Spring Newsletter l April 2018
Epsilon Sigma Phi (ESP) is dedicated to fostering standards of excellence in the Extension System and developing the Extension profession and professional.
In this Issue
 Chapter updates, life member spotlight: Cindy Petersen, silent auction, scholarship recipients, JCEP report, membership update, new members, member news, legislative update, member spotlight: Dan Marten retires, retiree luncheon dates, upcoming events
President's Message

By Suzanne Driessen

Happy Spring! It's crazy to think we are on our sixth month of the 2017-18 ESP Pi Chapter year. It's been a busy and fun year. 

Here are some board and committee highlights:

  • 153 members strong with 33 annual members, 120 life members and eight active committees.
  • Chapter membership communication survey reveals you want quarterly newsletters with organizational news and professional and personal updates from members.
  • New newsletter format utilizing email campaign and listserv via Constant Contact. 52% open rate for Winter issue. If you miss it, read it here
  • Updated by-laws, policies and procedures and blog. 
  • Members are benefiting from MEWS scholarships. This fiscal year, we have given out the most money since 2008. 

Thanks for your continued membership, involvement, and support. It's been fun to see the renewed interest and energy of our Pi Chapter. Contact me anytime with ideas, concerns or questions, driessen@um.edu or 320.203.6057 .
Life Member Spotlight
Cindy Petersen

Cindy Petersen retired as a Family Resource Management educator on January 31, 2014. Cindy worked in Renville and McLeod counties as a Regional Educator. She helped develop the Dollar Works curriculum.

In retirement, Cindy utilizes her financial counseling skills in several ways as an Accredited Financial Counselor (AFC). The Accredited Financial Counselor designation places an emphasis on ethics. This professional standard--to avoid conflicts of interest and respect confidentiality--is something Cindy takes seriously in her many roles as:
  • a volunteer providing one to one financial counseling
  • an AARP Tax Counselor preparing taxes for the elderly
  • helping with various church activities
  • a seasonal cashier at the U of MN Landscape Arboretum’s AppleHouse.

Cindy is the recipient of a ESP Pi Chapter MEWS scholarship. The funds helped her attend the Association of Financial Counseling & Planning Education (AFCPE) Symposium in San Diego, CA, November, 2017. The information gained at the conference helps Cindy keep up-to-date on important trending topics in the financial area.  

The photo above is a poster session presented by a colleague in Michigan of select Dollar Works units translated into Arabic. Cindy (R) is pictured with Shirley Anderson Porisch. Both worked on the Dollar Works 2 project in the very early stages prior to retirement. Cindy was thrilled to see the curriculum completed, offered in another language and showcased at the conference.

Besides Cindy’s volunteer work and seasonal job at the AppleHouse, she finds time to golf, travel, visit local wineries and spend time with family and friends. 

Interested in being featured in a future Life Member Spotligh t column? Contact Suzanne Driessen, driessen@umn.edu or 320.203.6057.

By Becky Hagen Jokela, Fundraising Chair

There's interest and energy in having the Silent Auction again! Proceeds from the silent auction support MEWS professional development scholarships for ESP annual and life members.

Start planning, crafting and soliciting donations for the silent auction at the Extension 2018 Program Conference. Stay tuned for further information!

Questions? Contact an ESP Fundraising Committee member:
ESP MEWS Scholarship Recipients

By David Werner, MEWS Scholarship Chair

Annual and life members can receive Minnesota Extension Workers Scholarship Funds (MEWS) for a professional development opportunity every other year (based on the UMN fiscal year cycle). The amount of money given out is based on spendable interest (according to U of MN Foundation guidelines) accrued in the previous fiscal year. The scholarships amount is $500.

The following members have received scholarships this fiscal year totaling $4,385:
  • Beth Russell, Life member, Road Scholar Study Program
  • Sharon Knutson, Life member, Road Scholar Program
  • Phyllis Onstad, Life member, 2017 Association of Financial Counseling Planning & Education Symposium 
  • Colleen Gengler, Life member, 2017 NEAFCS Minnesota Affiliate’s Professional Development Day
  • Judith Conway, Annual member, International Association for Research on Service Learning and Community Engagement conference
  • Katherine Brandt, Annual member, 2017 National Extension Association of Family and Consumer Sciences Annual Session
  • Kelly Kunkel, Annual member, 2018 Joint Council of Extension Professionals Leadership Conference
  • MEWS funds also support ESP leadership to attend JCEP, PILD and national ESP annual session

After attending the professional development event, scholarships recipients submit a report of their study and its impact on them professionally. Find the reports on our blog here .

Want you name added to the MEWS scholarship recipient listing? Apply here .
JCEP Report

By Nathan Winter, Vice-president

The purpose of the Joint Council of Extension Professionals (JCEP) Leadership Conference is to support Extension leadership succession planning and development nationwide. I have attended many conferences in my 13 year Extension career. The 2018 JCEP Conference was another opportunity to build and strengthen my skills as an Extension program leader and various leadership roles in organizations like ESP.  

The JCEP Leadership Conference brings together individuals from around the nation and from all levels and subject matter areas of Extension. I enjoyed the opportunity to see what is happening at other institutions and to get outside of my normal agriculture, food and natural resources expertise area. 

I attended a presentation by Karen Vines from Virginia Tech called, Extension Innovation - Adapting the Extension Program Planning Model through Engagement to Meet Emerging Complex Needs. Although some of the concepts were not new, it was a great presentation that reminded me that we have to continually engage with our communities. My attendance at that session led to a conversation with Karen Vines and a presentation at the Local Extension Educator Staff Development in St. Paul. 

David Mitchell was the keynote speaker and he did a nice job of helping individuals understand themselves and how they are perceived by others. David incorporated humor into his presentation and he had a very engaging teaching style. He has written a few books, blogs, and presents all over the country. More information on him can be found at www.theleadershipdifference.com

Another highlight was the JCEP Virtual Town Hall Meeting. The theme, was Emerging Issues: Balancing Tradition and Innovation. We have to continually balance our traditional work and look for opportunities to innovate. Watch it here .

Finally, I enjoyed the opportunity to network with the ESP Board Members and leadership from around the country. I attended the meeting and ESP Night Out to strengthen Minnesota's relationship with other ESP Members. You have the opportunity to network with fellow national ESP members at the 2018 ESP National Conference in Manhattan, Kansas from October 1-4, 2018. 

Thank you for the opportunity for me to represent Minnesota ESP at JCEP!
Welcome New Members

By Kathy Brandt, Membership Chair

We welcome three new annual members to our Pi chapter. I would like to introduce and welcome:
Extension Educator
Youth Development
Regional Office - Moorhead
A ssociate Program Director,SNAP-Ed
Regional Office - St. Cloud
Extension Educator
Military Families
Expertise: Family Resiliency
Regional Office - St. Cloud
Member News

Here's what happening with ESP members:

  • Congrats to Kathy Olson who was featured during NEAFCS Living Well month. Read Olson helps families to live well throughout her 45 year career article here.
  • Condolences to Kathy Brandt, Colleen Gengler and Kathy Olson who lost loved ones.
  • Tom Hovde hobbies in retirement include making lefse, traveling to Arizona, checking out the performing art scene like Billy Joel and Penn & Teller.

Send any news you would like to share in the Member News column to driessen@umn.edu .
Legislative Update

By Gwen Gmeinder, Legislative Chair

State Budget

Here are some interesting budget updates provided by J.D. Burton, Chief Government Relations Officer University of Minnesota:

  • The University submitted a supplemental budget request of $10 million to hold tuition flat for in-state undergraduates on all system campuses in the 2018-19 academic year.
  • March 29 was the second committee deadline, meaning that bills needed to pass out of both the House and Senate policy committees before the end of the day or they are no longer viable, barring a special rule. This significantly winnows the number of bills moving through the process.
  • As of March 30, both the House and Senate are on pace to introduce record numbers of bills this biennium. There are currently 4,323 bills introduced in the House and 3,384 in the Senate, not including the eight bills introduced as part of the 2017 special session. Government Relations reviews all bills introduced each session to determine any impact to the University. The pace will be swift when legislators return to the State Capitol on April 9. 
  • Get involved through UMN Advocates and follow along on our Government Relations website.

Federal Budget

University Relations: Channing Riggs, Director of Federal Relations for the University, updated colleagues on March 26, 2018 with this information:

“Congress completed work on an omnibus appropriations bill to finalize funding for federal FY18 (October 1, 2017 - September 30, 2018) and avoid another government shutdown. One of the priorities that the University has is support for United States Department of Agriculture: The National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) will receive a $1.41 billion, or 3.3 percent, increase above FY17. Within NIFA, the Agriculture and Food Research Initiative is funded at $400 million, a $25 million, or 6.7 percent, increase above FY17.”

Advocacy in Action

Extension was represented at the Council for Agricultural Research Extension and Teaching (CARET) annual meeting held March 4-6 in Washington, D.C. CARET is a national grassroots organization with the mission to enhance national support and understanding of the land-grant university system’s food and agricultural research, extension and teaching programs. The Extension delegation included Bev Durgan, Brent Hales, Sarah Greening, Tom Rothman, and David Benson, Extension Citizens’ Advisory Committee member and CARET delegate. Legislative visits were held in all of the Minnesota Congressional Offices to discuss Federal funding for Extension programs.

Extension educators, administrators and five 4-H youth from across the State will be in Washington, D.C. for the annual Public Issues Leadership Development Conference (PILD), April 9-11. Attending PILD this year include: 

  • Diomy Zamora, Extension educator, forestry, St. Paul Campus
  • Suzanne Driessen, Extension educator, food science; Regional Office St. Cloud
  • Brian Fredrickson, Extension educator, leadership & civic engagement, Regional Office Moorhead
  • Diane DeWitte, Extension educator, livestock; Regional Office Mankato
  • Emily Wilmes, Extension educator, livestock; St. Cloud
  • Karen Beranek, Extension educator, youth development; Regional Office Marshall
  • Sharon Powell, Extension educator, family resiliency; University Research and Outreach Center
  • Finn Blomquist Eggerling, 4-H youth member, Hallock
  • Marais Houser, 4-H youth member, Esko
  • Catherine McComas-Bussa, 4-H youth member, Shakopee
  • Abigail Mueller, 4-H youth member, Rosecreek
  • Madilyn Smith, 4-H youth member, Preston

The group will meet with our Senators and Representatives on April 11 to discuss federal capacity funding for Extension programs. 
Member Spotlight
Dan Marten Retires

The ESP Pi Chapter would like to thank and congratulate Dan Martens on his retirement. Dan retired on March 23, 2018 celebrating a 29 year career as a University of Minnesota Extension crops production educator. Through a tri-county memorandum of agreement, Dan served Benton, Stearns and Morrison counties.

Over 100 people celebrated Dan’s accomplishments at his retirement party. Dan's work made a difference for farmers and agricultural professionals throughout Central Minnesota and beyond. A tri-county Extension committee member said, "this partnership worked because of Dan’s mantra to focus more on what’s gone right and less that didn’t." Another county spokesperson used these adjectives to describe Dan: caring, interested, helpful, sincere, credible, committed, and involved. 

Dean Durgan acknowledged Dan as always focused on carrying out the Extension mission through his work and action as an Extension professional. She described Dan as a humble and thoughtful leader. The Dean recognized Dan for meeting the needs of agriculture and for showing up to get the work done. 

Dan closed the retirement ceremony with a speech. His humbleness and passion for agriculture education was evidenced in his words, mentioning his retirement coincided with National Agriculture Week . Dan then told a story about his grandmother. On her 100 birthday, she said, “I don’t’ regret a day.” Continuing to help others, Dan ended his speech with this thoughtful advice:

  • Learn from each other, it’s easier that way
  • Quality and significance is not measured in years or in wealth
  • Live more wisely
  • Be grounded in what matters
  • Don’t get stuck in the wrong things
  • Life is short, make it the best
Retiree Luncheon Dates Set
By Gwen Gmeinder, Retiree / Life Membership Chair

Dean Bev Durgan will once again host two retiree lunch events over the summer. Life members, mark your calendars and plan on attending one of these celebrations:

  • NW location: Tuesday, July 10, 12-2 p.m., Best Western The Lodge on Lake Detroit
  • Twin Cities location: Thursday, July 26, 12-2 p.m., Midland Hills Country Club, Roseville

More details will be sent out in late April with RSVP information.
Upcoming Events
  • Pi Chapter board meeting, April 20, 2018 (10 - noon).
  • ESP national webinar, April 20 (11 am), Panel discussion about Tips for a Healthy Transition into Retirement. Register here.
  • ESP national webinar, May 9 (12:00 pm), Learning Digital Strategies to Promote your Programming. Register here.
  • October 1 - 4, 2018 ESP National Conference - Manhattan, Kansas. Road trip anyone?
Suzanne Driessen| ESP Pi Chapter President |302.203.6057 | driessen@umn.edu |