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From the dean: Fall 2021

Portrait of Extension Dean Bev Durgan

Dear friends,

The past 18 months have been challenging for everyone. However, Extension’s employees, participants, volunteers and friends all have been supportive as changes have been made, often on short notice, in response to COVID-19 and its associated issues. Thank you for your flexibility and understanding.

This edition of Source includes many stories about Extension’s impact in recent months and I also have more good news to share: 

  • Extension and Minnesota 4-H had a successful return to the Minnesota State Fair, after the fair was canceled in 2020. This year 4-H had 3,861 exhibitors and 268 adult chaperones at the fair, along with dozens of Extension employees and volunteers.  
  • Driven, the University of Minnesota’s 10-year fundraising campaign, has ended and Extension met its goal of raising $16 million to support Extension programs throughout the state! More than 8,000 donors, many of them contributing for the first time, were part of the campaign. Their gifts will be used as directed by each donor, but all of the funds raised will help Extension reach its goal of building a stronger Minnesota. 
  • Extension’s regional and University of Minnesota campus offices officially reopened in September and employees are settling in to new routines that include some remote work and flexible scheduling. In-person educational programming is back, but Extension educators are integrating the new skills and tools for online teaching that they learned during the pandemic so that programs can be offered in the most effective and useful format for participants. 

It is too soon to say that our organization is “back to normal,” but we are making progress. Thank you for your continuing support of Extension and for reading Source.

Bev Durgan, Dean
University of Minnesota Extension

Related topics: Source 2021 Featured news Fall
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