Summer 2004 Michigan State University Extension helps people improve their lives through an educational process that applies knowledge to critical issues, needs and opportunities. Extension offices in counties throughout the state link the research of the state’s land grant university, MSU, with the issues of concern in local communities. Extension provides information and offers educational programs in agriculture and natural resources, youth and families, community and economic development. Local citizens serve on the County Extension Council and regularly help select current focus areas for programming. Your Genesee County Educational Focus Areas for Genesee County Extension in 2004 Healthy Communities Land Use and Natural Resources Extension Healthy Families Helping Youth Succeed 4215 W. Pasadena Ave. Agriculture and the Green Industry Flint, MI 48504 Phone: 810-244-8523 Community benefits from Flint Farmers’ Market renewal Fax: 810-732-1400 The popular and picturesque Flint Farmers’ Market on the banks of the Flint River near downtown is enjoying growth and a wonderful renewal under new Open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mon.-Fri. leadership, headed by co-Market Managers Dick Ramsdell and Tom Pintacura. Dan Wyant, director of the Michigan Department of Agriculture, witnessed it for himself Always available on the Web: during a visit on August 26, when he, other MDA officials, and State Rep. Jack www.msue.msu.edu/genesee Minore (D-Flint) met with market leaders, farmers, shoppers, and members of the Email: Genesee County Extension office. Wyant came to highlight local farmers’ markets firstname.lastname@example.org and their importance to consumers and to the state and local economy. MSU Extension-Genesee County is proud to be supporting the market and the community through an array of educational efforts. Ramsdell said he appreciates the partnership with Extension and that our efforts are having a significant impact. They are designed to promote community and economic development; a healthy local “agriculture and green” industry; and healthy families. In addition to providing technical assistance to producers, the Genesee Extension Office has worked with the market to offer thousands of people nutrition and consumer horticulture education this summer. We also have helped raise community awareness about farmers’ markets and farm markets as well as the value of selecting local products. “Farmers markets and other similar venues connect Michigan with their agricultural roots,” Wyant said. “In Michigan as well as nationwide, farmers markets continue to rise in MSU Extension is an popularity, mostly due to the growing consumer interest in obtaining fresh, educational organization nutritious products from the farm. Such interest and growth help consumers get want funded jointly by the Board of they want and address healthy lifestyle needs as well as help keep farmers farming, Commissioners, the State of which in turn preserves valuable farmland and helps fuel local economies.” Michigan through Michigan Extension Horticulture Agents Bob Tritten and Mary Wilson have worked with State University and federally the market managers to search out new growers to sell at the market. Tritten said, through the U.S. Department “Farmers that sell at farmers’ markets are seeing an increase in demand at many of Agriculture. markets across Michigan. The Flint Farmers Market is a great example of a growing market.” Tritten also is working with a group from MSU to hold an educational session for market managers statewide to help them “grow their markets” at the Great Lakes Fruit, Vegetable, and Farm Market Expo in Grand Rapids in December. NUTRITION EDUCATION AT THE MARKET HELPS OVER 1,200 Scott Weber, Genesee County’s Family Nutrition Program Agent, conducted OVER please Project Fresh classes at the market this slowest day. Other vendors have said they summer for the first time. Project Fresh, a have never seen the market so busy on federal and state educational program, was Thursdays and appreciate the tours of the developed to improve the health of market led by Extension program nutritionally at-risk women and children, associates that help WIC clientele become and to support farmers by expanding the familiar with the market and their products. awareness and use of farm and farmers’ Due to state budget cuts, the local WIC Gratefully acknowledges markets. It is unique among government program could not provide personnel as in the generous support of programs in that it encourages health and years past to help operate the program in Our Genesee County agriculture agencies, communities, farmers, Genesee County. Extension filled the void Board of Commissioners and recipients to partner in a common by reassigning program associates to keep Richard E. Hammel, Chair effort to support the local economy and this program in the county. improve the health of families. Fred Shaltz, Vice Chair Project Fresh provides participants in HORTICULTURE EDUCATION Archie H.Bailey the WIC program (Special Supplemental REACHES HUNDREDS WEEKLY Rose Bogardus Floyd Clack Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Genesee Extension also partnered with Miles T. Gadola Children) with nutrition education and market officials to establish an “Ask a Ted Hammon encourages participants to improve their Master Gardener Volunteer” table every John W. Northrup dietary choices by providing them with Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. this coupons to buy fresh, locally-grown fruits summer at the Flint Farmers’ Market. It has Raynetta P. Speed and vegetables at farm and farmers’ been so popular, that Market Manager Dick Our State Leaders: markets. It increases the demand for Ramsdell has asked us to extend our Rep. Brenda Clack Michigan-grown produce (which can be outreach year-round, reports Horticulture Rep. John J. Gleason easily identified by “Select-Michigan” Agent Terry McLean who coordinates our Rep. Jack Minore signs and logos) and boosts the income of Master Gardener Volunteer Program. She Rep. David B. Robertson farmers at participating markets. said, “The outreach has been very well Rep. Paula K. Zelenko Weber also worked with market attended, with our volunteers recording managers and Dr. Katherine Alaimo, more than 100 contacts during each four- Sen. Deborah Cherry Assistant Professor of MSU’s Department hour Saturday session. The publicity has Sen. Robert L. Emerson of Food Science and Human Nutrition to been great. Folks are now coming to the obtain an $11,176 grant to help the Flint market with their gardening questions Gov. Jennifer Granholm Farmer’s Market provide bus passes to looking for our table.” Lt. Gov. John Cherry low-income inner city WIC participants; Our Master Gardener Volunteers increase advertising in the city of Flint provide education and information on a Our U.S. Leaders: through billboards and newspaper spots, wide variety of topics. They touch on Rep. Dale E. Kildee and to provide a tent for Project Fresh everything from emerald ash borer, to lawn Sen. Carl Levin classes at the market. care, to pruning tips, to designing perennial Sen. Debbie Stabenow Through Project Fresh, Genesee gardens, herb gardens, vegetable gardens, President George W. Bush County Extension educated more than water gardens, and more. 1,200 parents. In partnership with WIC, we Our Extension Council: distributed more than $30,000 in coupons ADDITIONAL MARKETING HELP Chair: Valerie McNiff to pregnant women, breastfeeding moms, Genesee Extension also promotes local Vice Chair: Betty Shaw State Liaison: Irene McDonnell-Cahill and/or families with children between ages markets by distributing the MDA’s 1 and 5 to purchase Michigan-grown fruits “Michigan Farm Market, U-Pick & Ag Pamela Bakken Bonita Bingham and vegetables at farmers’ markets. Tourism Directory.” It is available in Denise Chambers Connie Cobley Nancy Dillingham Cathy Eady One farmer reported doing $600 worth booklet form at the Extension office and on John Jelinek Steve Jennings of business in Project Fresh coupons on online on the MDA and Genesee County Diana Kelly Phil Lang Cindy Laux Paul Luttenbacher one Thursday, which, he said, is usually his Extension websites. Freddie McNeil Judge Allen Nelson Dr. Linda Nierman Jerry Redoutey FOR MORE INFORMATION, PLEASE CONTACT: Ted Rogers DeAnna Thompson David J. Fenech, County Extension Director, MSU Extension-Genesee County Mike Yancho 4215 W. Pasadena Avenue, Flint, MI 48504 Phone: (810) 244-8522 Fax: 732-1400 Email: email@example.com MSU is an affirmative-action, equal opportunity institution, Michigan State University Extension programs and materials are open to all without regard to race, color, national origin, gender, religion, age, disability, political beliefs, sexual orientation, marital status, or family status. Issued in furtherance of MSU Extension work, acts of May 8 and June 30, 1914, in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Margaret A. Bethel, Extension Director, Michigan State University, E. Lansing, MI 48824.