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October 13, 2015

Extension recognizes distinguished service of faculty and staff

Media Contact: Allison Sandve, University of Minnesota Extension, office 612-626-4077,
 ST. PAUL, Minn. (10/13/2015)—Extension Dean Bev Durgan recently honored faculty and staff as distinguished service award winners. The awards are given yearly in recognition of excellence across Extension.

The 2015 honorees are:    

Distinguished Campus-Based Faculty – Dr. Stephen Kells, Extension entomologist
Kells’ research and outreach focuses on pest prevention in residential, commercial and industrial settings. His emphasis on human health includes the “Let’s Beat the Bug” program, which has reached more than 2 million people, including disadvantaged and underserved audiences.   

Distinguished Field-Based Faculty—Bruce Schwartau, Extension educator
Rochester-based Schwartau leads the Extension Center for Community Vitality’s Retail Trade Analysis Team, providing in-depth analyses of local retail trade. He has completed more than 250 reports, which are used by communities, local Chambers of Commerce and other economic development groups to help inform their decisions.    

Partnering with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Farm Service Agency, the team helped Minnesota farmers navigate the most complicated decisions they had faced in decades, changes necessitated by the 2014 Farm Bill.  Evaluations show that attendees increased their understanding of the options and intend to use the information they learned to make the best decisions for their farm businesses. Team members were:  David Bau, Betty Berning, Bob Craven, Gary Hachfeld, Eliza Herman, Rob Holcomb, Kevin Klair, Curtis Mahnken, Dale Nordquist, Kent Olson, Jim Paulson, Jim Salfer and Allison Sandve.

Distinguished Diversity and Inclusion—Children, Youth and Families At Risk (CYFAR) Team
The team is igniting middle-school youth interest in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). 4-H STEM clubs reach culturally diverse teens in Minneapolis and St. Paul, helping them form skills and habits that lead to success. The team designed and implemented a summer residential campus immersion experience, working with partners, youth and families to make the program relevant to young teens and stretch their views of themselves and college life. Team members were:  Abdimalik Mohamed, Mohamed Farah, Grace Gbolo, Krista Gustafson, Barbara Kapala, Dau Mohamed, Jessica Russo, Jennifer Skuza, Tim Sheldon, Anthony Walker and Hui-Hui Wang.  

Distinguished Leadership—David Werner
Werner served Extension as an educator, director and chief financial officer before his recent retirement. He launched and implemented effective budgeted processing and tools, bringing strong understanding of the value of research and education to financial stewardship. He has engaged colleagues and served as a fiscal agent with the highest standards.

Durgan also recognized Steve Olson, executive director of several organizations serving Minnesota’s poultry growers and industry, as distinguished friend of Extension. (Link goes here)


For more news from U of M Extension, visit or contact Extension Communications at University of Minnesota Extension is an equal opportunity educator and employer.

Poultry leader Olson honored as 2015 Friend of Extension

Media Contact: Allison Sandve, University of Minnesota Extension, office 612-626-4077,

ST. PAUL, Minn. (10/13/2015)—Minnesota poultry industry leader Steve Olson has been named 2015 Distinguished Friend of Extension.

The award was announced recently by Extension Dean Bev Durgan, who cited Olson as a champion of the state’s poultry industry. Olson serves as executive director of four poultry-related groups: Minnesota Turkey Growers Association, Minnesota Turkey Research and Promotion Council, Chicken and Egg Council of Minnesota and the Midwest Poultry Federation.

“His leadership stood out this year as producers and processors deal with the devastation brought on by highly pathogenic avian influenza,” Durgan said. “Steve and his associations worked tirelessly to inform the public and support the industry, working closely with Extension’s poultry and food safety programs.”

The dean also credited Olson, a Minnesota 4-H alumnus, with helping create a successful 4-H poultry program during the Minnesota State Fair and county fairs after avian influenza forced cancellation of the animal exhibitions.

“I am honored to accept this award. On behalf of Minnesota’s poultry farmers, I also recognize the leadership and education Extension has provided us not only for the past seven months, but the past 70 years,” Olson said.

Olson has worked closely with Extension faculty and educators in his 15-plus years as a poultry industry leader. He is an alumnus of the Minnesota Agriculture and Rural Leadership program, graduating with its second class in 2004. Olson also served nine years on the Ramsey County Extension Committee.

For more news from U of M Extension, visit or contact Extension Communications at University of Minnesota Extension is an equal opportunity educator and employer.

September 22, 2015

Test shows horse did not have EHV-1

Media contact: Aimee Viniard-Weideman, U of M Extension, (651) 894-4591, 

ST. PAUL, Minn. (9/22/2015)—A horse that became ill during the State 4-H Horse Show last Friday  tested negative for Equine Herpesvirus 1, according to the University of Minnesota Extension.

Based on the horse’s neurological symptoms, there was a possibility that the horse had Equine Herpesvirus 1 (EHV-1). The family that owned the horse chose to euthanize it because of its worsening condition and poor prognosis. Testing was conducted through the University of Minnesota Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory. 

Because of the possibility of EHV-1, State 4-H Horse Show participants were instructed to quarantine horses that participated in the horse show and monitor their horses until test results were available.

Because of these test results, horses that participated in the State 4-H Horse Show no longer need to be quarantined. 4-H participants were notified of the test results this afternoon.

September 11, 2015

Explore Morocco and Minnesota Connections Sept. 15-17 at U of M

Media contacts: Catherine Dehdashti, U of M Extension,, (612) 625-0237 (week of Sept. 7); Allison Sandve, U of M Extension,, (612) 626-4077 (week of Sept. 14)

MINNEAPOLIS/ST. PAUL (9/10/2015) — Morocco and Minnesota Connections is three days of events and activities to highlight the historic relationship between the University of Minnesota and Morocco and build more connections.

Conference activities are intended for community and business leaders, educators, students, and others interested in learning about the special relationship between Morocco and the state of Minnesota. During the conference, the Moroccan visitors will visit with University leaders, Minnesota companies, Lt. Governor Smith and economic development officials.

Public events include

Sept. 15
10:30 a.m.: Current Issues in Morocco, Presentations by Moroccan visitors
Best Buy Theater, Northrop Auditorium, U of M Twin Cities East Bank campus
Watch live stream

U of M Bookstore sale of Moroccan literature
8 a.m. – 6 p.m. U of M Bookstore in Coffman Union, East Bank campus
10 a.m. – 4 p.m. U of M Bookstore in St. Paul Student Center

Sept. 16
Noon: Luncheon presentation by Ambassador Rachad Bouhlal
Windows on Minnesota, 50th Floor IDS Center, Minneapolis
Registration required at

1:30 p.m.: Presentations from U of M faculty and Moroccan Ministry of Agriculture
U of M St. Paul Student Center

4 p.m.: Alumni awards presentation and reception: Honoring Mohammed Sadiki, class of 1990
Paul Whitney Larson Gallery, U of M St. Paul Student Center

6:30 p.m.: Reception hosted by University Arab Language and Culture Club
U of M Molecular and Cellular Biology building, room 3-120, 420 Washington Ave SE, Minneapolis

7:15 p.m.: Le Grand Voyage, A Moroccan film
U of M Molecular and Cellular Biology building, room 3-120, 420 Washington Ave SE, Minneapolis

Sept. 17
6-8 p.m.: Opening reception: Bridges to Morocco, photo exhibit of Lhouceine Aamar, U of M Humphrey Fellow
Paul Whitney Larson Gallery, U of M St. Paul Student Center

For detailed schedule and more information, visit


The collaboration between the University of Minnesota and Morocco began in the 1960s. Over the next two decades, exchanges of students, educators and researchers took place predominantly in the areas of agriculture and veterinary medicine. Although sustainable agriculture is still a key area of the partnership, areas such as leadership, community development and tourism, Arabic language learning, and business continue are growing fields of cooperation.

University of Minnesota Extension recently implemented grant-funded leadership programming with Morocco’s National School of Agriculture in Meknes, pairing Minnesota farmers and agriculture leaders with Moroccan farmers in a Farmer-to-Farmer program. University of Minnesota Extension leads Cooperative Extension nationally on globalization, international development challenges and intercultural skill-building.

Event Partners

University of Minnesota:
  • University of Minnesota Extension
  • Global Programs and Strategy Alliance
  • College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences
  • College of Veterinary Medicine
  • College of Liberal Arts
  • Carlson School of Management
  • U of M Morris
  • U of M Duluth
  • Student Unions & Activities

Other U.S. partners:
  • Minnesota International Center
  • Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development

September 10, 2015

U of M hosting showcase to educate, engage and inform about aquatic invasive species

Media contacts: Catherine Dehdashti, U of M Extension,, (612) 625-0237; Allison Sandve, U of M Extension,, (612) 626-4077

ST. PAUL (9/10/2015) —The Minnesota Aquatic Invasive Species Research Center (MAISRC), along with University of Minnesota Extension, announce the 2015 Aquatic Invasive Species Research and Management Showcase, to be held on Wednesday, Sept. 16. The conference will run from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the Continuing Education and Conference Center, 1980 Buford Ave., on the University of Minnesota St. Paul campus.

September 04, 2015

Prevent flash fires and explosions: watch for deep-pit manure foam

Media Contact: Allison Sandve, U of M Extension, (612) 626-4077,

ST. PAUL, Minn. (9/3/2015)—Manure deep-pits under swine barns in the Upper Midwest are getting full in this time of year, and concern over pit foaming is especially high. Pork producers should be vigilant.

Although the frequency of flash fires or barn explosions in deep-pit pig buildings has been significantly reduced since the peak of this problem in 2009, foam still can occur. Tragically, that resulted in two fatalities earlier in 2015.

To prevent an explosion or a flash fire, ventilate or exchange air in the barn to dilute the concentration of methane gas in the air.

The presence of foam bubbles on top of liquid manure in a deep pit contains about 70 percent methane. Any activity that disrupts the foam releases this stored methane or natural gas can be dangerous. Methane is extremely explosive when between 4 and 15 percent of the air by volume. If you are not sure if foam is present or if there is only a thin layer, take precautions.

Always check for foam when there is any interruption in normal activities. This includes changing (turning) groups of pigs, running soaking nozzles or power washing, agitating and pumping liquid manure in the pit, or any maintenance work (such as welding) inside the barn. These activities disrupt the foam and release methane.

If foam is detected in the manure pit prior to any of these activities, immediately take these precautions:

Run the exhaust fans in the barn to at least the mild weather or fall/spring ventilation rate. This will provide roughly 25 to 35 air exchanges per hour in the barn or, for a grow-finish barn, 30 to 40 cfm/pig. Use of wall fans are preferable in addition to pit fans, since the airflow rates from pit fans are commonly compromised or reduced significantly by high manure levels in the pit and duct transitions on pit fans.

When foam is present, eliminate all ignition sources inside the barn: pilot lights or electrostatic spark on water and space heaters, sparking switches on lights and non-enclosed electric motors, welding, grinding, cigarettes, cigars or pipes.

Extension and research personnel from the University of Minnesota, Iowa State University and University of Illinois developed warning stickers in English and Spanish to post inside pig barns. Stickers will be available from pork producer associations in all three states.

For more information, visit

Any use of this article must include the following credit line:

From Chuck Clanton, PE, professor, University of Minnesota, College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences and Larry Jacobson, PE, agricultural engineer and professor, University of Minnesota Extension

Media Contact: Allison Sandve, U of M Extension, (612) 626-4077,

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August 18, 2015

Learn from U of M Extension at the 2015 Minnesota State Fair!

If you go to the "Great Minnesota Get-Together," be sure to participate in fun and educational U of M Extension opportunities. Extension discovers science-based solutions, delivers practical education and engages Minnesotans to build a better future.
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