A photo of the first page of the report.

Crawford County Annual Report 2023


May 9, 2024

A message from the District Director

This annual report is a summary of the work that MSU Extension has done in Crawford County to help people improve their lives through an educational process that brings the vast knowledge and resources of Michigan State University to local communities in northeast Michigan. In the following pages, you will discover the stories of progress, resilience, and empowerment that have defined our engagement with individuals, families, and organizations across District 4. From cultivating sustainable agriculture practices to
nurturing the potential of our youth through 4-H programs, each achievement is a testament to the dedication of our team and the unwavering support of our communities. We could not do this work without local partners in community government, local volunteers and
supporters, or people who turn to us for the information and education that we provide. Please continue to use us as a resource for information and ask us questions. Thank you for your support in 2023 and beyond.

Impact at a glance

  • 132 programs attended by Crawford County residents
  • 26 soil samples from Crawford County processed
  • 70 health & wellness program participants
  • 13 residents attended food safety programs
  • 215 residents served by SNAP-Ed
  • 226 natural resources program participants
  • 40 agriculture program participants
  • 38 youths enrolled in 4-H
  • 703 total Crawford County residents participated in MSU Extension programming in 2023 

Program Highlights

Agriculture & Agribusiness

The agriculture industry is developing and growing, contributing more than $104.7 billion annually to Michigan’s economy. MSU Extension works to increase farm success through workforce development opportunities, protecting the environment, ensuring food safety, reaching new markets, and advancing agriculture through applied research. In 2023, 62 residents from Crawford County participated in agriculture and agribusiness programs. In partnership with MDARD, DNR, USDA-Wildlife Services and MDHHS, 20 participants joined in-person in Grayling, as well as online to discuss how to best proceed toward the state’s goal of eradicating Bovine TB. Bovine tuberculosis (TB) is a contagious bacterial disease that poses a threat to livestock health and agriculture, and can also have public health implications due to the potential transmission to humans through consumption of unpasteurized dairy products or close contact with infected animals including deer. Control measures include testing and culling infected deer. Infected deer numbers are not high, but testing in 2022 positively identified infected deer in Crawford, Iosco, and Ogemaw Counties.

Stewardship of natural resources

Our natural resources programs improve public understanding, help landowners and communities use those assets for sustainable long-term social and economic development and conserve natural resources for future generations. In 2023, 226 Crawford County residents participated in natural resources programs including MiCorps Cooperative Lakes Monitoring program, Michigan Conservation Stewards, Forest Management 101, nature walks, and more. As leadership partners of the Northeast Michigan Great Lakes Stewardship Initiative, MSU Extension and Michigan Sea Grant supported local schools in fielding place-based stewardship education projects. In 2023, 175 students and 2 teachers from Crawford County were engaged in Great Lakes and natural resources stewardship programs.

Children & Youth

Michigan 4-H is growing current and future leaders. The largest youth development organization in Michigan, 4-H provides thousands of young people with experiential learning opportunities to explore new interests and discover their passion. While learning about the world around them, youth gain valuable life skills such as responsibility, citizenship, teamwork, and problem solving. In 2023, 279 Crawford County youth participated in 34 programs. 4-H Exploration Days is a precollege program for youth ages 12-19 from across the state of Michigan designed to allow youths to try new things, gain confidence and independence through hands on learning, and make friendships that can last a lifetime. The 2023 4-H Exploration Days theme was around belonging and all the ways that youth can and do belong. 22 Crawford County youths attended 4-H Exploration Days in 2023. 

Health & Nutrition

Through MSU Extension’s nutrition and physical activity programming, Michigan adults, families, and children gain crucial knowledge about nutrition and healthy foods, increase their daily activity, and improve their food security. In 2023, 70 Crawford County residents participated in 23 health and nutrition programs. MSU Extension partners with the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services to provide SNAP-Ed, a nutrition education program designed to reduce hunger and food insecurity and promote healthy eating habits for people who are eligible for food assistance programs like the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). MSU Extension SNAP-Ed community nutrition instructors teach youth, individuals, and families how to make health a priority. The goal of SNAP-Ed is to improve the likelihood that SNAP eligible persons will make healthy food choices within a limited budget and choose physically active lifestyles consistent with the current Dietary Guidelines for Americans and the USDA food guidance. In 2023, 215 Crawford County residents participated in 17 SNAP-Ed programs, such as Eat Healthy Be Active, Teen Cuisine, Cooking Matters and Cooking for One. As a result of MSU Extension’s social-emotional programming, 59 Crawford residents learned how to manage their anger, reduce stress, thrive as caregivers, practice mindfulness and strengthen their families’ and communities’ understanding of and response to mental health crises. Residents participated in 16 programs including Matter of Balance, Begin with a Breath, Powerful Tools for Caregivers, and Tai Chi for Arthritis and Falls Prevention.


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