Tag Archives: testimony

Sometimes it’s the little things that mean the most

President Lou Anna Simon provided testimony to the House Appropriations Higher Education Subcommittee yesterday and articulated a 21st century vision of what a land-grant university – THIS land-grant university – needs to do. Our mission is still rooted very much in our service to our state, helping to prepare our residents and our institutions for the challenges and opportunities we will face in the years ahead.

 I hear President Simon quite frequently, and occasionally stakeholders will assert to me that they think Michigan State University has abandoned the land-grant mission. It’s always hard for me to hear those comments, and I respectfully disagree when people make that assertion. I’m grateful for her leadership, and now I have her testimony to refer to for those who disagree with me. I encourage you to read her testimony when you have an opportunity and to pass along what she said by sharing this link with others: http://president.msu.edu/documents/2012_House_Higher_Ed_testimony.pdf. You can find a summary and this link on President Simon’s home page as well.

 So that was nice to hear. What blew me away was a brief video that the president insisted on showing to the committee members. It’s title is MSU: Impacts Across Michigan. Sounds pretty straightforward, I know. The shock for me was the lead story – it was a testimonial from Gordon Berkenpas, CEO of Greendorr Greenhouses, Inc. of Dorr, Michigan, who told of the importance of MSU research and Extension for his business’ success. This was the president’s show, and what she chose to feature was our work. Tom Dudek, senior Extension educator, is shown in the video, and Tom was contacted by the president’s office to arrange for a stakeholder who could tell the story of our impacts in a compelling way. Tom, you succeeded! View the video: 
 What added frosting to the cake was to see that the second impact story featured Dr. Carl Taylor, professor of sociology and a resource for our youth development programs. It shouldn’t be a surprise that MSUE would be tied to stories of impacts from MSU. It’s just nice to have the recognition, and I wanted each of you to know about this as well. Tom Dudek’s work with Greendorr Greenhouses and Dr. Taylor’s work with youth are representative of all that we do to help people improve their lives across Michigan. It’s a proud day to be a member of Team MSU.

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Support from the Senate

As we continue to deal with the budget issue at the local and state level, I thought I’d share some good news from one of our supporters in the Michigan Senate. Sen. McManus, like her uncle before her, continues to be supportive of MSU Extension and the MAES. Following is a press release her office issued today. If you’ve seen similar support, tell us about it on the Strategic Communications discussion board. (Be sure to log on to the portal before clicking that link.)

Sen. McManus speaks out for agriculture industry’s jobs’ engine

LANSING – In a statement on the floor today, Sen. Michelle McManus spoke out against the governor’s proposal to slash funding for the MSU Extension offices and agricultural research stations.

“There are no state grants for ‘cool’ corn fields or ‘vibrant’ vineyards, but agriculture is one of Michigan’s top industries – a growing industry with jobs guaranteed to stay right here in our state. Our extension offices and agricultural research stations are the job engine of that industry. Our agriculture industry counts on our support to continue to grow and thrive. Let’s not let it wither and die by cutting off this vital research and jobs engine.”

Sen. McManus represents 11 counties in northwest Lower Michigan. Video of her complete floor statement is available online.

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