Impacts made in Clare County through Michigan State University Extension

Across the state, Michigan State University Extension is helping youth, adults and communities grow and prosper. Let’s explore some highlights of how MSU Extension programs impacted Clare County in 2016.

Michigan State University Extension is developing youth and communities through a variety of different ways. Helping youth succeed, supporting career exploration and developing life skills through experiences are the heart of the children and youth programs. In 2016, MSU Extension staff in Clare County worked with many community partners like the Student of Promise program and SPARKS afterschool program, as well as 70 volunteers that were screened and trained to provide positive youth development throughout the county. MSU Extension’s children and youth programs reached over 1,400 youngsters and adults working with youth in Clare County.

Ensuring safe and secure food while keeping people healthy is another area MSU Extension is involved in Clare County. Last year, MSU Extension worked with the Community Nutrition Network, Love Inc., schools and afterschool programs to provide nutritional education and resources. MSU Extension also hosts food preservation classes and tests pressure canners. Over 1,127 people were reached through the health and nutrition programs.

MSU Extension promotes making the most of our natural assets through a variety of programs. In 2016, MSU Extension hosted a Protecting Your Shoreline Workshop in and around Clare County, providing education to protect our inland lakes and streams. Other trainings in 2016 included “Snakes in Your Garden.”

The Clare County Master Gardeners also took home third place for the work they do at the John C. Mackie Welcome Center. The Master Gardener Program put in 688 hours of volunteer service to the community that was worth $12,988 in time and economic value.

Strong communities are built through teaching local officials about planning and zoning, as well as helping families stay in their homes. MSU Extension staff in Clare County reached 38 distressed homeowners facing foreclosure and helped homeowners navigate Step Forward Michigan. Approximately 25 households received money management education and 12 households received home ownership education.

Supporting food and agriculture in Clare County is also an area MSU Extension has a rich history of being a part of for the past 100 years. Working with local farmers and producers, MSU Extension educators and specialists inform them about current research. A few local farmers hosted events on their farm to help spread awareness, as well as provide an excellent setting for hands-on learning from Extension educators around rainfall simulation and grass pasture rotation strategies.

The complete Clare County Annual Report can be found on the Clare County MSU Extension website.