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Extension Update – November 15, 2017   arrow

On behalf of PLT:

Additional CSU Holiday – Friday, December 22

Governor Hickenlooper has declared Friday, November 24, 2017, an additional holiday for State employees. The University’s current holiday schedule designates November 24th as a day of closure. Therefore, Colorado State will observe the additional governor’s holiday on Friday, December 22, 2017. The additional day off is authorized as a day of administrative leave for State employees, which includes Colorado State University employees.

Departments not able to fully close on December 22nd should reschedule this day of administrative leave for essential employees in accordance with the provisions of Holiday Leave as outlined in Section 3-3 on page 19 of the Human Resources Manual, available on the Human Resources website at

Grants & Funding opportunities UPDATED

The Extension Grants & Funding opportunities website has recently been updated with new information. Please see , or click on the Grants & Funding link under Opportunities at the bottom of the Extension website.

September DAC minutes available

The September 18, 2017 Director’s Administrative Council meeting minutes are now posted online at:

Update on Extension Mission, Vision & Values – Cary Weiner & Ashley Stokes

As mentioned at Forum, all staff will have one more chance for input into the development of our refreshed mission and vision statements and core values. Cary Weiner is working with Joanne Littlefield to review the drafts from a communications perspective and to understand options for integrating them into our work in meaningful ways. We expect to issue another survey after this review – stay tuned.

Program Leadership Team (PLT) – Bill Nobles and Jan Carroll

PLT met November 14.  Leaders shared the following PRU updates. Next meeting will be during the week of the Governor’s Ag Forum in Denver.  PRUs were reminded to spend their program funds that were awarded for 2017, and to submit reports.  Everyone was reminded to report into CPRS so that output and outcome data will be complete when the system rolls over on December 31.

4-H PRU – Sam Lowry
Jean presented the next steps in developing the Colorado 4-H Strategic Plan along with PRKC.  The Colorado 4-H Work Teams participated in a National 4-H Strategic Plan exercise identifying current strategies used within the Colorado 4-H Work Teams regarding Effective Organizational Systems.  The Colorado 4-H Specialists and Jean will have a State 4-H Specialists retreat to compile Agent input and continue to develop the Colorado State 4-H Strategic Plan.

Community Development PRU – Greg Felson

  • We held a face-to-face meeting at annual Forum.  It was very well attended with over twenty-five participants.  We had members join us from the Office of Engagement, Campus faculty staff and Agents from across the State.  The greatest outcome that came from the meeting was the need to prioritize objectives for our PRU.
  • This year, we held a working retreat with the Food Systems PRU in Glenwood Springs.  Dr. Jeni Cross from campus joined us and gave an insightful presentation on the Science behind Community Development.  She guided us through some great discussions on the levels of collaboration.  The CD PRU wants to have greater collaborations with the Office of Engagement and Campus departments.  We discussed the opportunities and barriers that face our PRU in reaching these goals.
  • CD PRU will be meeting for our final 2018 zoom video conference on Wednesday, December 13th from 8:30 – 10:00 a.m.  Joining us at the meeting will be Brian Raison, Ph.D. from the Ohio State University.  Brian is an Associate Professor and Extension Field Specialist in Community and Organizational Leadership.  He will be sharing his experiences in CD work and professional development opportunities.
    • We will have had three special guests join us this year.  Don Albrecht, the Director of the Western Rural Development Center and former CSU-Extension professional Dan Fernandez have shared their experiences and resources available to CD Extension professionals.
  • It is exciting to see the passion for Community Development work and need it has in our communities all across Colorado.  However, our PRU still struggles with how we best fit within Extension.  We have representation from professionals in Family and Consumer Science, FLTI (Family Leadership Training Institute), Horticulture, Food Systems, 4-H and Youth Development, etc.   We can go on as just a reporting unit, however we would like to see more engagement from campus and regional administration to assist us in State-wide programming efforts and professional development trainings.

Cropping Systems PRU – Ron Meyer

  • Wheat field days were attended by most members
  • Sunflower field day was held near Prospect Valley
  • COFT trials were held again with more than 20 sites in Eastern Colorado
  • Pesticide Recertification meeting were held
  • Crops Clinic is being planned for Dec 5 and 6 in Ft. Morgan
  • Winter Cropping System Professional Improvement Clinic is being planned for December in Burlington
  • Pest Sweep project is being planned for March at 4 locations

Energy PRU – Cary Weiner
The Energy PRU had a mini-retreat in Denver, which included a visit to this year’s national Solar Decathlon. Between that meeting and our meeting at Forum, we identified ways that our PRU can be supported more in county offices. Ideas include stocking educational and promotional materials, sharing information on social media, and volunteer agents conducting residential solar assessments for the public using our solar calculator. We are working with an advisory committee to develop a Local Government Energy Academy and have begun accepting applications under our >Feedlot Assessments for Solar Energy program.

Environmental Horticulture PRU – Tony Koski
The 2018 State Master Gardener Conference in Steamboat Springs (hosted by Todd Hagenbuch) will be from July 25-27, 2018, at the Colorado Mountain College. State Horticulture PRU meeting will be May 23-24, 2018 in Pueblo (hosted by Sherie Caffey). More information on both meetings will be coming soon.

The Colorado Master Gardener volunteer management system (VMS) is being updated and improved. Mary Small can answer any questions about the changes in the system. Volunteers are currently test-driving the new system to offer input and feedback. All information currently in the system will be transferred to the updated VMS. Launch date is TBD.

Mary Small has been working with CSU Online to provide a Canvas portal for new Colorado Master Gardener (CMG) apprentices and Colorado Gardener Certificate (CGC) students to view three curriculum units being offered for the first time online. Student experiences with these 3 pilot units will be help guide development of additional Master Gardener curricula as we move towards offering all CMG/CGC online. Each curriculum will contain multiple modules, pre- and post-testing, readings and activities, and a final exam.

Whitney Cranshaw has developed three online horticultural entomology courses, to be offered for the first time in 2018 spring semester: BSPM356A Insects and Insect Management Basics; BSPM356B Insects of Food Crops; BSPM356C Insects of Landscape Plants and Turf. Contact Whitney if you are interested in auditing any of these courses. Whitney has developed a website focused on significant insect pests of hemp and their management: . He also has just published a completely new edition of his book Garden Insects of North America, which is available for a cost of $35. If you order before December 15th, it is available at a cost of $21.81, including shipping; contact Whitney for details.

Joanne Littlefield has created a new social media marketing plan for PlantTalk using YouTube, Pinterest and other social marketing tools; there will be Google and Facebook ads for PlantTalk during the height of the gardening season. Extension will help promote a new program in spring 2018 to encourage the greening of communities through the planting of trees, shrubs, and perennials, call “Plant Something”. Developed by the Colorado Nursery and Greenhouse Association (CNGA) with a Specialty Crops Grant, the campaign will target the Front Range and Tri-River Area.

Kurt Jones has developed a Master Beekeeper program to provide education and training for novice beekeepers to manage hives using research-based Best Management Practices. Trainees are paired with a local mentor. Upon conclusion of the program, trainees agree to provide 30 hours of volunteer service. Contact Kurt for more information on the program and if you are interested in offering this program in your county;

Family & Financial Security PRU – Jennifer Cooney
The FAFS PRU met during the week of Forum discussing and planning for America Saves and Money Smart weeks in 2018, several of the team members will be composing grants to fund projects related to financial education on savings and identity theft. Also, the team discussed opportunities to collaborate with the Department of Human Development and Family Studies to address adolescent marijuana use and education, as well as programming related to Strengthening Families and communication. In addition, the team developed and recorded six financial education videos on topics ranging from understanding credit scores to goal setting and budgeting. The videos are a collaborative effort between the PRU and Joanne Littlefield, they are currently being edited and finalized for distribution through educational workshops, for posting on social media sites, and the FCS Live Smart Colorado Blog.  Finally, Christine Fruhauf and Sue Schneider presented on an upcoming opportunity to become trained and facilitate the GrandCares project.

Food Systems PRU – Becca Jablonski
The Food Systems team had a great and jam-packed meeting at this year’s Forum. During the 1st hour of the meeting, we toured CSU’s Fermentation Science Lab. Katie Fromuth, the lab manager, gave the tour. Each of the core four teams (Business Development, Stewardship, Food Security, Investing in Community Food Assets) provided updates, which are available on our website (

As part of our June 2017 retreat, the Food Systems PRU decided on 2 ‘winnable goals’ for 2017/2018: 1) Building your Food and Beverage Business Development Curriculum; 2) Professional development focused on food supply chains. To move these goals ahead, Danielle Ardrey provides leadership for the business development curriculum committee. The Committee invited Tara Johnson from University of Wisconsin to Colorado to offer a free Food Finance Institute two-day training in January 2018. Greg Graff from the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics also came to provide an update on the National Western Center and Ag Innovation programming. There may be opportunities to integrate the PRU’s interest in a food business development curriculum with ongoing work. Libby Christensen also discussed the supply chain field trip that will take place on February 22nd, following the Governor’s Forum on Colorado Agriculture.

Finally, Ragan Adams organized a joint session with the Family and Consumer Science PRU on poultry processing. Steve Blunt from the CO Department of Agriculture joined the group to lead the session. As a next step, the focus will be on how we develop the guidance on processing for small producers.

Livestock & Range PRU – Todd Hagenbuch
Participants of the well-attended Livestock and Range PRU meeting covered a host of subjects in a short timeframe.  Work teams gave updates on the projects they have been working on throughout the year, one of the most exciting of which is the new range curriculum which is being developed for program use across the state. Libby Bigler, Colorado Beef Quality Assurance Coordinator, gave updates on the BQA program and discussed how additional agents can get trained with BQA Certification.  Ryan Rhoades shared the results of the recent Colorado Beef Producer Needs Assessment and discussed what this means for Extension programming, and new Ag/Resource Economics faculty Dan Mooney gave an update on future projects agents can become involved with.  Three colleges had faculty representatives present at the meeting, further exemplifying the reach of the work taking place within this PRU. Retta Bruegger and Frank Garry were asked to become co-PRU leads with Todd Hagenbuch for this year, with Ryan Rhoades volunteering to take on additional leadership responsibilities as well.

Natural Resource PRU – Brian Kailey

  • To help Colorado homeowners determine whether trees on their property are susceptible to being killed by emerald ash borer (EAB), in June the Colorado State Forest Service and Colorado State University Extension released a free app that allows anyone to use their mobile device to quickly ascertain whether a tree may be a potential target for the pest.
  • We have another team working on a Woody Plant App of Colorado. This app will help Colorado citizens identify 200 wood plants with the aid of key identifying characteristics. This group is hopping to have this app available by the end of the year, be looking for updates about this app later.
  • The Water Re-Use team has completed a set of rain barrel kits, these kits are being distributed in the three regions. If you are interested in what these kits look like and how the training is set up here is a link to one of the trainings done by this team.
  • The NR Consortium Committee would like to invite you all to the third annual consortium scheduled for December 7-8, 2017 at the Lory Student Center, room 290.  Please see the attached agenda for more information. Please RSVP with Megan Matonis at by December 1, 2017 to let us know if a) You’ll be attending lunch at the student center and the social at Coopersmith’s.  Both meals are covered (not alcohol).

Nutrition, Food Safety & Health (NFSH) PRU – Jessica Clifford

Arapahoe County (Sheila Gains):
  • Taught 2 different sessions on preserving peaches at the request of a local business and group.
  • Taught 2 different sessions on preserving peppers at the request of a local business and group.
  • Taught a class on making and preserving applesauce and apple butter
Jefferson, Arapahoe, and Boulder Counties (Mary Snow, Sheila Gains, Anne Zander):
  • Taught a class in making wine jelly in George Town
  • Cottage Food Safety certification classes were held in Denver, Arapahoe and Boulder Counties
Eagle County (Glenda Wentworth):
  • Four presentations scheduled for December at a 6th grade middle school. Two for “ReThink Your Drink” and two for Healthy Eating (MyPlate).


  • NFSH PRU work team members produced in-depth articles on: training & feeding your brain for a great school year; choosing breakfast cereals; healthier Halloween treats and parties; mindful eating and living for the Family Matters newsletter.
  • The 2016 Extension ‘Wash Fresh Produce’ campaign received the 1st Place Western Region Food Safety Team Award and 3rd Place National Food Safety Team Award at the 2017 NEAFCS Annual Conference in Omaha in November. Team members included: Marisa Bunning, Joy Akey, Jessica Clifford, Edie McSherry, Karen Massey, Glenda Wentworth, Sheila Gains, Anne Zander, Gisele Jefferson, Verla Noakes, Laura Krause, Mary Snow, and Jennifer Cooney.

New Fact Sheet Posted: The Gut Microbiome and Health

‘Don’t Wing It!’ Plus Protein Program and/or Booth Toolkit

In conjunction with the Partnership for Food Safety Education’s ‘Don’t Wing It! Safely Handle Poultry’ campaign, CSU Extension’s Nutrition, Food Safety and Health PRU team created additional materials and activities targeting Colorado residents that were piloted with 1100+ adults at the 2017 Larimer County/City of Fort Collins Employee Wellness Fair in October. Using feedback from the fair, resources were edited and additional hands-on activities developed that are now ready for use by NFSH PRU team members for a 2018 statewide campaign.

A new angle we took on the  Partnership’s Don’t Wing It! campaign was the inclusion of information about protein, since stand-alone food safety messages are not always popular ones to deliver! By being able to create interest related to a popular topic such as ‘protein,’ we were able to broaden the attractiveness of our booth and draw people in, asking participants if they knew how to determine how much protein they need, if they think they’re currently eating too little or too much, and what are good food sources of protein. Once they were engaged with us related to protein, the safe poultry handling discussion was easy to have, since people then seemed more interested in how to safely prepare their favorite protein foods! This booth also provided an opportunity for participants to share their foodborne illness stories…many of which were related to poultry.

The Don’t Wing It! food safety campaign includes a variety of resources that can be used either at a fair/event/expo booth or in a face-to-face program:

  • 20” x 30” posters designed for use on a 3-panel display board:
    • Are you Getting Enough Protein?
    • Shoots and Ladders Game Board: Don’t Wing It! Edition
    • Don’t Wing It: Handle Poultry Safely
    • Don’t Risk It: At the Store and At Home
  • A set of 12 spin wheel questions related to and reinforcing content presented on the posters (3 spin wheels were purchased for the NFSH PRU using 2017 PLT funding)
  • 2 hands-on activities to teach important concepts related to safe poultry handling:
    • Raw chicken package model and grocery bags to enable participants to practice bagging raw poultry without touching it with their bare hands
    • 2-3 meat thermometers and a grilled chicken breast model to help participants identify the temperature sensing area on each and the necessary depth of insertion for an accurate temperature reading
  • Supporting handouts
    • Don’t Wing It! Science Behind the Messages—Partnership for Food Safety Education
    • Don’t Wing It: Practice Safe Poultry Handling (Senior version)—Partnership for Food Safety Education
    • Don’t Wing It: Practice Safe Poultry Handling (Child version)—Partnership for Food Safety Education
    • Kitchen Thermometers—USDA Fact Sheet
    • 3 Ways to Safely Thaw Poultry—CSU Extension Farm to Table handout
    • Don’t Risk It! At the Store/At Home—CSU Extension Farm to Table handout
    • Protein—CSU Extension Live Eat Play handout
    • Protein Recommendations—CSU Extension Live Eat Play handout
  • Give-away items for participants correctly answering a game question
    • Measuring cup set
    • Measuring spoon set
    • Refrigerator thermometer
    • Refrigerator magnet
    • Carabiner
    • Fingernail brush
    • Produce brush
  • Evaluation tools
    • Booth participant evaluation form
    • Program participant evaluation form