By Cydni Robinson
Clinton County Chatter Staff Reporter
Michigan State University Extension helps people in different counties in Michigan like Clinton County improve their lives by bringing the vast knowledge resources of MSU to individuals, communities and businesses, according to MSU Extension’s Web page.
For more than 100 years, MSU Extension has helped grow Michigan’s economies by providing information to help people do their jobs better, raise healthy families, build their communities and empower children to dream of a successful future.
MSU Extension for Clinton County offers a lot of programs fitting into categories like Clinton County 4-H, agriculture, nutrition & health, children youth and families, dairy and nurturing and parenting.
“I think extension is very important. They are the conduits through which we transfer the research and knowledge from MSU to actual applications in communities,” said Dr. Laura Reese, professor of political science at MSU.
“So often academics just sit in their bubbles and present their research to other academics. MSU Extension helps make this research real by actually using it to help communities,” said Reese.
One program that is offered in Clinton County is Clinton County 4-H.
This program is for children ages 5 to 19 and offers many things to be a part of, says Corissa Harris, program assistant for the 4-H program.
Participants are able to sign up and then pick about four projects to be a part of. Projects include horseback riding, raising cattle, any live stock production, sewing, gardening, wood working and more, said Harris.
“We focus on mentoring and skill development here, a lot of the children need that mentorship, it gives them a place to belong,” Harris said.
Harris has been working with 4-H for about 16 years and says that what makes Clinton County special is the high retention rates for the older kids as well as that they are very club-oriented.
“The hook is the project and skills they learn along the way, with these programs children learn to work in a group, provide community service and engage in conflict resolution,” said Harris.
Faith Cullens is a dairy nutrition educator in Clinton County and works with the agriculture and dairy programs.
There are about 70 dairy farms in Clinton County according to Cullens. She provides programming for the businesses providing them with information on various topics like financial stress, calf care, dairy jobs training, impact of stocking density, heifer enterprise considerations and much more.
Cullens works with them if they have any questions about dairy at all. She helps dairy farms locally and statewide working with helping the farms learn to properly raise and care for young stock. If she can’t help she will refer them to someone on MSU’s campus in nearby Ingham County to help them, she said.