MSU Extension announces statewide public listening sessions in November and December

Staff, partners and members of the public alike are encouraged to attend and voice their ideas to help shape the future of Extension.

People discussing things at a public meeting.

Whether it's supporting the dedicated professionals who drive the state's agriculture economy or empowering children to develop leadership skills, helping others is central to the mission of Michigan State University Extension, the community outreach arm of the university.

“Service is at the core of who we are,” said Quentin Tyler, director of MSU Extension. “As we think strategically about our organization, we value input from those we serve most of all.”

With that in mind, MSU Extension is holding a series of public listening sessions at various locations across the state as part of an ongoing strategic direction process. These sessions will begin in late November and continue through mid-December.

Through these sessions, the organization hopes to gather input from a diverse group of people to determine where MSU Extension is, what is working well and opportunities for improvement. 

This information will be then used to help shape MSU Extension’s priorities and service for years to come, said Tyler, ultimately helping the organization better serve all its stakeholders and partners.

“Whether you’ve used MSU Extension services for years or not at all, everyone has a valuable perspective,” he said. “You can play a critical part in helping shape the services and offerings in your community.”

Everyone is welcome and encouraged to attend – youth, parents, partners, all MSU Extension-affiliated faculty and staff, and curious community members.

“We want to build a roadmap for the future and uncover areas where MSU Extension can have an even greater impact,” said Tyler. “And to better serve our partners, communities, employees, and other stakeholders, we want to hear their diverse and unique perspectives.”

What to expect

Each listening session will begin with a welcome from MSU Extension leadership and staff. Then, participants will be divided into two groups – external participants and partners will gather in one room, and MSU Extension faculty and staff will gather in another.

In each of these rooms, participants will be invited to share their perspectives and insights through a series of facilitated activities. Questions will center on topics such as:

  • Emerging social, economic, and other trends that participants expect will impact them in the future.
  • What participants know MSU Extension for.
  • What participants believe MSU Extension does well, and what they think can be improved.
  • What participants envision a thriving MSU Extension would look like in the future.

Themes heard from participants will be identified and reflected to the entire group for each activity. If time allows, participants may be able to give additional input through worksheets.

Each session’s activities will be facilitated by a team of MSU Extension personnel, and guided by an external consultant. Light refreshments will be available at all sessions. Translation and interpretation services, as well as other accommodations, may be available upon request.

Once the sessions are complete, a team of MSU Extension staff will analyze and incorporate input into a vision that will guide the future direction of the organization.

Finding a session near you

The listening sessions will be held in eight locations throughout the state:

  • November 28 in Detroit 
    • 1-3:30 p.m.
    • MSU Detroit Center, 3408 Woodward Avenue, Detroit, MI 48201
  • November 28 in Troy 
    • 6-8:30 p.m. 
    • Troy Continuing Education Building, 1522 E. Big Beaver Road, Troy, MI 48083
  • November 29 in East Lansing 
    • 9-11:30 a.m. 
    • Hannah Community Center, 819 Abbot Road, East Lansing, MI 48823
  • November 29 in East Lansing 
    • For MSU-affiliated staff and faculty only
    • 1-3:30 p.m. 
    • MSU Campus, Conservatory, 1066 Bogue Street, East Lansing, MI 48824
  • December 11 in Marquette 
    • 4-6:30 p.m.
    • NMU Northern Center, 1401 Presque Isle Avenue, Marquette, MI 49855
  • December 12 in Grayling 
    • 4-6:30 p.m. 
    • Kirtland College Event Center, 4800 W. Four Mile Road, Grayling, MI 49738
  • December 13 in Frankenmuth 
    • 4:30-7 p.m. 
    • Saginaw Valley Research and Extension Center, 3775 S. Reese Road, Frankenmuth, MI 48734
  • December 14 in Muskegon 
    • 4-6:30 p.m. 
    • Muskegon Community College, 221 S Quarterline Road, Muskegon, MI 49442
  • December 18 in Kalamazoo 
    • 4-6:30 p.m. 
    • Delta Hotels by Marriott, 2747 S 11th Street, Kalamazoo, MI 49009

Register now at

Pre-registration is highly encouraged. Walk-in registrations may be limited due to facility capacity. If you have any questions, please contact Kathy Walicki at or 231-873-2129 or Marie Garcia at or 517-353-9464.

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