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calendarMSU Extension-Oakland offers a variety of programs about gardening, personal finance, nutrition, and natural resources.  We also offer programming specifically for youth. Below is a chronological list of all our upcoming programs.

 

Upcoming 2014 programs being presented by Robin Danto, Food Safety & Nutrition Extension Educator:

August 2 - Oakland County Market food demonstration - using herbs to reduce sodium intake & making Tuscan herb sachets
August 5 - Distribution of Senior Market FRESH coupons in Holly
August 6 - Distribution of Senior Market FRESH coupons in Lathrup Village
August 7 - Senior nutrition presentation in Royal Oak
August 9 - Oakland County Market food demonstration - food demonstration, children's nutrition activity, and packing healthy and safe school lunches
August 9 - Family Day at Oakland County Market
August 12 - Senior nutrition presentation in Waterford
August 19 - Meet Up and Eat Up nutrition program in Waterford
August 20 - Farmers market program in Lathrup Village
August 21 - Senior nutrition presentation in Royal Oak
August 23 - Farmers market presentation at Huron Valley market
August 26 - Distribution of Senior Market FRESH coupons in Waterford
August 28 - MIFMA Farmers Market at the Capitol in Lansing
August 30 - Oakland County Market food demonstration - beets
September 20 - Oakland County Market food demonstration - making homemade sunbutter
October 18 - Oakland County Market food demonstration - how to prepare hard-shelled squash

May - October 2014:  Farmers Markets in Oakland County
Many Oakland County communities have farmers markets, and some combine the market with other activities or special events, including flower days, art fairs and flea markets. (You will need to check their websites for future events.)  If you have yard or garden questions, be sure to look for Oakland County Master Gardeners for assistance.  Master Gardeners can be found volunteering their time and expertise at many farmers markets in Oakland County.
July-August 2014:  Show Me Nutrition
This 6-week program, currently being offered in Rochester and Pontiac, is aimed at an audience of pre-kindergarten through 8th grade.  These lessons are interactive and appeal to a wide variety of learning styles.  Many of the activities are hands-on and each lesson has a book that accompanies it to reinforce literacy.  Each grade level is age-appropriate.  Topics covered:  food safety, positive body image, world hunger, physical activity and general nutrition.  Available in English or Spanish.  Call  248-858-0897 for further information or to schedule this program for your organization or school.
July-August 2014:  Eat Healthy, Be Active
This series is aimed at helping parents/caregivers make simple and tasty meals for their families that won't break their bank.  MSU Extension-Oakland nutrition instructors will provide nutrition education, food demonstrations and take-home materials. Series are currently being presented to community groups and organizations in Pontiac.  We are also presenting this program as a one-time workshop (9 am to 2 pm) in Pontiac on Fridays.  For more information or to schedule the Eat Healthy, Be Active series for your community group or organization, call 248-858-0897.   Available in English or Spanish.

July-September 2014:  Eat Smart, Live Strong
This nutrition series consists of fun, interactive activities for 55-74 year olds designed to encourage older adults to increase fruit and vegetable consumption as well as physical activity.  This series is currently being offered to community groups and organizations in Oak Park and Pontiac (Bowen Senior Center-open to the public).  For more information or to schedule your community group or organization, call 248-858-0897.   Available in English or Spanish.

June 23 - August 21, 2014:  2014 Summer Programs
Every year Oakland County 4-H Youth Development offers special introductory educational programs to bring a sense of adventure and fun to help enrich summer youth activities.  These affordable, hands-on programs provide a taste of the many activities available through 4-H and are excellent stand-alone supplements for libraries, summer day camps and other youth gatherings.  These programs are not appropriate for preschoolers.  To schedule a program, or if you have questions, contact Margi (Miller) Stockert at 248-858-0889.  Available programs are:
  • Barn Bulletins - Get up close and personal with the producers of some of our most necessary resources.  Meet some of our favorite barnyard friends and learn what their purposes really are and why they are so necessary to our life, economy and world.  Children will learn about anatomy, lifecycles and purposes of farm animals through hands-on interactive experiences that coincide with the common core state standards for their ages and stages.  Available on Mondays or Tuesdays.
  • Critter Chronicles - Michigan has one of the more biologically diverse eco-systems in the northern United States but here in Oakland County it may be difficult to recognize the many different species of plants and animals that surround us.  In this program youth will meet some of our most common native animals to see what makes them so special and vital to our Michigan eco-system.  Available on Mondays, Tuesdays or Thursdays.
  • Fizzy Boom - In this exciting and action-packed science series youth will learn staple concepts from chemistry and physics that relate directly to the common core state standards set for their developmental stages.  With hands-on experiments and get-on-your-feet action, they are sure to be engaged by the booming activites and fizzy reactions that keep them excited about science and wondering what they can accomplish with everyday objects.  Available on Mondays, Tuesdays or Thursdays.
  • Spark a Reaction! - How is a circuit completed?  What is the energy use of these different light bulbs?  How do I make my own light source?  Youth and teens will become their own electrical engineers while they figure out what kinds of circuits are best for different light sources and how much energy is really needed to power those bulbs that light our way in the dark.  Youth will also discover how and why to make energy-efficient choices for all of their electrical needs.  Available on Mondays, Tuesdays or Thursdays.
June 25-August 27, 2014:  Summer Shooting Sports Program
This summer Oakland County 4-H will be partnering together with Sky's The Limit, a community foundation designed to reach under-served Pontiac youth. Their focus is a summer archery 4-H spin club. There has been an unfortunate decline of shooting sport clubs in Oakland County and we are looking to bring them back!  Archery is a great way for youth to gain self-confidence and master a skill in the art of shooting sports. Shooting begins every Wednesday, starting June 25
th until August 27th. Space is limited!  We will be at the Silver Lake Church of the Nazarene, 520 W. Walton Blvd, Pontiac, MI 48340. To sign up contact Chris Riley at 248-818-1144 or for more information contact Rachel Koppin at 248-858-1018.

MSU Extension is hosting this seminar presented by well-known gardener Janet Macunovich. Put that best foot forward by making your entry gardens truly grand. Janet tours the audience through many beautiful dooryards, courtyards, side passages, and main entry ways, explains what makes them great and tells how the best features from each can be transplanted to a place of honor outside your front door, gate, arbor, patio steps or other entry.  Location:  Oakland County Executive Office Conference Center in Waterford from 6:30 to 8:30 pm.  Cost $20.00.  Questions should be directed to Linda Smith at 248-858-0887. Advance registration required.  Click here to register online.    REGISTRATION IS NOW CLOSED.

July 28 - August 1, 2014:  Eco-Challenge
Youth interested in hands-on, interactive and experiential learning activities should plan to attend this year's Eco-Challenge experiencing biomimicry.  Biomimicry is the study and imitation of nature's designs to create new, successful devices to help solve human challenges.  Examples are Velcro imitating thistle burrs or airplane wings mimicing bird's wings.   Children, ages 12 to 18, are encouraged to join us at this 5-day event, July 28 to August 1, held at Indian Springs Metro Park, 9:30 am to 4:00 pm    Contact:  Jason Scott, 248-858-0892.   Click here to register.
August 1, 2014:  Webinar - All Bugs Good and Bad, Minimize Mosquito Problems
Late summer is prime time for mosquitoes and the time of year when West Nile usually peaks.  Learn how to protect yourself and your family from mosquitoes by reducing breeding sites, resting sites and avoiding them altogether.  During this 2:00 pm webinar we will cover the basics of mosquitoes, what they need to survive and how you can eliminate them, how mosquitoes spread disease, information on insect repellents, and tips on how to minimize mosquitoes in your backyard.  More information
August 2, 2014:  Food Demonstration at Oakland County Market
8:30 am at Oakland County Market.  Herbs can really spice up our foods and also help us cut down on salt for a healthier diet.  Learn how to cook with herbs and make an herb sachet to take home and use in your own kitchen.  Presented by Robin Danto, MSU Extension-Oakland, Health & Nutrition in cooperation with Oakland County Parks & Recreation.  Sponsored by Genisys Credit Union.
August 2, 2014:  Free Kids' Activities at Oakland County Market
9:30 am at Oakland County Market.  By placing daisies in colored water kids will discover how plants take up food through their root and stem to produce flowers, fruits and leaves.  Presented by MSU Extension-Oakland Master Gardeners in cooperation with Oakland County Parks & Recreation.  Sponsored by Genisys Credit Union.
August 4-8, 2014:  Green Science Adventure Camp
What is green science you ask? It’s the science in our daily lives. This Tollgate Farm (Novi) camp allows campers to experience science outdoors in an interactive, experiential setting. Campers will spend most of their week exploring questions such as: how does milk from a cow become ice cream?  Where does salsa from the grocery store gets its start?  How does your Halloween jack o’ lantern get so big?  Why does grass grow in your yard but not in the forest?  Are worms really the best fish bait?  Contact: Alan Jaros at 248-347-0269, extension 232.  Click here to register. 
August 9, 2014:  Food Demonstration at Oakland County Market
8:30 am at Oakland County Market.  Children can taste walking salad bowls and find out how great fresh veggies can be.  Learn how to pack healthy and safe school lunches.  Presented by Robin Danto, MSU Extension-Oakland, Health and Nutrition in cooperation with Oakland County Parks & Recreation.  Sponsored by Genisys Credit Union.
August 9, 2014:  Healthy Oakland Partnership 'Family Day' at Oakland County Market
9:00 am at Oakland County Market.  A day full of fun and physical activity.  Come and enjoy inflatables, fitness demonstrations and healthy cooking recipes.  Eligible participants can receive a $5 coupon good towards the purchase of fresh, locally grown produce.  Healthy cooking recipes presented by Robin Danto, MSU Extension-Oakland, Health and Nutrition in cooperation with Oakland County Parks & Recreation.  Sponsored by Genisys Credit Union.  

August 11, 2014:  Michigan Conservation Stewards Annual Banquet & Volunteer Recognition
You are cordially invited to attend the 2014 Michigan Conservation Stewards Program Volunteer Recognition Banquet to honor you and your fellow Conservation Stewards for your exceptional achievements.  Please join us for a night of food, friendship, networking, celebration and learning.  Conservation Stewards attending will also receive a special gift you can use to help others identify you as a Conservation Steward when you are volunteering.
 
All Conservation Stewards are invited, whether you are being officially recognized for your volunteer service or you are currently working on completing your hours.  Guests are also invited and encouraged to attend.
 
Cost is $20.00 per person.  Click here to register and view further details.  Last day to register online is August 5th.
August 11-15, 2014:  Teen vs Wild Adventure Camp
Do you want to learn how to survive in the wild?  Do you wish you could be a self-reliant outdoor survivalist?  Come to Tollgate Farm and learn how!  As a camper you will get hands-on experience building fires, being your own GPS, foraging for food, raising animals, and more!  Our week-long day camp will focus on survival skills needed in the wilderness and for many natural resource and agri-science careers.  Contact: Alan Jaros at 248-347-0269, extension 232.  Click here to register.
August 16, 2014:  Free Kids' Activities at Oakland County Market
9:30 am at Oakland County Market.  Watch radish seeds develop into mature radishes that we eat. Presented by MSU Extension-Oakland Master Gardeners in cooperation with Oakland County Parks & Recreation.  Sponsored by Genisys Credit Union.

August 29, 2014:  Sustainable Bioenergy Cropping Systems
Advanced energy (bioenergy) mandates and economic incentives are driving interest in growing high yielding annual or perennial energy crops.  While using our best land to grow advanced energy crops may not be a logical choice, the question is:  How can the economic benefits of growing plants for energy and bio-based products be balanced by the environmental concerns?  Click here for more information about this free program
August 30, 2014:  Food Demonstration at Oakland County Market
8:30 am at Oakland County Market.  Is canning safe?  Does freezing destroy vitamins?  Learn all about food safety and preservation.  Presented by Robin Danto, MSU Extension-Oakland, Health and Nutrition in cooperation with Oakland County Parks & Recreation.  Sponsored by Genisys Credit Union.
September 6, 2014:  Free Kids' Activities at Oakland County Market
9:30 am at Oakland County Market.  Teach your children about easy gardening with these head sprouts.  You don't need to buy trays or pots to start seeds -- use eggshells instead!  Presented by MSU Extension-Oakland Master Gardeners in cooperation with Oakland County Parks & Recreation.  Sponsored by Genisys Credit Union. 
September 13-20-27, 2014:  Advanced Garden Design 4-5-6
This Saturday morning series takes the participant through a successive series of training stages from simple to advanced garden design planning techniques.  Develop skills in the layout of garden beds and small landscape areas using the principles of floral harmony, balance and color for formal and informal gardens.  Contact:  Linda Smith, 248-858-0887. Click here to register online. 
September 20, 2014:  Food Demonstration at Oakland County Market
8:30 am at Oakland County Market.  Peanut butter is banned at many schools these days.  Learn how to make homemade sunbutter from sunflower seeds as an alternative to peanut butter.  Presented by Robin Danto, MSU Extension-Oakland, Health and Nutrition in cooperation with Oakland County Parks & Recreation.  Sponsored by Genisys Credit Union.
September 20, 2014:  Free Kids' Activities at Oakland County Market
9:30 am at Oakland County Market.  Plant two to three small plants in a see-through container to watch them grow.  This terrarium will teach kids what plants need to survive and thrive.  Presented by MSU Extension-Oakland Master Gardeners in cooperation with Oakland County Parks & Recreation.  Sponsored by Genisys Credit Union.

September 23-October 28, 2014:  Personal Action Toward Health (PATH) for Diabetes
PATH for Diabetes is a six week workshop series designed to provide skills and tools to help you improve your health and manage your symptoms.  Join us at the Orion Beaumont Wellness Center (Lake Orion) for this afternoon, 1:00-3:30 pm, program.  For further information contact Cathy Newkirk at 810-244-8523.
October 4, 2014:  Free Kids' Activities at Oakland County Market
9:30 am at Oakland County Market.  Soil, food (compost), air and moisture are required for a plant to live.  Kids can create an ecosystem-in-a-cup to take home.  Presented by MSU Extension-Oakland Master Gardeners in cooperation with Oakland County Parks & Recreation.  Sponsored by Genisys Credit Union.

October 18, 2014:  Food Demonstration at Oakland County Market
8:30 am at Oakland County Market.  Squash is both nutritious and delicious.  Learn about the different varieties of hard-shelled squash and how to prepare them.  Sample a recipe using winter squash and take home recipes.  Presented by Robin Danto, MSU Extension-Oakland, Health and Nutrition in cooperation with Oakland County Parks & Recreation.  Sponsored by Genisys Credit Union.
October 18, 2014:  Free Kids' Activities at Oakland County Market
9:30 am at Oakland County Market.  Attracting birds to our yards is fun and educational.  Using cardboard paper rolls, honey and bird seed, kids will make a bird feeder to take home.  Presented by MSU Extension-Oakland Master Gardeners in cooperation with Oakland County Parks & Recreation.  Sponsored by Genisys Credit Union.
November 7, 2014:  Webinar - All Bugs Good & Bad Series, Where Have All the Honey Bees Gone?
Why do we have fewer honeybees these days?  What caused the decline?  What can we do to help?  These questions and more will be answered in this 45 minute webinar at 2:00 pm.  More information
January 22 - April 30, 2015:  Master Gardener Program
This class series will be held on Thursday evenings, 6:00-10:00 pm at the Oakland County Executive Office Building in Waterford.  Cost of the 13-week program is $300, which includes the 1,000 page training manual.  Master Gardener volunteers start by completing a 13-session practical curriculum ground in university research. This training consists of approximately 45 hours of training with classes on plant science, soil science, integrated pest management, diagnostics, annuals and perennials, woody ornamentals, lawns, vegetables, small fruits, tree fruits, household and nuisance pests and gardening practices to protect water quality.  After completing the training, Master Gardener trainees must complete 40 hours of horticulture-related service within one year to earn their Master Gardener certification. Click for further information and to register

Ongoing:  Food Preservation Correspondence Course 
A correspondence course for anyone wishing to learn canning, freezing, or drying techniques using up-to-date information and methods so the food preserved is safe to eat.  Contact:  Robin Danto at 248-858-0904.

Ongoing:  Michigan Cottage Food Law Food Safety Training
The Michigan Cottage Food Law allows Michigan residents to manufacture and store particular foods in an unlicensed kitchen, such as a residential home. Through this program participants will learn about the Cottage food law and other principles you can use to provide safe products. Cottage Food Law and Safety training educates on preparing and selling foods under the Cottage Food Law, producing a safe food products, production, packaging and labeling, storing and transporting.  Cost: $10.00.

The Tollgate Farm Center offers year-round educational field trips for school or youth groups.  Hands-on, interactive and engaging lessons are intertwined with real-life applications.  They create experiences that complement school curriculum and customize programs to be relevant and enriching.

Online Learning 

Integrated Pest Management (IPM) Academy Online
Looking to learn more about integrated pest management (IPM)?  Then check out the Integrated Pest Management Academy Online.  These series of on-demand webinars, created by Michigan State University Extension, are designed to help Michigan growers identify pest management resources and understand IPM basics.  Registration is not required and they are available for free.  Simply visit http://bit.ly/ipmwebinars at your convenience and view one or all of the prerecorded webinars.  Viewers can earn up to four pesticide recertification credits.  A computer with Internet connectivity, a web browser and speakers are required.
 
Webinar:  Comparing Mutual Funds and Exchange Traded Funds - Tuesday, July 29, 12:00-1:00 pm
Discover the differences and benefits of the fund types including:
  • Potential risks and rewards
  • How they may fit your financial goals
  • Tax efficiency
  • Purchasing
  • Expense and fee differences


Webinar:  Small Steps to Health and Wealth - Tuesday, July 29 at 11 a.m. ET
The Small Steps to Health and Wealth initiative encourages participants to make positive behavior changes to simultaneously improve their health and personal finances. This 90-minute webinar will begin by describing relationships between people's health and personal finances. It will then describe each one of the 25 behavior change strategies and how people can apply them to their lives. This presentation is a collaborative effort of the Military Families Learning Network and the Child and Family Learning Network.  Speaker: Dr. Barbara O'Neill.

Webinar:  Financial Planning for the Second Half of Life - Tuesday, September 23 at 11 a.m. ET
The  United States has an increasingly aging population including baby  boomers age 50 to 68 (in 2014). Older adults face unique financial  planning challenges. These include making irrevocable decisions about claiming Social  Security benefits, selecting Medicare supplement health insurance and  long-term care insurance, selecting income-based investments (e.g.,  annuities), making sustainable retirement asset withdrawals, and calculating required minimum distributions (RMDs) due on  tax-deferred savings plans such as traditional IRAs and the Thrift  Savings Plan (TSP). This 90-minute webinar will “package” together 15  key later life financial planning topics that older adults and the practitioners who serve them need to understand and address.  Topics that will be covered in the webinar include:  Common financial errors of older adults, Statistics about older adult finances, Common later life financial characteristics and required decisions, 15  key later life financial planning topics (e.g., creating a retirement  “paycheck,” required minimum distributions, untitled property transfers,  and leaving a legacy), and Personal finance resources for older adults and financial practitioners. Participant  interaction will include discussing workable financial planning  strategies for older adults, older client errors and “blind spots,”  older client success stories, and more. Speaker: Dr. Barbara O'Neill. 

Get the Facts: The Affordable Care Act in Michigan Webinars
(Mondays at 3:00 pm)
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (also known as PPACA, ACA, health reform law, ObamaCare) affects residents’ access to and use of the country’s healthcare system and insurance policies. Individuals and families who have insurance through their employers, the private market, or through public programs, as well as those without insurance, are all affected in various ways. How much can I afford? Why is it important? What do I need and want? Lean how to make the Smart Choice . Join us live online to learn how you can get the most out of your health insurance. Webinars will be held Mondays at 3:00 pm for the foreseeable future.  To participate, log on to: connect.msu.edu/healthinsurance. Click “Guest” and type in any name. Your participation is anonymous. No personal information will be collected. If you don’t have a computer with a high-speed connection and speakers, visit your local library for access.
  
eHome Money is a personal guide to financial health.  It's a fun, informative, low-cost course that you take online at your own pace, on your own schedule, at any computer.  With eHome Money you learn the steps you can take to reduce debt, raise your credit score and improve your whole financial picture.
 
As a HUD and Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA) certified agency, MSU Extension has been providing housing education for over 20 years.  By completing the online eHome America course and learning about available local, state and federal housing financing programs, participants can take positive steps to reach their goal of home ownership.  In order to receive a certificate of completion participants will need to complete a discussion (in-person or via phone) with a Michigan State University Extension Certified Housing Counselor.
 
Whether you already have a financial services provider, or are trying to select one, this course will give you the confidence to effectively evaluate your options and make the choice that's right for you.  What's the difference between a broker, an adviser and a financial planner?  What do all the titles and designations mean?  How can their background and credentials be checked out?  What services should you insist on having provided?  When interviewing a prospective financial services provider, how do you differentiate between a straight-talking professional and a flimflam salesman?   (This webinar was recorded on September 25, 2012.)

Legally Secure Your Financial Future 
Organize, Communicate, Prepare is a comprehensive series to help you get organized, communicate with others and begin preparing your estate plan.
 
Investing For Your Future is an 11-unit home study course that was developed by the Cooperative Extension system for beginning investors with small dollar amounts to invest at any one time. It was assumed that many readers will be investing for the first time or selecting investment products, such as a stock index fund or unit investment trust, that they have not purchased previously.  The course units were developed in a logical order. "Basic" topics such as setting goals, investment terms (e.g., diversification, dollar-cost averaging, asset allocation), and finding money to invest lay a foundation to help readers understand how and why they’re investing.  After exploring "the basics," the course describes specific types of investments (e.g., stocks and bonds) in detail. Finally, Investing For Your Future concludes with additional topics of use to investors: available resources, how to select professional financial advisors, and information to help you avoid becoming a victim of investment fraud. You can choose to read the entire course, in any order that makes sense to you, or select only those topics that are of most interest.
Michigan Citizen Planner Online 
Michigan Citizen Planner Online is designed to equip volunteer community leaders with the technical knowledge and leadership skills needed to perform their duties more effectively.   Contact:  517-432-7600.

For further information about any classes or activities, please contact MSU Extension-Oakland County, 248-858-0880. 
 

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