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Celebrate Food and Ag Day at a Gopher Game

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TIME SENSITIVE:  Be part of the inaugural Celebrate Ag & Food Day, Saturday, September 14 at 11 a.m. as Gopher Football hosts Western Illinois. Join Extension friends, college alumni and agricultural leaders for the game at the TCF Bank Stadium to celebrate and show your support for Minnesota agricultural and food industries. Extension is partnering with the College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences and others on this special opportunity. Extension staff and friends can order tickets at a special rate of $15. Tickets must be purchased by September 13 to be a part of this group. Don't forget to show your support by wearing Extension clothing

Epsilon Sigma Phi at Extension Program Conference

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Extension's Program Conference will be held October 7-9 at the Duluth Entertainment Convention Center. All Epsilon Sigma Phi (ESP) members are invited to join us for the following activities:

  • ESP silent auction noon - 7 p.m., October 7
  • ESP dollar auction 4:30-6 p.m., October 8, during the Lightning Talks
  • ESP member meeting 6:15-7:30 p.m., October 8
Show your support for ESP by donating an item to the ESP silent and dollar auctions that reflects your passion. Do you like to paint? Knit? Golf? Go to your lake cabin? Think about donating a basket of items that coordinates with what you love to do or a 'masterpiece' you've created. Donate an item to the auctions as an individual or with a group. Approximately six items will be selected for the dollar auction, with the remaining items being offered at the silent auction. All proceeds go to the Minnesota Extension Workers Scholarship (MEWS) Fund.  

To donate an item for the silent and dollar auctions, please send the following information to Ellie McCann, via email by Wednesday, September 25: name of donor; address of donor; email of donor; item description (20 words or less); estimated fair market dollar value of item.

Other ways to be involved at conference:

  • Take bids from colleagues who are unable to attend (such as retirees who may only be in attendance one of the two days).
  • Volunteer to help with setting up the silent auction on Monday afternoon.
  • Make a cash donation to MEWS if you are unable to attend either or both of the auctions.

Contact Ellie McCann, with questions.

Symposium Honors, Shares Jean Bauer's Research and Legacy

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The Department of Family Social Science is pleased to announce its inaugural Family Social Science Cornerstone Symposium, "Upholding the well-being of families in a changing world," to be held on Sept. 27. This year's symposium will honor Jean Bauer, an Extension specialist and family social science professor who passed away in 2012. Elizabeth Dolan, University of New Hampshire professor emeritus will present on Bauer's extensive body of research and the legacy she left behind, focusing on family policy and the economic well-being of families and communities. This event is aimed at family-serving professionals and students of family social science, but all are welcome to attend. Presentation is at 2 p.m., 105 Cargill Hall with reception to follow at 3 p.m. Please RSVP with your name and email address. 

What's your passion? Plan to show your support for Epsilon Sigma Phi (ESP) at the 2012 Extension program conference (stay tuned for details) by donating an item that reflects your passion to the ESP Silent and Dollar Auctions. Ideas for items to donate: a basket of golf equipment, a masterpiece or handcrafted item you've created, a weekend getaway at your cabin, or dinner prepared in your home by a local chef.

All proceeds for the Silent Auction go to the MEWS (Minnesota Extension Worker Scholarships) Fund to support graduate study and staff development. Extension retirees who are life ESP MN Pi Chapter members may also qualify for scholarships.

Auction items can be submitted as an individual or with a group. Approximately six items will be selected for the Dollar Auction, with the remaining items being offered on the Silent Auction. More specific auction information will be available in late summer; in the meantime get creative and begin thinking about how you can support ESP by sharing your passion. Contact Becky Harrington,, (218) 236-2012 with questions.

Dean's Column (August 2011)

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Dear Extension Retirees,

I hope you are able to join me and your fellow Extension retirees on Tuesday, August 23 for our annual retiree celebration. This year, we will be hosting a luncheon to honor our retirees at the Holiday Inn Hotel and Suites in Maple Grove.

So please mark your calendars for Tuesday, August 23, 11:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m. and plan on joining us to see old friends and hear the latest updates on Extension.

Please watch for the email invitation and be sure to RSVP to Gwen Gmeinder (, 612-625-6795) by August 15.

I look forward to catching up with you in August!

Bev Durgan, Dean

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.

Dean's Column (September 9, 2010)

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Dear Extension Retirees,

The date for the annual reception for Extension retirees has been changed to October 28, from 2-4 p.m. at the University's new Urban Research and Outreach Center in Minneapolis.

I hope the date change is not an inconvenience for you, as I am looking forward to seeing you all once again this fall! Last year, we gathered at the State Fair in celebration of Extension's Centennial. This year, we will hold the reception in a much newer University and Extension facility. The University's Urban Research and Outreach/Engagement Center (UROC) is located at 2001 Plymouth Avenue North, Minneapolis (view map).

The multipurpose facility provides opportunities for University services and community organizations to conduct programs and pursue initiatives and projects to discover solutions to complex issues facing urban communities. Extension programs that have a presence at the UROC include: Urban 4-H Youth Development, Simply Good Eating, Hennepin County Master Gardeners and Operation Frontline.

So please mark your calendars for October 28 and plan on joining us to see old friends and hear about Extension's latest initiatives. We will meet at 2 p.m. for refreshments and a tour of the facility. Watch for an invitation with directions and a request for your RSVP coming soon.

Bev Durgan, Dean

Extension at the 2010 State Fair

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As in years past, there were several places to spot Extension at the 2010 Minnesota State Fair. And because this year's State Fair set several new daily attendance records, Extension's potential visibility also increased. Master Gardeners were available to answer gardening questions in their booth in the Horticulture building as well as give daily gardening demonstrations on the main stage. Extension faculty also presented on Healthy Local Foods, Parenting 2.0 and Emerald Ash Borer at the U of M building.

Perhaps you saw some of the great media coverage of 4-H during the fair. If you missed it, you can find it at 4-H in the News. Also, find out what happened at the 4-H building, as well as all project results, on the 4-H at the Minnesota State Fair webpage.

Extension's 2009 Fall Program Conference will be held at the St. Paul Crowne Plaza Hotel, October 5-7. The conference provides the following options for Epsilon Sigma Phi (ESP) members:

Monday, October 5
3:30-4:30 p.m. Dean Durgan's presentation
4:30-6 p.m. Poster session/appetizers

Tuesday, October 6
5-6 p.m. ESP annual meeting

On June 30, Extension hosted one of three regional EDEN Food Protection Conferences on the St. Paul Campus. Along with participants at nine satellite sites across the area, more than 120 Extension professionals, food industry representatives, and local, state, and federal agency staff attended the conference. In addition to presentations by national and local experts, attendees received hands-on preparation and training by working together on a case study and risk communications exercises intended to improve consumer safety.

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