Missaukee County program highlights 2018

MSU Extension made a difference in the lives of Missaukee County residents through educational programs and resources.

Early needle loss caused by brown spot needle blight shows up on infected Scotch pine in the fall before harvest making Christmas trees unsalable.
Early needle loss caused by brown spot needle blight shows up on infected Scotch pine in the fall before harvest making Christmas trees unsalable.

Christmas Trees 

“What’s wrong with my tree?” is the most common question MSU Extension receives from Christmas tree growers. With the value of Christmas trees being determined by tree appearance, anything that affects foliage quality and tree form can reduce the salability of the tree. MSU Extension is able to help diagnose tree problems and provides the most current information on soil nutrition, pest management and other production concerns through on farm consultations, educational programs and research.

4-H Youth Development

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A series of community classes offered at the Falmouth Youth Show to increase knowledge and showmanship skills included the “4-H Incubation Station.” 

4-H is the largest youth development organization in Michigan. In addition to offering the typical clubformat,
Missaukee 4-H offered a series of free community classes for fair exhibitors. Hands-on sessions helped increase knowledge, showmanship skills and profitability of market projects while focusing on entrepreneurial skills and practices to keep youth and animals safe and healthy. In 2018 Missaukee County had 15 4-H clubs with 25 adult volunteers. The total number of youth served in Missaukee county was 645. Four new clubs were formed, featuring sewing, arts & crafts, leadership/community service and shooting sports project areas. 

Gardening and Consumer Horticulture

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One of the many plant disease samples brought into the Extension office for identification

Homeowners often have insect infestations or plant diseases that they are unfamiliar with and need help addressing. MSU Extension provides soil testing, plant and insect identification, disease identification and treatment, Smart Gardening resources, and a toll-free Lawn and Garden hotline. Missaukee County MSU Extension office assists many customers with basic home gardening concerns.


The MSU Extension dairy team provides educational programs that enhance dairy farm management. One program held in 2018 focused on making more money from the milking parlor. Participants learned about the importance of training employees to follow a consistent milking routine, low-stress handling of cows and
overall efficiency in the milking parlor. Based on knowledge gained at the meeting, farm managers and employees planned to make changes that would improve milk quality, cow health and profitability.

Following a consistent milking routine enhances efficient parlor management and milk quality.

Nutrition Education 

MSU Extension’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program provides basic nutrition education and hands-on activities for all ages. “Jump Into Foods and Fitness” includes physical activity and nutrition for elementary children. Teens participated in “Teen Cuisine”, a hands-on cooking class that teaches basic skills, safety and confidence for managing their own kitchens. It is estimated that every $1 spent on nutrition education saves as much as $10 in long-term health costs.

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Taste testing fruits and vegetables during a “My Plate” presentation at the library was an enjoyable experience.

Early Childhood

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Many trainings are held to spread new ideas and knowledge including the Power of Puppets.

Parents and caregivers are the very first to have influence on a child’s development. Early childhood education equips parents and caregivers with the tools and knowledge necessary to become their child’s best advocate. Educational workshops are available in a variety of formats and include hands-on activities. Training hours are available for licensed childcare providers and topics include positive discipline, play, school readiness, literacy, and resilience.

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