From the Dean
Volunteers, participants and partners help create a stronger Minnesota.
A new federal report puts Minnesota second in the nation for volunteerism. Minnesotans feel compelled to help improve the lives of others. I saw this again and again over the past year as I visited every county in Minnesota.
Extension faculty and staff train, lead and support volunteers so that they can multiply the reach and value of the University. In this issue of Source, I invite you to read stories about some of the ways this happens through Extension’s 4-H, Master Gardener and Master Naturalist programs.
In addition to volunteering, Minnesotans want to improve lives in other ways. Often, that can be through public service and economic development work. It takes leadership skills and strategies to include all voices and make decisions that allow changing communities to thrive in the long term. You can read about that this issue of Source, too.
Others make a difference by learning about up-to-date University research and delivering it to their own clientele, as you can discover in our story about crop consultants and other Extension-trained professionals who are helping Minnesota improve agricultural practices. And Extension’s Regional Sustainable Development Partnerships engage people throughout Greater Minnesota in practical research on topics like rural grocery stores and growing greens in the depth of winter.
"Thank you for your gifts of time, talent and collaboration."
Minnesotans like to work together. I think you’ll see the spirit of partnership come through in this issue as we highlight diabetes prevention and school success initiatives that are showing positive results.
Thank you for your gifts of time, talent and collaboration, and also for your financial gifts. I hope you’ll keep turning the pages to see that you don’t have to be a student at the University of Minnesota to benefit from University research and education, or to help Extension create a stronger Minnesota.
Beverly R. Durgan
Dean, University of Minnesota Extension