Outreach & Engagement Council
Welcome to Celebrating Engagement!
The mission of the MSU Outreach and Engagement Council is to strategically champion engagement at MSU through outreach, leadership, and service to fulfill the land-grant mission. The Council highlights university-community partnerships that embody the spirit of engagement: a mutually beneficial exchange of knowledge and resources in a context of partnership and reciprocity. This two-way interaction is a core value of our land-grant institution, and we honor our employees, students and partners who embrace this ideal. Learn more at montana.edu/outreachengagementcouncil
Do you have a suggestion for a Celebrating Engagement partnership we should highlight? Please send your ideas to firstname.lastname@example.org.
For many years, the Wibaux County Extension Office has partnered with local organizations to offer a community health fair offering low-cost medical tests. "The Wibaux County Health Fair probably saved my life," said one participant.
Food Bank volunteers Don Schaaf and Jodi Smith check out the new freezer they helped stock after it was delivered to the Wibaux Senior Citizens Center.
Extension Agent Dave Bertelsen was honored with the 2013 Provost's Excellence in Outreach Award for his role in developing and strengthening these engagement partnerships.
Wibaux County Extension partnerships strengthen community
Big things are happening in Wibaux County, and many of the area's economic development successes have roots in partnerships forged between the MSU Extension Office and community organizations.
One of biggest success stories for this far-eastern Montana county is creation of the Wibaux Endowment Foundation. This project allows residents to contribute to a fund that disperses grants for community improvement projects. The funds have supported everything from youth sports teams to ambulance services to a school reunion. Wibaux County's MSU Extension agent, Dave Bertelsen, serves on the foundation's board and works with community members to organize meetings, set fund-raising goals and liaise with the Montana Community Fund. The strong partnership between university employees and community leaders and residents has helped Wibaux plan for its future and maximize the use of local resources to solve local problems.
Another decades-long success story is the Wibaux Health Fair, an annual event that serves 600 people (the entire county has just 1,000!) with low-cost medical tests and information about preventative health. Participants say the health fair has saved them thousands of dollars in healthcare costs, and may have even saved the lives of those who were referred to primary care physicians after tests at the event revealed dangerous medical conditions.
The health fair is a collaboration between MSU Extension, the Wibaux County Health Department and other organizations.