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January 2011 Archives

Dean's Column (January 20, 2011)

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Dear Extension Retirees,

It was great to see and connect with all of you who attended the Extension retiree reception on October 28. As we move into a new budget cycle with a new governor, new legislators and new University president in July, we can be confident that Extension has made a difference in Minnesota while increasing visibility and building public support for the University.

With more than 500 state advisory committee members, 34,500 volunteers, 700,000 annual program participants and 13 million website visits a year, Extension continues to take University research and education into people's lives, engaging Minnesotans to address many of today's complex issues: water quality, food safety and security, childhood obesity, rural economic development, farm profitability, family finances, youth development, renewable energy and natural disasters just to name a few.

Thank you for your part in Extension's success, both with your past work and with your continued involvement and support.

Discover More Extension Online

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Today, many of our audiences are searching for and sharing information online. They are also participating in online communities. While not all of our audiences are active online, we must pay attention to those who do seek information and relationships through the use of technology and the Internet. In addition to our Extension website, you can find Extension on Twitter and find useful information on the Extension YouTube channel. If you are looking for Extension news, check out the redesigned Extension news media website for easier access to news releases, links to Extension in the news, Ag News Wire, features, multimedia and more. The site offers RSS feeds and subscriptions, as well as links to Extension's YouTube channel and Twitter feed.

ESP MEWS Fund Scholarships Awarded

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Epsilon Sigma Phi (ESP), the Minnesota chapter of the National Honor Society of Extension, provided nine professional development scholarships to members this past fiscal period. Recipients of the scholarships include:

Dorothy McCargo Freeman, 4-H youth development state program leader, 2010 Ruby Recipient at the 2010 ESP National Meeting in Casper, WY

Becky Harrington, Extension educator in volunteer and partner development, to present and attend the 2010 Children, Youth, and Families Conference in San Francisco, CA

Sheila Craig, retiree, to present and attend the National Environmental Health Association Conference in Albuquerque, NM

Suzanne Driessen, Extension educator in food science, and Toni Smith, field operations outreach director, to attend the Extension Public Issues Leadership Development Workshop in Nashville, TN

Marcia Woeste, Extension educator in regional 4-H youth development, and Kay Stanek, retiree, to attend the ESP National Meeting in North Dakota as voting delegates

Rosi Heins and Becky Hagen-Jokela, Extension educators in family resource management, to attend and present at the National Extension Association of Family Consumer Sciences Annual Conference held in Birmingham, AL

Professional development scholarship applications for current members and retirees are due on January 1, April 1, July 1 and October 1. For more information about scholarships and to become a member of ESP, visit the ESP website.

Welcome New Retirees

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Carlyle D. Holen, Extension associate professor, entomology and integrated pest management specialist retired on January 1, completing 33 years of research, education, and leadership in the field of integrated pest management. He worked on the Crookston campus.

Joanne Musich, with 24 years of service and contributions in fields of home economics, family development and family relations, retired on December 31. Jo was instrumental in implementing a number of programs, including Partnering for School Success, Powerful Tools for Caregivers, Parents Forever, and Positive Parenting.

In Memoriam (January 2011)

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Stanley R. Meinen, passed away December 17. His expertise in 4-H youth and volunteer leader development led him to serve as a member of the State 4-H staff as well as a key figure in development of the National 4-H Aerospace Program. Stan also provided leadership in the International Youth Exchange Program and the MN Camping program.

One of the snowiest Decembers in state history conspired with other factors to plague homeowners whose roofs are prone to ice dams. Extension housing technology experts Patrick Huelman and Richard Stone spent much of the holiday season helping reporters understand what causes the ice dams and how homeowners should respond. The Extension ice dam web page that they shared with reporters received approximately 20,000 visits in three weeks. Several news segments and articles provided readers with the information Patrick and Richard gave reporters and many news pieces can be found online, including from Minnesota Public Radio, Rochester Post-Bulletin and Pioneer Press.

Through a partnership with KIMT-TV (CBS News 3) and Iowa State University Extension, University of Minnesota Extension began a monthly news segment appearing on the network in July. The pilot agreement called for one Extension MidDay Moment every two weeks, rotating between Iowa State and the U of M, and continuing through December 2010. KIMT-TV reaches approximately 275,000 households in the Mason City-Austin-Albert Lea and Rochester market.

Since July, four MidDay Moment segments have aired live during the noon news update and have featured Extension faculty and staff addressing timely news topics: financial disaster recovery in the wake of the September flooding (Phyllis Onstad, family resource management educator); National 4-H Science Day (Melissa Koch, Mower County 4-H program coordinator and a local 4-H participant); school menus and fresh, local foods (Stephanie Heim, farm to school coordinator); and choosing healthy beverages (Kelly Kunkel, health and nutrition educator).

Did you know?

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Extension retiree group meetings are held throughout the year, as follows:

Vintage 4-H group meets three-four times a year, in the St. Paul area for lunch, conversation, announcements of interest to the attendees and a program, from time to time. For more information, contact Joe McAuliffe, 651-765-7377.

St Paul Campus Retirees also functions as a small group with meetings twice a month through the academic year. Curt Norenburg currently heads the group,

Southeast group, contact Marian Anderson, or Diane Damerow for further information.

Home Economics group meets the first Thursday of each month, 10 a.m. - noon, at various locations, for further information contact Sue Meyers at or 651-645-1975.

Agriculture and other disciplines meet 3-4 times during the year at Anton's in Waite Park, outside of St Cloud, usually on a Friday. It is a fellowship type of meeting with no formal program. The group starts gathering around 11:30 a.m. and moves on by 1:30 p.m. Larry Zilliox is the contact, 320-762-8502, or email . The next scheduled gathering is April 29. It is open to anyone who is interested in meeting up with former colleagues.

If other retiree groups are meeting, please let Gwen Gmeinder know and it will be included in the next newsletter.

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