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Extension > Family Matters > October 2017

Monday, October 23, 2017

The Courage to Converse: Finding Our Voices


By Noelle Harden, Health and Nutrition Educator

As teachers, scholars, and leaders, our voices are sometimes the most powerful tool that we have in our Extension toolbox.

It may come as a surprise to my colleagues that I have struggled in recent years to find my own voice. Over the last five years, I have developed a reputation for being someone who speaks out, who listens, who stands up for what I believe in with strength and courage.

Singing in front of Extension colleagues at a 2016 conference
that kicked off the Courage to Converse series.
Photo credit: Jessica Barnes.

But on the inside, I have felt crushed by the weight of a burden that, until recently, I never thought I would talk about in public. I am writing today after realizing that the personal and the professional spheres are impossible to truly separate. I am writing today to help others find their own voice.

Community Garden Takes Root in Rochester


By Milena Nunez Garcia, SNAP-Ed Educator

a sign with text "Back to Eden Garden"
The Oak Terrace Garden sign,
prepared by the Rochester SDA Church.
This summer, the University of Minnesota Extension SNAP-Ed program had the opportunity to work in collaboration with the Rochester Seventh-day Adventist (SDA) Church in a community garden program at the Oak Terrace Estates and Parkside mobile home communities.

The purpose of the Oak Terrace Garden project was to grow an organic community garden to encourage the community to grow organic vegetables for family use. In addition to having fresh produce to eat, the garden will help families
  • Learn gardening techniques.
  • Understand the importance of working as a team in the community.
  • Consume a healthy diet.
  • Be in the fresh air and get some exercise. 
To help establish the garden in the community, we held several community events in collaboration with the Rochester SDA Church:

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Building the Resilience of Minnesota's Rural Grocery Stores


By Anne Dybsetter, Extension Educator — Health and Nutrition

In the next 10 years, nearly two-thirds of rural grocers in Minnesota plan to get out of the grocery business, according to a 2015 University of Minnesota Extension Regional Sustainable Development Partnership survey. Will the families, seniors, and newcomers in small towns and rural areas continue to have access to healthy foods at their local grocery stores in the future?

Rural grocers and others on the front lines of bringing good food to small towns certainly hope so. This August, a crowd of more than 50 such healthy food access champions converged on Bird Island for “Resilient Rural Grocery Stores: A Resource and Networking Event.”

Monday, October 2, 2017

Extension Launches New Professional Development Program for Health Promotion


By Anne Dybsetter, Extension Educator — Health and Nutrition

On behalf of the team working on the Systems Approaches for Healthy Communities program, I am pleased to announce the national launch of this web-based professional development program for health promotion organizations. University of Minnesota Extension's Systems Approaches for Healthy Communities promotes the integration of policy, systems, and environmental (PSE) interventions with educational strategies.

five icons in an arch over course stitle


Our goal is to help health promotion staff understand and act on factors that influence whether individuals can easily make healthy choices wherever life takes them — at home, at work, at the grocery store, and beyond.
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