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Extension e-news

Extension e-news is the official news source for Extension faculty and staff. It is published twice a month on the first and third Thursdays.

Dear colleagues,

I am pleased to announce the recipients of the Extension Issue Area Grants. Earlier this summer, Extension put out a call for proposals that would advance work in the following issue areas:

  • Promoting Youth Educational Success

  • Food Systems

The issue area grants have been created to support cross-disciplinary work, increase external visibility and demonstrate Extension's comparative advantage to address these complex  issues. Successful projects will create positive impact and contribute to Extension's cross-center collaboration and external partnerships.

Grants have been awarded for the following projects:

Healthy Bodies, Healthy Minds, Healthy Learners: Growing environments to foster learning and academic success
Project leaders: Judy Myers and Sara Langworthy, both from the Extension Children, Youth and Family Consortium

Save Native Pollinators, Secure Food Production and Safeguard Our Environment: A science, technology, engineering and mathematic (STEM) integrated youth program
Project leaders: Hui-Hui Wang, Extension 4-H STEM specialist; and Patrick Jirik, Extension educator in youth development

The Fresh Connect Learning Laboratory: Leveraging Extension and community expertise to support emerging food hubs in Greater Minnesota
Project Leaders: Noelle Harden, Extension educator in health and nutrition; and Dana Rieth registered dietician, Lakes Country Service Cooperative

Economic Impact and Enterprise Benchmarking of Market Gardens & Farms in an Eight-county Region of Central Minnesota
Projects leaders: Ryan Pesch and Merritt Bussiere, Extension educators in community vitality; and Brigid Tuck, Extension senior economic impact analyst

Thank you to all who submitted proposals and the proposal review team.

Bev Durgan

Karen Shirer, associate dean for the Extension Center for Family Development, will be out of the office on an extended partial medical leave until the end of December.

Trish Olson, assistant director for family development and program leader for family resource management, will serve as acting associate dean providing leadership for family development during this time.

Rosie Heins, former Extension educator in family resource management, will come out of retirement to serve as acting program leader. Rosie will be 50 percent time and will have an office at the Extension Regional Office in Andover.

Please join me in thanking Trish and Rosie for providing leadership to family development as we wish Karen a speedy recovery.

Bev Durgan

Watch for the Fall-Winter 2014 issue of Source magazine. Copies of Source will be arriving at offices in the next week, it is available online. Employees will receive an email version that you can forward to your contacts. The stories will also be featured on the Extension home page, via U of M communications channels, and shared through social media, in person, and email over the next few months.

This issue of Source showcases creative research-based solutions Extension brings to today's challenges.

  • Pollinating new ideas highlights ways Extension connects research to education so everybody can be a part of the solution with the problem of bee population decline.

  • While 4-H has been a part of the fabric of our communities for more than 100 years, 4-H is also opening new doors for newer residents across the state.

  • As horse ownership grows, Extension is helping horse owners meet their need for education on horse health, nutrition, care and pasture management.

Please feel free to use the printer-friendly pdf versions of the stories available on the Extension website. Copies of these stories are helpful to include in your program marketing materials and discussions with partners and customers. If you have questions about Source magazine, contact Aimee Viniard-Weideman or Catherine Dehdashti.

Catherine Dehdashti
Public Relations Manager

Each year, Extension sends 3-4 faculty and staff to participate in the National Extension Leadership Development (NELD) program. The purpose of the program is to give current and future Extension leaders and administrators an opportunity to learn about and strengthen leadership skills, develop a better understanding of their own leadership styles, and build networks across regional and national Extension.

I am pleased to announce the U of M Extension participants for the class of 2015: Marla Reicks, Extension nutritionist; Cara Miller, executive director, MN 4-H Foundation; and Josey Landrieau, Extension educator in youth development. They will join colleagues from across the north central region in the year-long leadership development program.

Finishing the NELD class of 2014 are Krishona Martinson, equine Extension specialist & livestock program leader; Joel Haskard, CERTS co-director, Regional Sustainable Development Partnerships; and Rebecca Harrington, Extension educator in youth development.

Bev Durgan

This week Extension launched the employee intranet in a new content management system, Drupal. The new site has improved navigation, increased page width for larger monitors, and is mobile-friendly to make it easier to access on your phones/devices.

Project team members are working through all of the pages to ensure links are working and any bugs are taken care of. If you have problems accessing content on the intranet, please contact Sarah Bjorkman.

Sarah Bjorkman
Internal Communications and Brand Manager

Extension videos should be closed-captioned whenever possible to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act and the University's Accessibility of Information Technology policy. Captions make your videos accessible for the hearing impaired and English-language learners, as well as when played in noisy environments.

Videos on YouTube are automatically captioned. These auto-captions are a good place to start, but results can vary from awkward to embarrassing to potentially damaging.

Captions on short YouTube videos can be easily edited in YouTube. Watch Caption your YouTube videos on Extension Technology's Quick Bytes YouTube channel for a detailed demonstration.

Extension's main YouTube channel contains playlists pulling select videos from Extension program YouTube channels. Before creating your educational or promotional video, check out the new video tips, resources and policies available on the Extension intranet.

Catherine Dehdashti
Public Relations Manager
Alison Link
Academic Technologist

The next several weeks are typically filled with intense political campaigns about the upcoming elections. Please remember that the University of Minnesota has guidelines for Election Day activities including eligibility for paid leave of absence to vote and personal participation in political campaigns.

Election Day is November 4, and classes or events may be scheduled as usual during the day. During the evening between 6-8 p.m., regularly scheduled classes may be held, but other University events should not be scheduled.

Employees may volunteer for political campaigns during non-work hours and vacation time, and may hold paid political positions subject to University's regularly applicable rules for non-University employment. Employees who are party officers or delegates may take time off to participate in meetings of state central committees, meetings of executive committees of major political parties and conventions, provided they give advance notice.

For further information, please review the U of M political guidelines.

Sarah Greening
Chief of Staff
Gwen Gmeinder
Government Relations Associate

Brittany Eich, 4-H program coordinator, Wright County, 9/8/2014

Christopher Strand, SNAP-Ed educator, St. Louis - Northern (Virginia) County, 9/16/2014

Extension educators in family resource management, Sara CroymansLori Hendrickson, and Becky Hagen Jokela recently received an honorable mention for the2014 FEMA Individual and Community Preparedness Awards (category: Survivor Empowerment and Integration) for their work in helping communities prepare for, respond to, and recover from disasters.

The Extension Business Retention and Expansion Team Menahga, comprised of Extension community economics educators Adeel Ahmed and Ryan Pesch, economic impact analyst Brigid TuckMaxine Norman, and Extension community economics specialist Michael Darger, along with community partners, won the "Outstanding Single Community with a Population under 20,000" Business Retention and Expansion International Award of Excellence.

Cathy Jordan, Extension specialist and associate professor of pediatrics, will be inducted as an inaugural fellow into the Academy of Community Engagement Scholarship, a new society that is modeled on the national academies idea. This honorific designation involves a life-long organizational commitment to be a thought leader and to promote the advancement of community-engaged scholarship.

Mohamed Khan, sugarbeet specialist for both the U of M and NDSU, has received the Excellence in Extension Award from the American Phytopathological Society. The award recognizes individuals who have made contributions to Extension plant pathology programs and have shown significant leadership in the field.

Sally Noll, Extension poultry specialist and professor in the Department of Animal Science, has been named a fellow of the Poultry Science Association for her lifetime of contributions to the field of poultry science. The fellow title is the highest honor awarded for professional distinction and contributions to the field by the Poultry Science Association.

Bob CravenKevin Klair and Dale Nordquist, Extension economist and farm financial management program leader, and Jeff Reisdorfer of the Center for Farm Financial Management were awarded the Extension Outstanding Electronic Media Education Award for AgPlan at the annual meeting of the Agricultural and Applied Economics Association. More than 35,000 business plans have been developed using AgPlan.