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Family Matters

It's about time for ... a Family Development Update

It has been some time since I have talked with you about the happenings in the center and the great work we have been doing. There is much to catch you up on. Also, I have renewed my commitment to regularly communicate with you about the activities of the center and its staff. So, I am starting this new blog titled "Family Matters," in which I hope to give bi-weekly updates

In this first blog, you will find important information about the re-structuring that we are embarking in the Simply Good Eating program. In addition, work of the Food Safety team is highlighted. Changes in administrative support on campus are described. And lastly, a reminder of some important dates.

Enjoy these lovely August days and hopefully you will see another posting from me before the end of the month.


Restructuring of the Simply Good Eating Program Is Underway

Earlier this summer, a Task Force made recommendations regarding restructuring the 12 Simply Good Eating (SGE) regions to align with the 5 Extension regions. On Tuesday, August 20, 12:30 - 2 PM, you are invited to participate in a webinar to learn more details about how the restructuring will be done. We will give the timelines and details about the transition.

These are the recommended changes to the Simply Good Eating program that we will discuss on August 20th:

• Program Coordinators (PCs) will continue to supervise Community Nutrition Educators (CNEs). Our goal is that each PC will supervise up to 10 CNEs and give the kind of support that leads to high-quality, impactful programs.
• We are creating a new position to supervise the PCs. This new role will be a largely administrative and operations role, and will be classes as a Professional Administrative. These new supervisors will manage the programs funded by EFNEP and SNAP Ed. We anticipate putting in place these new supervisors by January 1, 2014. The number of supervisors will be determined by future funding levels.
• These changes will give Extension Educators more time to develop new program efforts and to learn more about Policy-System-Environmental (PSE) approaches across all Health and Nutrition programming. Changes in the SNAP Ed guidance, SHIP 3, and other trends are driving these changes. EEs will no longer provide administrative oversight to SGE work. Instead, they will target their skills and efforts toward broader health and nutrition impacts, of which SGE is part of the spectrum of strategies.

Please reserve the date on your calendars. The webinar will be recorded for later viewing if you are unable to participate when it is presented. More information will be coming your way regarding how to connect with the webinar in the next week.

Highlighting the Food Safety Education Team Successes

In this and future blogs, I will be highlighting the work of program teams in Family Development. I want you to become better acquainted with each other's work and see where there might be opportunity for partnerships. Last fall, the Food Safety Education Team joined Family Development and I wanted to share with you some important successes that they recently had.

The Food Safety Education team is led by Katherine Waters and works closely with Joelle Friertag, an Extension specialist in Food Science and Nutrition. Four extension educators currently work on the program team: Deb Botzek-Linn, Kathy Brandt, Suzanne Driessen, and Glenyce Vangsness-Peterson. Connie Schwartau serves a coordinator for the team.

The team has made available a new set of teaching materials: Freezing Fruits and Vegetables for Later Uses. These training materials are designed as a self-training option or to use to teach others. View the leader's guide and follow the instructions at http://www1.extension.umn.edu/food/food-safety/preserving/teaching-lessons-and-materials/

The team recently updated the Serve It Up Safely Food Manager Renewal food safety online course, which celebrated its 10th year anniversary this year. The course has been updated to meet new food code regulations, food safety research and Quality Matters standards. Thanks to Heather Lee, Ruth Ellis, Alison Link, Connie Schwartau, Katherine Waters, Shari Schmidt and Suzanne Driessen for their efforts on transforming the course!

A seed grant of $10,000 from Global One Health Partnerships to Advance Local to Global Food and Nutrition Security has been awarded for the proposal Structuring Food Safety Training for Success: A Somali Language, Culture, and Career Project in Minnesota.

The team consists of: Dr. Kendra Kauppi, Food Science and Nutrition, Role Project Coordinator; Glenyce Peterson Vangsness, Extension Educator, Role Curriculum Development Specialist; Ms. Fardowza Omar, Health Inspector, City of Minneapolis Health Department, Role Regulatory Specialist and Somali Community Liaison; Abdirahman Kahin, Owner and Operator, Afro Deli and Catering, Role Liaison to the Somali Business and Food Production Community.

The project will develop a working relationship with the Somali community. Working with the community, they will design, implement, and evaluate a culturally appropriate and customized food safety training program. The data obtained from this pilot project will serve as the basis to apply for additional funding to build a more robust state or multi-state project.

We also applaud Suzanne Driessen who recently received the Mid-Career Service Award from Epsilon Sigma Phi North Central Region. See http://espnational.org/news-job-announcements/current-news/611-2013-recognition-recipients.html

The team also works with colleagues in other centers to delivery high impact programs. Earlier this month, 65 high school students attended the University on the Prairie Science Day Camp at the Southwest Research and Outreach Center (SWROC) August 6-8. Annie Doberstein, University of Minnesota graduate student in food science, along with Extension educators Mary Schroeder and Kelly Kunkel in Health and Nutrition, Carrie Olson and Dianne Derrick in Youth Development, and Kathy Brandt, Food Safety, provided students with hands-on activities for the food science program track.

Youth learned about phytonutrients (chemicals in plant products that have health benefits) and the role they have in cancer prevention. Students were also introduced to food science careers, and they gained knowledge and skills to make healthier food choices for their growing bodies and minds.

To learn more about the Food Safety Education team, go to their website at:

More Restructuring in Family Development

Over the last year, Family Development has had three new program areas/units come under its umbrella: Food Safety Education, Healthy Food Access/Community Food Systems, and the Children, Youth and Family Consortium. We found that with additional staff and programming to support, we needed to adjust and streamline our administrative support team. Here are some of the changes that may be of interest:

• Rhonda Dragan is now the Graphic/Multimedia Communication Associate, taking over for Jon Fu who has left Family Development
• Jeanne Laqua is expanding her role and is now providing administrative support to all Family Development Program Leaders, not just Health and Nutrition.
• Heather Lee is now supervising all staff in administrative support positions.

We are continuing our efforts to strengthen the roles and skills across all administrative staff, helping to ensure we have the best staff and the right roles in the future. To learn more about our programs, go to our website at:

Dates that You Do Not Want to Forget

August 22, 2013 through September 2, 2013: MN State Fair, St. Paul
September 16 to 20, 2013: Galaxy IV Conference, Pittsburgh, PA
October 7 through 9, 2013: Extension Fall Program Conference, Duluth