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November 24, 2015

Star Tribune: Cover crops provide benefits but are a tricky proposition for Minnesota farmers

Cover crop in corn field
Star Tribune reporter Tom Meersman reported on cover crops in a Nov. 22 business-section cover story. Cover crops can improve soil and reduce erosion during the many months between fall ­harvest and spring planting, according to Jill Sackett Eberhart, University of Minnesota Extension educator in Mankato. Read story

November 23, 2015

5 ways to 'shop smart' during the holidays

Media Contact: Allison Sandve, University of Minnesota Extension, office 612-626-4077,; Mary Jo Katras, University of Minnesota Extension, mobile 612-203-6403,

ST. PAUL, Minn. (11/23/2015)--Families can come through the holiday shopping season with their finances intact by approaching their purchases with simple guidelines.

Minnesota's help sought in herbicide resistance survey

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

ST. PAUL, Minn. (11/9/2015)—A multi-state team of university researchers needs help from Minnesota farmers to better understand the spread of herbicide-resistant weeds.

November 12, 2015

Video: 4-H Rube Goldberg Challenge gets kids excited about STEM!

Minnesota 4-H’s annual Rube Goldberg challenge is getting youth excited about science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). Rube Goldberg machines are overly complex contraptions that can do a simple task using everyday items in whimsical ways that interact in a series of chain-reactions. The annual 4-H Engineering Design Challenge helps youth develop 21st century learning and innovation skills – critical thinking, communication, collaboration, creativity – and science and engineering skills through a fun, hands-on contest. Learn more about the Rube Goldberg challenge

November 03, 2015

Brainerd Dispatch: Convocation talks climate change, featuring Mark Seeley

Arial view of lakeshore
The Brainerd Dispatch reported on the "Climate Generation: A Will Steger Legacy" meeting that took place on Nov. 2 at Central Lakes College to discuss the effect of climate change on the Brainerd area—and what to do about it. Read story

Extension's Regional Sustainable Development Partnerships have planned approximately a dozen climate change adaptation convenings in Greater Minnesota, providing venues for Extension Climatologist Mark Seeley to provide region-specific climate information. Partners from multiple agencies and local organizations have provided important perspectives and information that can aid in community decision making.

The purpose of these convenings is to inform Minnesotans of the consequences of climate change, and to learn what innovations and strategies they are considering and deploying at the household, farmstead, and community level to adapt to a changing environment.

What drives Matt Russell to think trees need technology to survive?

The forest products industry contributes 60,000 jobs and more than $9 billion in value to Minnesota’s economy. But we need forests for something else: absorbing the carbon that is warming the earth’s climate.

Carbon is emitted through industrial manufacturing, transportation, and other activities. But 16 percent of it gets “grabbed” by forests and wood, which can use it for new growth. That drives the work of Matt Russell, a U of M Extension forest resources specialist. Read story

What drives Dan Larkin to save our lakes, rivers and streams?

Close-up of water plant

Nothing says “Minnesota” like water—we have the license plates to prove it—so the threat of invasive species to our precious lakes, rivers and streams grabs our attention like stepping on a zebra mussel.

Daniel Larkin works to protect and restore the health of our waterways. Read story

What drives Jeff Coulter to think we can double our food production?

From the plains of Minnesota to the hills of East Africa, corn continues to help meet the needs of a growing population. Given that our numbers could reach 9 billion by 2050, increasing corn production is an important goal.

But increased production means that farmers need help reducing their environmental footprint, and that’s where Jeff Coulter comes in. Read story

What drives Master Gardeners to share their green thumbs?


Minnesotans have dependable allies to help make our communities greener and healthier: U of M Extension Master Gardeners. The 2,300-plus volunteer Master Gardeners bring research-driven knowledge to the communities they serve and teach.

What does that mean for Minnesota? Read story

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