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Extension > Family Matters > May 2017

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

New Pilot Program Prompts Educators to Think Bigger

By Anne Dybsetter, Extension Educator — Health & Nutrition

Health promotion educators in Michigan and Iowa recently participated in a pilot program created by University of Minnesota Extension's Health and Nutrition team. Systems Approaches for Healthy Communities is a professional development program that sparked interest from Extension colleagues in other states after being developed and used in Minnesota.


A snippet from one of the program's modules.

FD in the News

Here’s a monthly roundup of regional media coverage on the work of Family Development staff and partners.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Welcome to New EFNEP Regional Coordinator

Please welcome Jackie Billhymer as the new EFNEP regional coordinator for Ramsey and Dakota counties. Jackie previously worked with Extension’s Health and Nutrition programs as the project coordinator for SNAP-Ed’s Community Partnership Funding Initiative.

a young woman holds a homegrown tomato in front of her mouth
Hands-on gardening in action.
In her new role, Jackie will work with communities and partnering agencies in Ramsey and Dakota counties to support EFNEP’s community nutrition educator team. She will help the team connect the program’s nutrition classes with families in greatest need.

Before joining Extension, Jackie worked in both rural and urban areas of the United States. In those roles, she collaborated with community organizers and teachers to engage youth in hands-on gardening and nutrition education.

Jackie is a registered dietitian and earned a master’s degree in Public Health-Nutrition from the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities.

Monday, May 22, 2017

The Bucket List

By Sharon Mulé, Professional Development Coordinator

Once in a while, people will ask me what’s on my bucket list. While I have a personal bucket list (you can ask me in person sometime), I also have a professional bucket list. Or more specifically, a professional development bucket list.

This year’s bucket is full of professional development ideas to help us all in our professional lives. Here’s a few you won’t want to miss.

Friday, May 19, 2017

CYFC's Community Discussions on Transgender Issues in Greater Minnesota Exceed Expectations

Since January 2017, University of Minnesota Extension faculty and staff have discussed issues facing transgender youth with 220 community members in greater Minnesota.

The Lessons From the Field: Meeting the Needs of Transgender Youth series of events featured Dr. Jenifer K. McGuire, scholar in residence with Extension's Children, Youth & Family Consortium (CYFC), Nathan Hesse, SNAP-Ed educator, and Cari Michaels, Extension educator in CYFC. Events were held in five greater Minnesota communities: Bemidji, Morris, Saint Cloud, Grand Rapids, and Rochester. Each of these regional, free-to-participate community training opportunities attracted between 24 and 75 people with an interest in the topic of transgender youth that was professional, personal, or both. These numbers at times made for very cozy discussions, as our community hosts have not always expected such large turnouts.

Supply and Demand for Free CSAs Remain Strong

By Hannah Jastram Aaberg, Communications Associate

Last year, 185 families in need in central Minnesota were able to enjoy the benefits of community supported agriculture (CSA) at no cost to them through four community-supported programs. This year, with the support of University of Minnesota Extension staff, each of those four programs are maintaining or expanding their services.

Community supported agriculture is a way for farmers and consumers to share the risks and rewards of farming. CSA shares are often more expensive than many families can afford, but the fresh produce a share provides is something that all Minnesotans need. For details about what all the programs have in common, check out Sharing Health: Community Supported Agriculture for Families in Need.

Let’s take a closer look at how four communities have maintained or are expanding their efforts to bring local, seasonal produce at no charge to families in need.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Memorial Day: More than a Monday Holiday?

By Sara Croymans, Extension Educator — Family Resiliency

For many, Memorial Day signifies the start of the summer season with a three-day weekend. But for many others, it is a time to pause and remember the service members who have served and died in our country’s Armed Forces.

Monday, May 15, 2017

Present at the 2017 Food Access Summit

By Noelle Harden and Stephanie Heim, co-facilitators of Extension’s food issue area

We are excited to announce that the Food Access Summit planning committee is accepting proposals to present at the 2017 Food Access Summit on October 25–27!

Join us as we bring together people working to advance reliable access to safe, affordable, healthy food; learn from each other’s lived experiences and stories; build connections across sectors, cultural perspectives, and geography; and cultivate alignment and momentum toward collaborative action.

You can find the link to the proposal submission form on the Food Access Summit web page. Contact one of us for more about proposals.

Deadline for proposal submission is June 2 and registration opens in August. Through Extension’s Food Issue Area, we will be offering scholarships to attend the Summit.

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Update from the Hill: Market Bucks, Mobile Food Shelf Funding, and More

By Ryan Johnson, Associate Program Director — Health and Nutrition

It has been a busy time at the Minnesota Legislature. As we head into the final two weeks, here is an update on where a few bills related to Family Development’s programming currently stand.

Monday, May 8, 2017

Save the Date for Health

By Karen Shirer, Associate Dean

Health figured prominently in the media headlines over the last few weeks. We all are watching with great interest to see what happens with health care coverage for many Americans at the national level. At the state and local levels, we continue to tirelessly work to prevent ill health and promote positive physical, mental, and emotional health.

Last week, a number of Family Development staff members attended the 2017 National Health Outreach Conference (NHOC) in Annapolis, MD. The conference provided many opportunities to learn about promoting health.

One important lesson I learned at this year’s conference centers on thinking about promoting healthy behaviors as a non-partisan issue, which unites us rather than divides us. Stephen Thomas, Ph.D., director of the University of Maryland Center for Health Equity, shared two stories that illustrated this principle.

Friday, May 5, 2017

NIH Grant Received to Study 'Super' Food Shelves in Minnesota

By Laura Bohen, Extension Educator — Health and Nutrition

The University of Minnesota Department of Family Medicine and Community Health, was recently awarded a $3.2 million National Institute of Health (NIH) grant to evaluate the effectiveness and impact of healthier food shelves in Minnesota. University of Minnesota Extension Health and Nutrition staff will be instrumental in the evaluation process.

The study will evaluate the impact of the Super Shelf program. The Super Shelf program is a holistic approach to transforming food shelf environments to provide healthier food and a dignified client experience.

Monday, May 1, 2017

FD in the News

Here’s a monthly roundup of regional media coverage on the work of Family Development staff and partners.
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