MSU Extension invested in Lake County residents through education and partnerships

In 2018, almost 600 Lake County residents participated in MSU Extension programs in 2018 and countless others accessed online resources.

People standing by a decorated Christmas tree.
December 2018 Lake County food council meeting in Baldwin.

Addressing food insecurity

MSU Extension continues to offer guidance and access to resources and coaching for the  Lake County Community Food Council. At the Bread of Life food pantry in Baldwin, MSU Extension continued to provide and expand workshop offerings related to nutrition, food safety for pantries and cultural diversity.

Gardening and consumer horticulture

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Homeowners often have insect infestations or plant diseases that they are unfamiliar with and need help addressing. MSU Extension provides soil testing, plant and insect identification, disease identification and treatment, Smart Gardening resources, and a toll-free Lawn and Garden hotline. The Lake County MSU Extension office provides assistance to many customers with basic home gardening concerns.

One of the many plant disease samples brought into the Extension office for identification.

Natural resources stewardship

The Cooperative Lakes Monitoring Program is a citizen science program that is 45 years old and has had great success at providing a scientifically backed protocol for residents of Michigan to use to collect water samples for analysis. Several Lake County residents participated in MSU Extension lead training and workshops in 2018 so that they could provide valuable data for this on-going research project.

Community development and natural resources

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Strong counties recognize and promote their natural resources. Providing education and technical support to help create successful commissions and teams is the foundation of the work MSU Extension’s Government and Public Policy Educators. Together, we have assisted in the development of a recreation plan for the county, provided land-use trainings, assisted with the watershed plan for the Little Manistee River, and partnered with the conservation district for “What’s in a Forest?”

Helping organizations develop community gardens is just one of many ways to build community.

Nutrition Education

food-nutrition-lakeMSU Extension’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program provides basic nutrition education and hands-on activities for all ages. Core curricula are designed to help low-income families stretch their food dollars while maintaining good nutrition. Some instruction includes physical activity and cooking techniques that help instill life-long skills. It is estimated that every $1 spent on nutrition education saves as much as $10 in long-term health costs. In Lake County over 126 residents participated in this programming.

Youth learn to make healthy snacks during Cooking Matters for Teens.

Food safety

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Learning to can using up-to-date, safe methods reduces the risk of food-borne illnesses.

Providing assistance to help residents and businesses keep food safe is a hallmark of cooperative extension services across the country. In Lake County, we provided summer canning workshop series in Luther, Irons, Chase and Baldwin to help families extend their food budget and capture in-season produce. At the Bread-Of-Life food pantry in Baldwin, MSU Extension continued to provide and expand workshop offerings related to nutrition, food safety for pantries and cultural diversity, actively supporting the Lake County Food Council.

Making a difference in 2018

Over this past year, we’ve empowered families and individuals to live healthier lives, supported new and local businesses, created opportunities for youth leadership development and career exploration, helped farmers with business management and mental health, and much more. Our staff live and work alongside county residents, are rooted in community relationships and are responsive to community needs.

 

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