ANR in the News 06-08-2009

posted on June 8, 2009 4:15pm


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ANR in the News

It’s Monday, June 8, 2009

Welcome to the ANR News, a weekly update of news and events about Agriculture and Natural Resources at MSU.  The following are recent stories naming MSU ANR [CANR, MAES, MSUE] people and programs in major national, regional, and local media outlets

June 4, 2009

Petoskey News-Review
Simulating poverty
Community members got a taste of what living in poverty would be like Wednesday during a poverty simulation put on by Charlevoix and Emmet counties MSU Extension and United Way. The simulation, which was put on at the Emmet County Community Center, lasted for one hour, and had participants taking on the roles of children, parents and grandparents in a poverty situation.

June 3, 2009
Better Health Research
Research explains link between obesity and cancer
  Although the association between excessive body weight and an increased risk of cancer has been know for a long time, new research has   shed more light on a mechanism behind the link. The study was conducted by specialists from Michigan State University who investigated the hormone called leptin which is found in fat tissue and regulates body energy. "Abdominal fat in particular seems to be associated with the greatest risk for cancer," says Jenifer Fenton,  an MSU food science and human nutrition researcher with the Michigan Agricultural Experiment Station.

June 3, 2009
The Daily Reporter
SMILE program reinstated by Judge O’Grady
  SMILE — Start Making It Livable for Everyone—a program developed by Michigan State University Extension Office, was discontinued locally over a decade ago. MSU staff will talk about affects of parental separation or divorce on children. Judge O’Grady will be there to explain the operation of the court system as it handles domestic issues, and Friend of the Court Toni McAlhany will discuss function and operation of her support system,  regulations and procedures to be followed.

June 3, 2009
Grand Haven Tribune
City Council weighs in on MSU Extension building’s fate
  The fate of the Ottawa County building which used to house the Michigan State University Extension office is still unknown—but a decision will have to come soon. The 80-year-old building at 333 Clinton Ave. in downtown Grand Haven will otherwise come down in July and replaced by a county maintenance building. Grand Haven City Council voted 3-2 Monday to support local architect Denny Dryer’s attempts to save the building. With the majority of council behind him, this week Dryer is attempting to negotiate with the county to purchase the property. He said he has a deadline of June 8.

June 3, 2009
Doing their bit for donkeys of Mali
  To Amy McLean,  nothing is more fulfilling than improving the livelihood of mistreated animals.  Growing up in a family that raised mules and donkeys, McLean, a Michigan State University doctoral student in the Department of Animal Science, developed a passion for understanding and interpreting animal behaviour. "It just makes me feel good knowing that I’m making a positive difference in an animal’s life," she says.
  Her lifetime love and appreciation for animals, especially mules and donkeys, has led McLean to Mali, a country in western Africa, where she is working with a team of Michigan State University colleagues to teach people there how to care for donkeys properly.

June 3, 2009
Lansing State Journal
Jake Ferris: Biofuels are still a green choice
  The Environmental Protection Agency has concluded biofuels significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions compared to petroleum in combating global warming, writes Jake Ferris, professor emeritus in MSU’s Department of Agriculture, Food and Resource Economics.

June 1, 2009
Gaylord Herald Times
New home MSUE north office
  The Michigan State University Extension (MSUE) north regional office is relocating to the Bay View Professional Center in Traverse City. The move was expected to be completed by June 1. The regional office was located in the University Center at Northwestern Michigan College (NMC).The MSUE North office provides management support to 21 county MSU Extension offices,  including Otsego, Montmorency and Crawford counties, and auxiliary support to two Michigan Agricultural Experiment Station (MAES) field research stations in Northern Lower Michigan.

May 31, 2009
Detroit Free Press
Neogen sprouted from lab at MSU
  In 1982, in the depths of one of the state’s worst recessions, officials at Michigan State University approached the late Herbert (Ted) Doan, a former Dow Chemical Co. CEO, with a plea for help. Could Doan start a business that would keep scientists and professors from leaving? ... Today, 27 years later, that gamble has paid off handsomely for Neogen and Michigan. Neogen started with $150,000 in seed money from the Michigan State University Foundation and an investment from Doan’s venture capital fund. Thanks to strong sales and 15 acquisitions in the last eight years, Neogen’s sales exceeded $100 million last year. It’s now aiming to double its sales in five years, in part by developing and acquiring new products. Meeting this goal would mean an increase in Neogen’s workers, of which about 300 are in Lansing, says James Herbert, Neogen chairman and CEO.

May 31, 2009
Tough economic times spur a return to the garden
Kathy Gebhardt, MSU Extension Master Gardener and Customer Service associate at V&V Nursery in Cedar Springs, says her grandchildren are really getting into the action with the garden. "It’s fun to plant and grow seeds with kids because of the immediate rewards," she said. If you haven’t already started vegetable transplants on your windowsill, you still can place a few seeds into a pot and later place the seedlings into your garden to continue on through the season.  "Just the activity of watching something come up in that pot," she said, "is very rewarding and keeps them interested."

  May 29, 2009
Gaylord Herald Times
Buxton named Master Gardener of year
Carol Buxton has been chosen as the 2008 Master Gardener of the Year. She was recognized for her efforts recently at the Otsego County MSU Extension Master Gardener Volunteer (MGV) Program annual awards banquet (see related story). Buxton is a graduate of the 1996 Otsego County Master Gardener program and received her “advanced master gardener” designation after completing the additional required education and community volunteer hours.

  May 29, 2009
Traverse City Record Eagle
Agriculture Forum: Future farmers
Agriculture is Michigan’s second largest industry, and four times more important economically in northwest Michigan than in other areas of the state.  But it’s increasingly difficult for younger farmers to enter into the profession. Specific constraints include lack of farm transfers, a decline in traditional processing markets, residential development, increasing land costs and other financial challenges. A new program being developed by Michigan State University Extension and the Northwest Michigan Horticulture Research Station hopes to address these constraints.

May 28, 2009
Fire training for health workers
They’re in just about every building and they’re key to the first line of defense against a fire. On Wednesday, the Baraga County Michigan State University Extension trained Baraga County Memorial Hospital employees on how to use a fire extinguisher. With practice, officials hope they’ll be able to use the extinguisher if there’s a small fire in the hospital.

May 28, 2009
Michigan Farmer
Soyfoods Provide Solutions for Some Food Allergies
  "If someone has an allergy to milk or peanuts but not soy, soy provides some very good alternatives to dairy or peanut products," saysGretchen Hofing, Michigan State University Extension soyfoods health educator and a registered dietitian based in Lenawee County. Calcium-fortified soy dairy alternatives are good sources of calcium and protein and are cholesterol-free.  Products such as soymilk, soy cheese, soy yogurt and soy ice cream are all readily available and can be used in the same applications as their dairy counterparts.

May 27, 2009
Ripe For the Picking
  It won’t be long before one of Southwest Michigan’s largest crops starts making an appearance at area farmer’s markets. MSU Extension District Fruit Educator Mark Longstroth says the region is one of the largest producers of strawberries in the state, and they’re typically ripe for picking in mid June.

May 26, 2009
State News
MSU scientists promote advocacy to prevent climate change
Michael Nelson, an MSU associate professor of fisheries and wildlife, knows that being a scientist means having responsibilities outside of the lab. He and more than 180 Michigan scientists, lived up to those responsibilities last week by signing a letter pressuring Michigan lawmakers to take swift action against climate change in the Great Lakes State.

May 26, 2009
Science Blog
MSU discoveries upend traditional thinking about how plants make certain compounds
  Michigan State University plant scientists have identified two new genes and two new enzymes in tomato plants; those findings led them to discover that the plants were making monoterpenes, compounds that help give tomato leaves their distinctive smell, in a way that flies in the face of accepted thought. This research is funded by the National Science Foundation.  Last’s research also is supported by the Michigan Agricultural Experiment Station.
  Related Stories:
May 26, 2009
Gaylord Herald Times
Ag Expo on tap
Ag Expo,  Michigan’s largest outdoor farm show, returns to the Michigan State University (MSU) campus July 21-23 for its 30th anniversary run, bringing a variety of educational and commercial activities and exhibits to the state’s agricultural community as well as homeowners, families and anyone who wants to know more about the state’s second-largest industry. The MSU College of Agriculture and Natural Resources (CANR) will once again present a tent full of “Family Futures” with education and activities for residents of all ages. The United Dairy Industry of Michigan will present a daily recipe demonstration in the tent at 11:45 a.m., and the MSU Dairy Store will offer free ice cream while accepting donations to support CANR scholarships.

May 26, 2009
State News
MSU bee researchers discover 7 promising new pollinators for Mich.
Natalie Ebig Scott,  a spokeswoman for state-funded Project GREEEN, which partially sponsored the research, said the work is crucial for Michigan’s agricultural industry and affects more than farmers. “Pollination is a vital part of Michigan’s agricultural industry,” she said. “There’s widespread concern about the long-term sustainability of using honeybees, so native bee populations are something that we need to look into in the future. (MSU associate professor of entomology Rufus) Isaacs and his team have really stepped up to meet that need.”

May 24, 2009
Lansing State Journal
Thelen to head MSU Extension
  Marilyn Thelen was promoted within Michigan State University (MSU) Extension to Clinton County Extension director. Thelen joined MSU Extension in 2001 and has work in the areas of field crops value added as well as the Michigan Agriculture Environmental Assurance Program.

May 22, 2009
Busy farmers take to the road to put in crops
  Making up for lost time after a wet, cold spring, many area farmers will be working around the clock this holiday weekend to plant their field crops. Travelers on rural roads may need to take special care to avoid conflicts with heavy equipment crawling along roads during the day and night. "They’re making significant progress, but they’re behind and there’s still plenty to go," said Paul Wylie, Michigan State University Extension director for Allegan County.

May 21, 2009
Michigan Farm to School
  The Michigan State University Extension Consumer Horticulture Team, led by Mary Wilson and Bridget Behe, have created a new Gardening in Michigan website loaded with practical information. Check it out:
May 17, 2009
Lansing State Journal
40 ways to cut the Michigan budget deficit
  19. Combine extension service Combine Michigan State University Extension with the Michigan Agricultural Experiment Station, or eliminate the extension service. Douglas Drake, senior policy consultant,  Public Policy Associates, estimates: SAVINGS: $25 million.

May 17, 2009
Lansing State Journal
Soybean hotline offers growers crop, pest info
  Michigan soybean growers can access timely crop and pest management information throughout the growing season via the Michigan Soybean Hotline, a toll-free phone service sponsored by Michigan State University (MSU) Extension and the Michigan Soybean Checkoff Program. The hotline went into operation April 24 and can be accessed by dialing 888-201-9301. Growers will hear a recorded greeting directing them to select from six subject areas: insects, diseases, weeds, agronomic information,  soybean cyst nematodes and the Michigan Automated Weather Network. The updates and recommendations for each topic area will be recorded by MSU Extension specialists.

May 16, 2009
Morning Sun
Weather hinders farmers
  Last year at this time area farmers "had the world by the tail." But things certainly have changed. Cold, wet weather has brought planting to standstill and those who did get corn in early may have to replant the crop. "It’s very troubling and discouraging for producers," Gratiot County Michigan State University Extension Director Dan Rossman said. "It’s a trying time. The rain has come too often and too heavy for planting and what we do have planted there is a concern with quality.

May 15, 2009
Herald Palladium
Van Buren County increases 911 surcharge
  Van Buren County telephone owners will see their bills rise almost $1 per month after action by the county Board of Commissioners. The board voted this week to raise the monthly 911 levy from 41 cents to $1.37. The action follows a May 5 election in which county voters agreed to allow the levy to rise up to $1.50 per month for five years. Officials have said direct and indirect costs to operate the central dispatch center total about $1.3 million.  Because the county’s general fund had picked up what was not paid by the surcharge, and revenue is flattening, county officials sought the additional money to avoid making cuts in discretionary programs. Discretionary programs include road patrol, 911 and Michigan State University Extension.

May 15, 2009
RightMichigan Exclusive: An Interview with Representative Kenneth Kurtz (R-Coldwater)
  You are right in the fact that agriculture is so vital to my district. When you look at the numbers it is one of the only sectors of our economy that has had growth during our downturn. That is why I have been so amazed at the attacks to the MSU extension, MAEAP, and the Right to Farm program. Our state would never treat the car industry in the same way as the governor has treated agriculture.

May 14, 2009
River County Journal
Fabius Township Board supports Land Policy Educator
  The Fabius Township Board has gone on record in support of keeping Brad Neumann, Land Policy Educator (LPE) with Michigan State University Extension (MSUE) in Centreville, on the job as a St. Joseph County employee in 2010. The action came during the board’s regular monthly meeting Wednesday evening (May 13th) in response to a request from Stan Brueck, chairman of the Fabius Township Planning Commission, who asked that the township board write a letter in support of Neumann.  Brueck indicated that the planning commission will be offering its support for retaining Neumann.

May 7, 2009
MSUE Spotlight
4-H’ers dominate MSU pre-college scholarship program
  Five years ago Michigan State University began making scholarship money available to 8th graders who attend pre-college events on campus. The ever-popular 4-H Exploration Days and 4-H Great Lakes Natural Resources Camp are the two 4-H events through which youth can qualify for these scholarships. Of the 61 scholarships awarded in 2008, 57 went to 4-H youth! If these young people are accepted for admission and choose to enroll at MSU after they graduate from high school, $2,000 will be applied to their first year’s tuition.

May 7, 2009
MSUE Spotlight
Urban planners partner for practicum
  Every spring we get treated to an outstanding example of how MSU Extension and our partnerships affect urban communities throughout Michigan. Zenia Kotval and Rex LaMore, through the Urban and Regional Planning curriculum, offer a class composed of undergraduate and graduate students that work with MSUE county staff members to identify urban planning issues. Then, groups of students tackle the issues and report back. On May 1, I had the opportunity to hear several of the student presentations.


ANR@MSU is the ANR Communications blog covering news, events, issues and opinions about Agriculture and Natural Resources at MSU.   If you have topic ideas, contact Ruth Borger or Natalie Ebig Scott.

This week on ANR@MSU:

June 4, 2009
MSU Extension Resources to Keep Your Open House Safe">Use MSU Extension Resources to Keep Your Open House Safe
By Michelle Larva
  For the past six weeks, every spare moment of my life has been devoted to GETTING READY FOR THE OPEN HOUSE.  The high school graduation open house, that is. It starts when you look around and realize you’ve been living in squalor.  The kitchen and dining room must be painted.  And the bathroom.  Heck,  let’s just paint the whole house.  Floors must be waxed, cabinets Liquid Golded, holes patched, curtains and throw rugs replaced, new guest towels purchased and basement windows cleansed of all their spider webs (and inhabitants).

May 27, 2009
The case of the fruitless fruit tree
By Laura Probyn
  You planted it carefully, cared for it diligently and waited. And waited. And you continue to wait. It looks healthy but it has no apples. Or cherries. Or pears. Whatever.  It’s a fruitless fruit tree. And you want to know why.“The most common reason for failure to flower and produce fruit is that the tree is simply too young,”  explains .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address), interim MSU Extension Master   Gardener Volunteer Program coordinator. “Standard apple trees, for instance,  may start producing fruit in as few as three years or take twice that long — or longer.
May 22, 2009
Joyful Michigan 4-H Legacy Lives on
By Michelle Larva
  This post comes to us courtesy of Jody Maloney, 4-H program associate in Ontonagon County, Michigan. When I read it, I thought nothing could be more fitting for Memorial Day than to post this moving tribute to her grandmother and the 100-year legacy of 4-H. Memorial Day is on Monday, and for so many of us, that means honoring the ones we have lost. Today, I wrote an obituary for my grandmother, who was a lifelong 4-H leader. A couple of years ago, she gave me her diamond pin, some clover charms, and other 4-H trinkets she earned through her years as a 4-H leader. I remember being in her 4-H fashion shows, modeling antique dresses,  and watching her decorate cakes with my older sister and her friends.


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