Ogemaw County Friends of Extension receives the Michigan State University Extension 2018 Key Partner Award

Ogemaw County Friends of Extension (FOX) received the 2018 Key Partner Award from Michigan State University (MSU) Extension on Oct.16.

Award winners pose with director and MSU Extension staff.
Ogemaw County Friends of Extension receive their award from director Jeff Dwyer and Extension staff nominators.

EAST LANSING, Mich. – Ogemaw County Friends of Extension (FOX) received the 2018 Key Partner Award from Michigan State University (MSU) Extension on Oct.16 at the organization’s annual conference in Lansing, Michigan. The Key Partner Award recognizes those who have made significant contributions to supporting and promoting MSU Extension programs.

“I was a member of 4-H growing up and I benefited from 4-H and Extension,” said Andrew Walker, a member of the Ogemaw County Friends of Extension. “So many of our community members have either participated in 4-H or Extension or are actively involved. We see the value in that and want to keep it here for the next 100 years.”

In 2016, due to financial hardships the Ogemaw County Board of Commissioners ended their direct budget support of MSU Extension operations in the county. They decided instead to ask voters to approve a countywide multi-service millage to fund the program. County residents in turn formed the Ogemaw County FOX. The group members began advocating, fundraising and creating awareness of the value of MSU Extension programs in the county.

When two millage proposals failed in 2016, FOX raised enough money to keep the county MSU Extension program functioning until a standalone MSU Extension and 4-H millage proposal went on the ballot in August 2018. The group also continued their communication, fundraising and advocacy efforts through the August 2018 election cycle. FOX members gave generously of their time to organize many community events and communications opportunities with the public about the value of MSU Extension programming.

“We believe that the passage of the millage on August 7 is a direct testament to their efforts,” said Mischelle Warner, MSU Extension district director, who nominated Ogemaw County FOX. “Their continued support is unwavering, the commitment and belief they have in MSU Extension and 4-H is immeasurable and the entire Ogemaw County staff would like to honor them with this award as an expression of our gratitude.”

MSU Extension works with partners across the state to help people improve their lives by bringing the vast knowledge resources of MSU directly to individuals, communities and businesses.

For more information on MSU Extension in your area, visit canr.msu.edu/outreach.

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