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									                                                                                                      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.
    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         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           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:
                                  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.

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