Char Wenham and Saturnino “Nino” Rodriguez come from education backgrounds – serving first as teachers, then as administrators, and continuing to serve in various education capacities today. Doug Lewis is the director of student legal services for the University of Michigan and is the president of the Michigan 4-H Foundation. Glenn Preston is a dairy farmer who owns Preston Farms in Quincy.
On Tuesday and Wednesday, each of our CARET representatives paired up with someone from MSU for their visits. They thanked our U.S. senators and representatives for their support, and shared stories of how Extension and AgBioResearch makes a difference in their communities.
“For me, the significance of the trip is being able to talk about the importance of Michigan State’s responsibilities that are land-grant related and different from any of the other universities in the state,” Char said. “As a volunteer, it is also a wonderful experience to travel, make congressional visits, and get to know the people who make our Extension and AgBioResearch so successful. Everyone that I talked to was positive about MSU, the land-grant mission, and the specific work of MSU Extension and AgBioResearch in their areas.”
Our CARET representatives serve as a liaison between district councils, field station advisory groups, and state agencies and organizations. They help to facilitate a two-way relationship, between MSU and our partners and stakeholders. They learn about us and share information about us, and they share information about their communities with us.