May 26 03:31 PM
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Extension, 4-H programs benefit youth

To the Editor:

On behalf of Michigan State University Extension, the 4-H Youth Program, and the Michigan Agricultural Experiment Station, I'd like to thank the community for allowing us to serve you with programs to meet your educational needs.

We hope to continue to provide research and educational programs that meet your needs and, to that end, we invite you to tell us what your educational needs are and how Extension can provide you with research-based knowledge that will help you improve your lives.

Every five years, we seek community input to help us identify your needs and how we can best serve you. This informs our programming for the next five years. This year there is an innovative and, we hope, convenient way for you to share your ideas with us online. We encourage you to go to where you can read and comment on ideas related to Extension posted by others, agree or disagree by voting, and post your own comments. It is designed so that you can make a quick visit to the site, read and respond to a posting. and/or post your own idea. We hope you will visit the site frequently to look at other ideas and continue the online conversations.

All Michigan residents are invited to visit the site and post discussion subjects and ideas and vote on items posted by other visitors. Unlike other online assessment tools, the AdvanceMichigan site was developed to encourage visitors to make frequent visits to share input on a variety of topics in multiple ways. They are also encouraged to share links to other sites, news stories, online videos and photos.

The site was developed by INgage Networks (a company that specializes in enterprise social software) in partnership with the MSU College of Communication Arts and Sciences. It uses a crowdsourcing format, which means that topics rise in popularity through votes and other visitor contributions.

The site will be active through June 29. MSU Extension and MAES, both connected through national U.S. Department of Agriculture networks, are the first state organizations to use this type of digital tool to connect to their residents, though all state extension and experiment station systems are required to conduct the five-year assessment.

The data collected on the AdvanceMichigan site will be analyzed by communications arts and sciences faculty members and the results of that analysis will then be provided to MSU Extension and MAES leaders. It will be used as they make decisions about how resources are allocated across the state to address Michigan's most pressing needs.

To learn more, visit or call any county MSU Extension office toll-free at 888-678-3464.

—Brenda Patrick

Lapeer County MSUE 4-H

Youth Program


May 26, 2010

Castle Creek
Milnes Ford
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