Dickinson County program highlights 2018

MSU Extension support family health and nutrition, promotes agriculture, educates about food safety, develops the community and much more.

Supporting Family Health & Nutrition / Community Development

The Veteran and Family Service Fair was held June 2, 2018 at Bay College in Iron Mountain. Representative Jack Bergman was the keynote speaker and emphasized collaboration amongst service providers. He noted that while all veterans in the Upper Peninsula were not in attendance, events like these are important to maintain in order to continue to connect veterans to services. MSUE also had a resource booth there and offered several breakout sessions for participants to choose from, including RELAX: Alternatives to Anger, Rent Smart, 4-H Youth Activities, Stress Less with Mindfulness, Money Smart: Family Financial Management, Self-Care for Caregivers, Family Nutrition, Nurturing Families, Home Buyer Education, and Family Gardening. MSU Extension Director Dr. Jeff Dwyer was in attendance and spoke about veteran support services through MSU Extension. We also administered a needs assessment to service providers, veterans, and their families to collect the data necessary for informed programming. Along with speakers and breakout sessions, the top floor of the event space at the June 2nd event had employment assistance and a mini job fair with employers looking to hire veterans.

Agriculture & Agribusiness

Practicing non-formal agricultural education in rural schools—MSU Extension staff and educators in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula have been creating opportunities for youth to experience farming and food systems in areas where there are few formal opportunities to study agriculture. Our goal is to inform students about the job opportunities available in agriculture and food systems. Next-generation concerns exist in our farming communities, yet only one FFA program and one CTE program with an agriculture focus exist in an area that comprises one-third of Michigan’s landmass: the U.P. The Dickinson-Iron ISD is working with the Slagle Family Farm in Felch.

Dickinson Master Gardeners

Extension Master Gardener volunteer hours increased 100% from 2017 to 2018. More importantly, through an Extension Master Gardener volunteer project, annually over 80 children ages 3-11 are introduced to the ‘wonders of gardening’ which include planting, care, and enjoyment of eating the vegetables they harvest. The garden is also a “Pollinator Garden”. The following consumer horticulture programming took place - Rebecca Krans assisted with garden at ISD Head Start, a Smart Gardening outreach booth at the Dickinson Co. Fair, and a Smart Gardening resource display at the Dickinson Co. Library.

Food Safety

A Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study suggests that the presence of a Certified Food Protection in food service establishments reduces the risk of a foodborne illness outbreak for an establishment. The study also suggests that it was a distinguishing factor between restaurants that experienced a foodborne illness outbreak and those that had not. In Dickinson County, 26 foodservice establishment managers were trained by ServSafe Courses taught by MSU Extension.

Community Development

Family fun Day Outdoor Extravaganza (9/15/18): This event takes place in Dickinson County and was planned and organized by Jessica Coron, Beth Waitrovich and our Great Start partners, Jonathon Ringle and Barb Reisner. It is a free recreation and education event for community adults and youth. Several community partners are invited to participate in this event. This year community partners included: Great Start, Head Start, Dickinson County Library, Wildlife Unlimited, The Y, Dickinson Conservation District, Iron Mountain and State Police Departments, Kiwanis Aktion Club and local 4-H Clubs. Not only does this event give insight to the community about the services MSUE and other local businesses provide, it allows families and individuals to explore outdoor fun. This year we had approximately 300 in attendance.

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