MSU Extension volunteers get involved in communities

Volunteers serve in various roles and complete the volunteer selection process.

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Michigan State University Extension volunteers are more than individuals who get involved in their communities; they are individuals who take the time to complete the Volunteer Selection Process and make their role official. These individuals serve in a variety of capacities and have a wide range of interests and talents.

Volunteers partner with staff across the great state of Michigan to deliver high quality programs and extend the reach of Michigan State University. For the safety and security of our staff, our volunteers, and the people we serve, we are committed to a thorough volunteer selection process and a robust volunteer management platform.

Volunteers today support programs in the following program areas Michigan 4-H Youth Development, Extension Master Gardener, Health and Nutrition, Early Childhood Development, Natural Resources, Sea Grant, Agriculture, Agribusiness and at the MSU Tollgate Farm and Education Center. In the last year more than 10,500 Michigan residents volunteered with 4-H. Those volunteers influenced over 200,000 youth and shared countless hours of time with them. Approximately $4.02 million of economic impact is generated by the MSU Extension Master Gardeners annually.

Volunteers have the opportunity to learn more about MSU Extension through e-learning modules including an Introduction to MSU Extension where they hear about all that we have to offer.

Welcome them to 4-H in which we share basics such as the 4-H name and emblem, our philosophy, and the pledge. Volunteers can also explore youth development principles in our module, Working with Youth. These modules serve as a foundation for our gold volunteers who interact with youth and adults on behalf of MSU Extension. These volunteers may serve in roles that allow them to handle finances, serve as chaperones, club leaders, serve on advisory committees, teach classes, staff informational booths at events, and more.

MSU Extension also has roles for silver volunteers; these volunteers may have minimal to no interaction with youth and vulnerable populations on behalf of MSU Extension but are still important to carrying out our work and are valuable volunteers. You may find these volunteers handing out ribbons, helping with registration, opening gates, working in food booths, and serving in roles that have gold volunteers or MSU Extension staff present.

Regardless of the role or the program one thing rings true about volunteers, they make a difference in the communities they serve. When they share their talents, time, and dedicate themselves to a program, great things happen and the people around them, both youth and adults reap the rewards. Smiles, friendships, and laughter can be found amongst the long hours and commitment of volunteers.

Anyone can apply to be an MSU Extension volunteer for one of our programs. The roles and requirements for each vary and program staff are happy to discuss the opportunities with you. You may contact the staff at your local MSU Extension office to find out more about the programs near you.

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