All Classes & Activities
Oakland County, MichiganMSU ExtensionAll Classes & Activities

All Classes & Activities

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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 2015 programs being presented by Robin Danto, Food Safety & Nutrition Extension Educator:

October 10 - Farmers Market program on Winter Squash (Oakland County Market)

October 15 - Wellness Fair (OCC Southfield)

October 16 - Food Safety for Impaired Youth (West Bloomfield)

October 17 - Trick or Treat Healthy Snacking Choices and Safe, Nutritious Lunches (Oakland County Farmers Market)

October 17 - Senior Wellness Fair (Novi)

October21 - Senior Health Fair (Huntington Woods)

October 22 - Wellness Fair (OCC Royal Oak Campus)

October 23 - Senior Nutrition Presentation (South Lyon)

October 24 - Food Day

October 26 - Food Safety for Preschoolers (West Bloomfield)

October 27 - Food Safety for Preschoolers (West Bloomfield)

October 28 - Food Safety Presentation (Royal Oak)

October 29 - Food Safety for Elementary Students (Holly)

August 20-November 19, 2015:  2015 Fall Master Gardener Class
The Master Gardener Program is a volunteer leader training program for people who are enthusiastic about gardening, who wish to use what they learn to improve communities.

We’re pleased you are interested in the MSU Extension Master Gardener Program (MGP) and trust it will be a rich and rewarding experience for you. This class will be held on Thursdays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at MSU Tollgate Education Center, 28115 Meadowbrook Rd., Novi, Michigan 48317 running from August 20 to November 19, 2015. The cost of the 14-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. There are no other out-of-pocket costs. Contact:  Lynne Shull at 248-858-0887.

October 6 - November 18, 2015:   Introduction to Lakes Online
Michigan is blessed with over 11,000 inland lakes, each providing unique recreational, scenic, and environmental benefits. These inland lakes are complex ecosystems, and are often negatively impacted by both the people that live near them as well as the water that drains into them. Introduction to Lakes is a six-week online course specially designed for citizens and professionals alike that are interested in learning about inland lakes.

Enrollment is currently open through October 1, 2015. This course begins October 6th and ends on November 18th.

For more information click on;

October 10-11, 2015:  2nd Annual Pumpkinfest
MSU Tollgate Education Center and Farm, in partnership with VIBE Credit Union and the Novi Public Library, is hosting our 2nd Annual Pumpkinfest on October 10th and 11th from 11 am - 4 pm. Please join us for a free-admission, family-oriented event that includes U-pick wagon rides to the pumpkin patch, farm animals, straw maze for the little ones, food concessions, music and more.  Proceeds from Pumpkinfest help support scholarships for children to participate in wholesome, place-based educational programming at Tollgate. MSU Tollgate Farm, 28115 Meadowbrook Rd., Novi, MI 48377
October 26, 2015: Michigan Agricultural Credit Conference
Mark your calendar for this year’s Michigan Agricultural Credit Conference, sponsored by the Department of Agricultural, Food, and Resource Economics, at MSU, 8:30 am to 3:15 pm at the Big Ten Room C - Kellogg Hotel and Conference Center - MSU.  The Conference provides agricultural lenders, agribusinesses, policy makers and other interested parties across the state with updates on the economy and agricultural industries. Hear from experts about credit cycles in agriculture, benchmarking farm financial performance, commodity and dairy outlooks, and much more.

Registration cost is $65.00 per personThe fee includes: continental breakfast, lunch, and breaks.

Participants may register as individuals or group registrations. To register online, go to:

October 27, 2015:  The How To's of Renovating a Perennial Bed
Do your flower beds seem to be flowering less this year?  Do they look too crowded or overgrown?  We are offering this class a second time to accommodate everyone who did not register in time to attend the first class in September 2015.  Join us to hear Janet Macunovich give many pointers on renovating your perennial flower beds.  You’ll walk away with lots of techniques you can use now to renovate the beds.  Don’t wait!  Register today.  
November 15, 2015:  Novi Equestrian Expo 4-H Used Tack Sale
The Oakland County 4-H Horse Council will again be hosting the 4-H Used Tack Sale at the Novi Equestrian Expo on Sunday, 11/15.  All proceeds from the sale of tables for the tack sale will support the Oakland County 4-H horse project area, so clean out your trailers, barns and basements!  4-H members/clubs pay discounted rates for tables and each registration will include 2 admission tickets to the Novi Equestrian Expo!  Please contact Debbie Morgan at or 248-858-0894 for more info. 


The following nutrition program series are presented to community groups, organizations, and schools (age appropriate) by MSU Extension staff.  Programs are offered in English, Spanish, Arabic or American Sign Language.  Call  248-858-0897 for further information or to schedule these programs.

Cooking Matters for Adults is a nutrition program where participants will learn how to eat healthy, cook and grocery shop on a limited budget. The program consists of six lessons, lasting approximately two hours each. With the help of an experienced chef and nutrition educator, participants will gain the skills and confidence to make healthy, budget friendly meals for their family.
Each week, participants will receive take-home food, which they can use at home to practice a recipe they learned in class. The class series also includes:
  • Participatory food preparation that provides cooking and food safety instruction
  • Engaging nutrition activities and discussions
  • Practice with food budgeting
  • Interactive grocery store visit and $10 challenge
  • Recipe book for use at home
  • Certificate of completion
  • Short physical activity component lasting 5 minutes or less
Class series are taught throughout the community, including but not limited to community centers, churches, schools and local MSU Extension offices. Group series are available if there are six to 15 people, and at least half of the group is Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) eligible.
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. The class series also includes a short physical activity component lastng 5 minutes or less.
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. 

Learn to stretch your food dollars to fit your meal plan, learn about food preservation and maintain a healthy weight with Eating Right is Basic from Michigan State University Extension. This eight to 10 week session can be offered in a variety of community settings. Participants will learn about goal setting, custom nutrition and physical activity to suite each person, eating more fruits and vegetables, portion sizes, becoming familiar with Dietary Guideline numbers, Food labels 101, healthy habits and fat facts.  High school students and adults can participate in this series.

Healthy Harvest
Growing your own vegetables has many benefits, including healthier eating and reduced stress. The Healthy Harvest program is designed to help participants learn basic gardening skills and use what they grow to prepare healthy and tasty meals. The program is a partnership of MSU Extension’s health and nutrition and Master Gardener programs.

Show Me Nutrition
This 6-week program 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. 
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.

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

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 land use classes and activities, please contact MSU Extension-Oakland County, 248-858-0885.

 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.
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.
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.

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