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University of Minnesota Extension

Extension is expanding its online education and resources to adapt to COVID-19 restrictions.

Kick off the new decade with 5 positive steps

December 30, 2019

Get outside

“No matter the time of year, no matter your age, being outside benefits our physical and mental health,” says Nicole Pokorney, University of Minnesota Extension educator for youth development. “It’s also a lot of fun.” For youth, Minnesota 4-H offers the 4-H Outdoor Wilderness Leadership and Service program and other outdoor adventures.

Two teens and 4-H educator snowshoeing

Start saving

As of 2017, about 6.5 percent of U.S. households have neither a savings nor a checking account. The good news is that percentage has dropped in recent years, from a high of 8.2 percent in 2011. In Minnesota, you can jump-start savings by opening a prize-linked savings account at a credit union, notes Mary Jo Katras, Extension family resiliency program leader.

Refuel yourself

The Two for You videocast can help. These two-minute videos, hosted by Extension educators Lori Rothstein and Denise Stromme, will help you live and lead with intention. “If you focus on what is good by practicing gratitude and kindness, you’ll see a difference in your well-being and your leadership,” Rothstein says.

Shop locally

“Grocery stores are an essential part of communities, and they’ve faced serious challenges in recent years,” says Caryn Mohr, associate director of the Regional Sustainable Development Partnerships at Extension. When you spend at a local grocery store, you’re helping the lifeblood of your community. Top it off by shopping at other local retailers, as well as buying Minnesota-grown products such as meats, milk and produce. Some farmers markets operate indoors during winter months.  

Tune up your green thumb

It’s easy to connect with Extension horticulture experts. Tune in to “Smart Garden,” on WCCO-AM, at 9 a.m. Saturdays for year-‘round gardening advice from Extension's Mary Meyer and Julie Weisenhorn and Master Gardener Theresa Rooney and others. And catch up on episodes of “What’s Killing My Kale,” a podcast where Extension educators Annie Klodd and Natalie Hoidal host colleagues and cover issues with fruit and vegetables.   

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