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September 23, 2016

Extension hosts Guatemalan delegation learning to improve school food programs

As students headed back to school in September, University of Minnesota Extension hosted a delegation of officials from Guatemala who wanted to learn how to improve school food programs.

The visitors got a taste of Extension’s school foodservice training programs, as well as the ways the SNAP-Ed staff partners with schools to improve the school food environment.

September 22, 2016

Palmer amaranth detected in Minnesota

Media Contacts: Allison Sandve, University of Minnesota Extension, office 612-626-4077, ajsandve@umn.edu; Allen Sommerfeld, Minnesota Department of Agriculture, office 651-201-6185, allen.sommerfeld@state.mn.us

ST. PAUL, Minn. (9/22/2016)— Crop scientists at the University of Minnesota and officials at the Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) urge farmers to check fields for Palmer amaranth, an aggressive weed that can put corn and soybean crops at risk. A plant detected in a native seed planting plot on a Yellow Medicine County farm was confirmed today to be Palmer amaranth. This is the first confirmation of the weed in the state.

September 21, 2016

Extension help for recovering from heavy rains, flooding

Media Contact: Allison Sandve, University of Minnesota Extension, office 612-626-4077, ajsandve@umn.edu


ST. PAUL, Minn. (9/21/2016)—The University of Minnesota Extension has a wide range of resources to help Minnesotans hit by heavy rains.

September 20, 2016

Traveling the state, Extension dean describes programming, priorities


2016 has found Extension Dean Bev Durgan journeying throughout Minnesota, meeting with a wide range of stakeholders as well as staff in county and regional offices.

In this interview with Julie Buntjer of the Worthington Daily Globe, Dean Durgan discusses how Extension is actively engaged throughout Minnesota on matters of both regional and statewide importance. Here's an excerpt:

“It’s been a great year traveling throughout the state and meeting people,” Durgan said. “One thing I’ve learned is that Extension is fortunate. We have some great people working in Extension -- they’re very dedicated to this state -- and the people of Minnesota have pretty high expectations for us."

“They care about what Extension is doing and want us to continue and to expand our work,” she added.

August 26, 2016

Gift helps 4-H'ers make their own state fair memories

David and Linda Werner endowment reduces financial barriers

David and Linda Werner are presented with a U of M  Heritage 
Society certificate by Bev Durgan, Extension dean


David Werner has plenty of memories from the Minnesota State Fair. There was the first year he showed livestock as a 4-H’er. His pig, a Duroc gilt, got sick and David was so worried that he spent most of the fair sitting in his pig’s pen. Then there was the time, years later, as an adult chaperone, he was looking forward to sleeping in one Sunday morning after a grueling schedule of early morning and late nights with the livestock encampment. He was awakened by a young 4-H’er who was concerned that David would miss breakfast. He still laughs about that one.

David’s wife, Linda, has plenty of 4-H stories of her own. Like David, she got her start with 4-H as a kid in Pipestone County, and has participated in the state fair as a 4-H exhibitor and judge. So when the couple was considering ways to give back, University of Minnesota Extension 4-H was at the top of their list. “It’s just been a big part of our lives, a part of shaping who we are and who we’ve become,” says David, who later worked as an Extension educator, district director, and finally as chief financial officer.

After discussing different ways of giving back to 4-H, the Werners settled on the state fair. David says that he and Linda see the fair as a culmination of a year’s work and a place for 4-H’ers to demonstrate what they’ve learned. They hope that their giving will enhance the state fair experience, helping a new generation of 4-H’ers create their own state fair memories.

This year, funds from the David and Linda Werner Endowment for 4-H State Fair Experiences will be used for the first time. The endowment provides scholarships to help 4-H’ers who couldn’t otherwise afford to attend and showcase their work. It takes hard work and dedication to qualify to go to the fair as a 4-H’er, and the Werners want to make sure that youth don’t lose that opportunity because of financial hardship. The endowment will also provide help for financial emergencies that arise at the fair for youth, families, volunteers or staff. Sometimes, the unexpected happens, and it’s more difficult to deal with away from home.

The Werners’ goal is to help make sure every 4-H’er has a fabulous state fair experience.
You can learn more about supporting Minnesota 4-H at Extension’s giving website or by contacting Jane Johnson, Extension development director.


August 10, 2016

Multi-generational 4-H families heading to fairs

Throughout Minnesota, there are multi-generational 4-H families. A recent Pioneer Press article profiles one of them, Dakota County’s Fox family, as they prepare for another year at the county fair.

For a special project this year, one of the granddaughters conducted videotaped interviews with her grandfather and others family members, who shared memories and the impact 4-H has had on their lives. “It was very fascinating, because I never really took this amount of time to talk with them, even my grandpa or my great-aunt and -uncles, so I definitely learned about them and how 4-H was then,” she said.

August 08, 2016

U of M plans new investment in ag research, education and Extension

Media Contacts: Lacey Nygard, U of M News Service, 612-625-0552, ljnygard@umn.edu; Becky Beyers, College of Food, Agricultural and Naturals Resource Sciences, 612-626-5754,
bbeyers@umn.edu; Allison Sandve, U of M Extension, 612-626-4077, ajsandve@umn.edu

ST. PAUL, Minn. (8-2-2016)--A nearly $5 million state investment in agricultural productivity at the University of Minnesota will be used this year to hire scientists and improve infrastructure across seven areas of collaboration spanning three U of M colleges and at research and outreach and Extension sites across the state.
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