Tag Archives: Patrick Cudney

Joining 4-H and Alumni at the MSU Women’s Basketball Game

More than 4,500 4-H youth, their families, and Michigan State University (MSU) Extension staff members and their families attended the MSU Women’s Basketball game Jan. 22.

For the first time, Michigan 4-H alumni and the Michigan 4-H Foundation also hosted an event for 4-H alumni. More than 60 people from across the state attended the event and enjoyed food, coloring for kids, games, a Spartan Selfie Station, a visit from Sparty and general networking. We hope this is the first of many successful alumni events.

At halftime, 4-H’ers from Ingham, Macomb, Oakland and Saginaw counties made their way to the court. They were joined by Patrick Cudney, associate director of MSU Extension, and Julie Chapin, Children and Youth Institute director, as they proudly led the 4-H pledge:

I pledge my head to clearer thinking,
my heart to greater loyalty,
my hands to larger service,
and my health to better living,
for my club, my community, my country and my world.

Youth stand on the court with Julie Chapin and Patrick Cudney and lead the pledge.

Youth from Ingham, Macomb, Oakland and Saginaw counties lead the 4-H pledge with Julie Chapin and Patrick Cudney.

Thank you to everyone who came together to make the alumni event and the 4-H Day at the Breslin so successful!

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Filed under 4-H, Children and Youth

4-H’ers receive scholarships, Extension engages the public at the Michigan State Fair

The Michigan State Fair (MSF) was a complete success. Thanks to over 60 4-H volunteers and staff members, we had an outstanding opportunity to engage with visitors throughout the Labor Day weekend. Over 112,000 people attended the fair, and it was a great opportunity to get the word out about all Michigan State University (MSU) Extension has to offer them.

MSU Extension staff members hosted a booth to present programs and activities to the public, and our 4-H’ers and volunteers led activities for youth such as hoverball, archery, arts and crafts, and other hands-on activities.

We also received the big news that our outstanding Oakland County 4-H youth received a total of over $10,000 in urban farming and rural scholarships from the MSF. On September 22, they even got a chance to visit the State Capitol where they were welcomed by Senate Majority Floor Leader Mike Kowall and Rep. Kathy Crawford to celebrate their achievements.

Oakland County 4-H youth and leaders pose for a photograph at the State Capitol with Senate Majority Floor Leader Mike Kowall and Rep. Kathy Crawford to celebrate their achievements. Photo courtesy of Oakland County 4-H.

Oakland County 4-H visited the Capitol visit the State Capitol where they were welcomed by Senate Majority Floor Leader Mike Kowall and Rep. Kathy Crawford. Photo courtesy of Oakland County 4-H.

The 4-H relationship with the Fifth Third Bank, MSF and Suburban Collection Showplace began several years ago at the Novi Equestrian Expo 4-H Youth Activities area. Because of our reputation, MSU Extension was invited to be a participant at the 2015 MSF and given a free booth to showcase its many awesome programs. This year, the MSF gave the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources (CANR) , AgBioResearch and MSU Extension a 40-foot by 70-foot booth to present programs and activities. For participating, MSU Extension gets a seat on the State Fair steering committee, free entry for all MSU Extension staff and volunteers serving at the booth, and reduced parking fees. In addition, top representatives of the CANR, AgBioResearch and MSU Extension are invited to attend the MSF VIP event for networking.

Photo of the Oakland County 4-H, MSU Extension, AgBioResearch and the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources booth. Several people standing and sitting and chatting.

The MSF’s generous donation of space for Oakland County 4-H, MSU Extension, AgBioResearch and the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources. Photo courtesy of Fran Adelaja.

This has been an amazing opportunity for our organization and our 4-H youth. Mark your calendars for next year’s fair on Labor Day weekend!

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Filed under Children and Youth, Events, michigan state fair

Participants learn latest turfgrass research and management recommendations

A crowd of participants listen to a demonstration in a field.

Over 400 participants attended MSU Turfgrass Field Day. Photo courtesy of Kevin Frank.

Michigan State University (MSU) Turgrass Field Day took place Aug. 10 at the Robert W. Hancock Turfgrass Research Center on the MSU campus in East Lansing. Turfgrass Field Day presented the latest research and management recommendations from the MSU Turf Team. Over 400 participants attended 12 different research tours and presentations covering turf research for golf, lawn and athletic fields. In the afternoon, attendees chose between three in-depth, hands-on workshops on weed walk, disease ID and insect diagnostics.

“Wonderful example of the interest from industry representatives in attending the various sessions ranging from weeds to insects,” Patrick Cudney, MSU Extension associate director, said. “Hundreds of turf managers from golf courses, municipalities and other universities were in attendance.”

Carl Schwartzkopf, MSU turfgrass management alumnus, announced that he will donate $20,000 to the Paul Rieke Endowment for turfgrass graduate students. The Michigan Turfgrass Foundation website describes the endowment dedicated to retired MSU faculty member Paul Rieke who made major contributions to turfgrass science through research, education and outreach.

Thank you Amy Fouty, Jennifer Maszatics, Kevin Frank, Mark Collins and Jesse Sholl and to all the Michigan Turfgrass Foundation and MSU staff members that put on such a successful field day.

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Filed under Field Days

Celebrating our Distinguished Academic Staff

Last week I had the privilege of attending the MSU Extension Reception for our Distinguished Academic Staff Award recipients: Phil Durst, Terry Gibb and Kurt Schindler. As I mentioned in an earlier blog post, this year Extension cleaned house, taking home three of the four DAS awards given. It was great to come together with our award winners, their families and colleagues to celebrate at the Kellogg Center.

Group photo with our MSU Extension award recipients. Left to right: Jeff Dwyer, Kurt Schindler, Terry Gibb, Phillip Durst, Patrick Cudney.

Group photo with our MSU Extension award recipients. Left to right: Jeff Dwyer, Kurt Schindler, Terry Gibb, Phillip Durst, Patrick Cudney. Photo courtesy of ANR Communications.

It was such a privilege to be able to get to know more about our distinguished colleagues and their outstanding work.

As I promised in the January 2016 issue of Spotlight, here is the link to the Michigan State University news release highlighting our award winners’ accomplishments:

2016 Distinguished Academic Staff Awards

As I listened to each nominator speak about Phil, Terry and Kurt, I realized how much Extension staff members rely on each other and how important mentoring is in this organization.

I would like to thank Betsy Braid, Megghan Honke Seidel and the rest of our Events Management team, and Terri Badgley for a great event. I would also like to express my gratitude again to Phil, Terry and Kurt for their outstanding service.

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Filed under Awards

Moving our cities fiscally forward: Launch of the Center for Local Government Finance and Policy

Through my lifetime, I have seen the unfortunate decline of some of our great Michigan cities, and I feel very passionately that Michigan State University (MSU) Extension is a vehicle that can help them get back on track. MSU Extension has worked with local officials for decades through programs such as training new county commissioners and developing the first formal budgeting system for county governments.

This month, MSU launches a new resource for our state to improve the fiscal health of municipalities. The MSU Extension Center for Local Government Finance and Policy will advise communities and distribute important research and fiscal-health indicators for all Michigan municipalities. The center will offer fiscal sustainability workshops, customized consultancy services, applied research on municipal governance and fiscal issues, and an annual fiscal health report on each of Michigan’s cities, counties and townships.

Dr. Eric Scorsone, an MSU economist who assisted Detroit and other struggling cities, will direct the center and will advise communities and distribute important research and fiscal-health indicators for all Michigan municipalities. In the past few years, Eric and colleagues have advised governments in Detroit, Flint, Lansing and elsewhere on short- and long-term fiscal issues. The team also worked with state officials and local municipalities to help the communities navigate and move beyond emergency management.

The center had two kickoff events – Jan. 12 at the Kellogg Center in East Lansing and Jan. 14 at the Miller Canfield law firm in Detroit. While I was attending Issue Identification listening sessions across the Upper Peninsula, Patrick Cudney, our associate director, represented MSU Extension in my absence. He told me that the launch events for the MSU Extension Center for Local Government Finance and Policy were incredible.

Patrick said, “The level of interest and involvement from government partners at both events was fairly astounding. We had local and state elected officials, attorneys, law firms, planning agencies and organizations attending with a deep level of respect for the work that MSU Extension has been doing for many years in that arena. It felt really gratifying and was one of those proud moments in my career to see Extension and the profile of Extension’s work raised in such a way.

“To have Eric Scorsone provide leadership for that initiative is perfect. Eric is such a well-respected researcher and yet he understands the application of the research to each individual situation that Michigan communities face. It’s not a one-size-fits-all solution. Each municipality has its own challenges. By having Eric in that role, it ensures that we will have our on-campus researchers and faculty, and off-campus academic staff embedded in Michigan’s communities. They can really assess what those needs are and identify the most appropriate resources to help work with those communities to really affect change.”

Here’s a link to an MSU press release about the Center for Local Government Finance and Policy if you’d like to learn more!

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Filed under Economic development, Financial education

Thanks to all of you!

As this is my last Spotlight, I thought I would spend a little time reviewing all that we (meaning ALL of us – and especially you) have accomplished in the last year or so. At the 2014 Fall Extension Conference, we set out to make some adjustments in Michigan State University Extension that we felt would help improve the organization. We set up a series of committees and task forces including strategic connections, issue identification, MI PRS (Michigan Extension Planning and Reporting System) improvement, mentoring and several more. It was great to see how many of you engaged in these committees and proved without a doubt how much you care for MSUE. I was also really pleased to see very thoughtful work that each of the teams in each institute put into strategic and staffing plans. These forward-looking documents, along with the information gathered through issue ID, will help guide MSUE toward that more “colorful future” that interim director Maggie Bethel asked us to move toward in fall 2014. As we have talked about, teams are an important part of MSUE and that is how we “get things done.”

One team that has proven to be invaluable to me has been the administrative team that also consists of the institute directors, district coordinators, and budget and human resources leadership, along with associate director of operations Patrick Cudney and me.. I can’t thank them enough for all of the work that they do on behalf of MSUE. Patrick, in particular, has been invaluable in helping me navigate through the many issues that face the Director’s Office and the organization.

Equally important has been the outstanding support that I have received from Terri Badgley, Julie Delgado and Katie Nicpon – the folks that really run the Director’s Office. Just saying thank you very much hardly approaches the deep appreciation I have for all that they have done for me. These three folks also provide a warm and welcoming atmosphere for all who visit the office here in the Morrill Hall of Agriculture – and this is the sense of welcome that radiates throughout all of MSUE.

It has been a real privilege to serve MSUE over the last 18 months, and this time has been one of the most rewarding of my 35-year career at MSU. I have greatly enjoyed getting to know more of you and learning more about what MSUE does across the state. I also know that I leave you in very good hands with the new interim director Jeff Dwyer, Patrick and the entire administrative team.

As I look ahead, what I see for MSUE is perhaps best paraphrased from a Timbuk3 song – “MSUE’s future’s so bright, we gotta wear shades.” Best wishes for the future and thanks for all of your great work!

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Filed under Uncategorized

Expect to Connect: Please send in your stories

Michigan State University (MSU) Extension is an organization built upon relationships. With that in mind, we created the strategic connections initiative Expect to Connect. The initiative is built on the premise that every member of our MSU Extension team has responsibility for maintaining positive relationships with legislators, stakeholders and media in his or her community and throughout the state.

Following the momentum of the rollout of the initiative at Fall Extension Conference (FEC), we want to feature your strategic connections success stories in this Spotlight. We want you to tell us about the strategic connections you’ve made, relationships you’ve built and partnerships you’ve developed. We also want to know how these connections have had an impact on your work, on your programming, on the overall organization or on all three. Please send your stories to Patrick Cudney, MSU Extension associate director of operations, at cudney@msu.edu, and encourage your peers to submit theirs. You don’t need to be a professional writer. We’ll help you tell your story. Just send us your story of approximately 250 words, and we can work with you from there.

To kick off the monthly Expect to Connect articles, this first introductory story will focus on the FEC workshop-on-the-move “Developing Strategic Connections” led by Mike Kovacic, MSU Extension outreach specialist. After learning about the Expect to Connect tools on the first day of FEC, participants got a chance to put their knowledge to work in downtown Lansing.

Over 25 MSU Extension staff members had an opportunity to tour the historic state Capitol and meet with lobbyists and legislators to learn more about how MSU Extension voices can be heard in state government. Nancy Vriebel and Scott Jones from Senate Appropriations Chair David Hildenbrand’s office shared insights on the importance of connecting with legislators and other stakeholders on a regular basis.

“We’re here to serve you,” Nancy Vriebel told the group. “We want to hear from you, in your words, how you are working with our constituents.”

The participants were treated to a special visit by Sen. Goeff Hansen along with his policy advisor Peter Wills who discussed key issues and the importance of citizen input as part of the overall policy process. Finally, workshop attendees connected with members of the Michigan House of Representatives to discuss individual programming efforts and the impact MSU Extension has on the lives of constituents.

Two of our colleagues talked about the experience:

“Meeting with legislators was the best part, especially the one-on-one with the representatives serving my work area,” Extension educator Jim Isleib, educator said. “Don’t be intimidated about meeting legislators. They will benefit from knowing you too.”

Extension educator Zelda Felix-Mottley said, “The representatives and senators want to hear from constituents. They are engaging and interested in what you have to say. Our legislators want to put a face to MSU Extension ‒ that’s your face with your Extension story.”

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Filed under Partnerships