Lynette Flage, district director, asked agents in the Northeast District to comment on what they value and appreciate about working for NDSU Extension. Responses include:
"Teamwork – I feel so lucky! Really feels like a team."
"Seeing kids grow and gain confidence. They can stand up and tell it like it is."
"The pride that comes from having people seek you out for help."
"Appreciate the impact I’ve had on people’s lives."
And there are more; please check them out. Do you see yourself reflected in these thoughts? I hope so. These responses capture the great spirit of Extension employees and remind me why I loved teaching agents, farmers and consultants about weeds as an Extension specialist. Thanks to Lynette for sharing and to the Northeast District agents for these great thoughts about their work.
Have a great day with NDSU Extension!
Since 2005 the NDSU Extension Service has sent a team of staff members to the Public Issues Leadership Development (PILD) conference that takes place each April at Washington, DC. The Extension Leadership Team (ELT) selects participants from recommendations made by the presidents of the NDAAEA, NDEAFCS, NDAE4-HYW and ESP. A member of the ELT attends as the group contact.
Calli Thorne, McKenzie County Extension Agent; Karla Monson, Bottneau County Extension Agent; Todd Weinmann, Cass County Extension Agent; Becky Koch, Ag Communication Director; and Chris Boerboom, Extension Director, attended this year, April 21-24. The conference provided an opportunity to learn about the political process at the national level and meet with elected officials as well as key leaders from the United States Department of Agriculture National Institute of Food and Agriculture. Plus, it offered opportunities to learn best practices for advocacy from other states. They all agreed that a highlight was the Capitol Hill visits where they had an opportunity to share with our congressional delegation the need to restore our federal Smith-Lever funding. Here’s what they said about the experience:
Calli — “PILD introduced me to a whole new side of Extension that I was really unaware of, particularly at the national level, and how funding changes can directly impact us here in North Dakota. I also became more aware of how different Extension can be from state to state regarding set-up and locations (county-based, regions, etc.).”
Karla – “Agents in Georgia have developed a professional-looking newsletter to report their efforts to decision-makers. The agents use a one-page template to highlight four programs monthly. The highlights tell how their efforts have impacted their clients and provide a brief, but detailed, description of the programs. I’d like to try this approach for our county narrative.”
Todd – “I now have a better understanding of the importance of meeting the legislators and their aides.The experience was a learning one in which I found common ground with the people there, even though our goals varied. The most important thing I learned was that only through compromise can people achieve their goals and the goals of others.”
Becky – “The PILD speakers reinforced to me that every one of us always needs to be prepared with two communication tools: a 30-second elevator speech to tell our Extension story literally in the short time you’re in an elevator with a decision maker and a three-minute stump speech that provides a bit more time to give an example. Also, we need to point out how what we’re sharing or asking for benefits them or their constituents, not just us. And don’t be afraid to ask. Specifically say, ‘I hope you’ll support this because it will benefit these people in this way.’”
Chris – “We need to be able to communicate the public value of our programs to people who may not even participate in our programs. These people pay for Extension and benefit from the public value (e.g.strong ag economy, healthy communities, etc.) even though they may not be direct participants.”
PILD 2014 will be held April 6-9. Stay in touch with your association president if you’re interested in attending.
The NDSU Extension Service has good news to share about the recently completed legislative session. I want to make four key points with this posting:
I want to express my appreciation to the State Board of Agricultural Research and Education (SBARE) for their dedication in prioritizing and supporting the needs of the NDSU Extension Service during the 2013-2015 legislative session. Please thank the SBARE board members who reside in your area when you see them.
The list below summarizes the additional resources passed by the North Dakota legislature.
- Compensation Plan: The final pay plan is still to be determined.
- Cost-to-continue: $540,528 (This accounts for inflationary needs to cover operation funds.)
- Agents-in-Training and Interns: $250,000 (Half of the requested funding was received. Funding will support two agent-in-training positions and 2.5 summer interns.)
- Livestock Development: $370,000 (One of the two area livestock specialist positions requested was funded. The position will be located at either the Hettinger or Central Grasslands Research Extension Center. In addition, program support will fund the development of an Extension livestock production economics program in the Department of Agribusiness and Applied Economics.)
- Crop and Resource Protection: $150,000 (Of four program items prioritized, funding for one technician for the weed management or potato programs was the only item supported.)
- Soil Conservation Committee Technical Assistance Grants: $150,000 (These are pass-through funds to the State Soil Conservation Committee to support Soil Conservation District projects.)
House and Senate Amendments Not Included in SBARE Priorities
- Rural Leadership North Dakota: $125,000 (Funding for Rural Leadership North Dakota was added to replace a temporary funding source that was used during the last biennium.)
- Junior Master Gardener Program Interns: $25,000 (Funding was provided to support two summer interns to expand the Junior Master Gardener program in Burleigh County.)
- Video Conference Equipment: $110,000 (Funding to replace six county and eight REC/campus systems that are obsolete.)
- North Dakota 4-H Camp Renovation: $950,000 (These state funds will be matched with $950,000 of private funds being raised by the North Dakota 4-H Foundation to renovate the cabins and main lodge, and to build a new multi-purpose building at the North Dakota 4-H Camp near Washburn.)
Other Budget Note
- Gearing Up for Kindergarten: Funding for this program was in the Department of Public Instruction budget. We are waiting for final action.
We sought direct funding for a Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) for Extension staff in the oil-impacted counties. The legislature did not fund our request, but a bill is proposed to create an $8.5 million pool of funds in the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to address high housing costs in the oil region. We will get more information on how Extension can apply for these funds for employees.
This legislative session demonstrated to me the incredibly high value of your local connections with legislators. They need to be well informed about the nature, impacts and value of your Extension programming. This coming winter, we will coordinate another round of legislative reporting sessions to maintain or strengthen their understanding of your programs.
County Extension Staff: Just a reminder that you have a chance to win one of four office sprucer-uppers worth up to $300 each by participating in the office makeover contest. Prizes will be presented at 2013 Fall Conference. Here's the poster with details:
Join me in a round of applause for seven NDSU Extension Service employees who were or soon will be publicly recognized:
Jon Fry, Blair Johnson and Jerry Ranum, Desktop Support Specialists | Agriculture Communication/ITS
Jon, Blair and Jerry were applauded March 21 as one of three groups nominated for the 2013 NDSU IT Division Team Award. ITS sponsors the annual award, but nominations originate from faculty and staff who see innovation, collaboration, excellence and teamwork in a team of ITS staff. Jon, Blair and Jerry were nominated for their ongoing efforts to support the diverse IT needs of NDSU Agriculture across the state. The Commodity Trading Room Team was selected for the award.
Carolee Kaylor, Nutrition Education Assistant, FNP | McHenry and Pierce Counties
Carolee will receive an Individual Staff Recognition Award at an April 12 luncheon hosted by NDSU Human Resources and NDSU Staff Senate. Carolee is being recognized for the extraordinary contributions she makes in her position. She is one of two to be recognized this year in the technical/paraprofessional category.
Brad Brummond, Extension Agent, ANR | Walsh County
The NDSU Division of Equity, Diversity and Global Outreach is recognizing Brad with a Green and Golden Globe Diversity Award for his efforts to provide diversity education to agency partners in Walsh County as well as his work with migrant school youth on their community garden summer project. The ceremony will take place at 3 p.m. on April 15 in the Great Plains Ballroom. The Division presents awards annually to NDSU’s champions of equity, diversity and global outreach.
Julie Garden-Robinson, Extension Food and Nutrition Specialist | Health, Nutrition and Exercise Sciences
Julie has been selected as the North Central Region’s representative to the Extension Journal, Inc. Board of Directors. As such she and the other members will evaluate and implement policies for the Journal of Extension (JOE). Her first virtual meeting will be in May. As you likely know, JOE is the official refereed journal of the U.S. Cooperative Extension System. It seeks to expand and update the research and knowledge base for Extension professionals and other adult educators to improve their effectiveness.
Ken Hellevang, Extension Agricultural Engineer | Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering
Ken has been selected as one of13 American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers Fellows for 2013 by the M-131 Fellows Selection Committee. He will be recognized at the ASABE Annual International Meeting scheduled for July 21-24 at Kansas City, Missouri. To be considered for the grade of ASABE Fellow, an individual must demonstrate unusual professional distinction with outstanding qualifications and experience in the field of agricultural engineering. Twenty years of membership in ASABE is also required. Only about two percent of the active members of ASABE have achieved the grade of Fellow.
Another month of great programming has passed. You may be tired from the effort but also feeling good about what the participants have told you in their comments. Don’t just tuck this work away; tell others about it through your QPR and Impact Reports. And if you think your reports don’t matter--you’re only one person, right?--think again. The chart below (full size available here) was one of my handouts at the SBARE meeting last week.
Your direct contacts are one measure of our Extension programs. These numbers clearly demonstrate the importance of Extension agents delivering information and programs locally (617,000 direct contacts by Extension agents in 2012). It also reaffirms the breadth and importance of our Extension programming across multiple program areas. In total, 844,000 direct contacts is excellent. (Note, if you are still submitting QPR contacts for 2012, we will add them to the totals.) And take a look at pages 9-19 in our . Most of the accomplishments listed came directly from your Impact Reports.
These are just two examples of how administration uses your information. The more successes you report the better position the NDSU Extension Service is in to tell stakeholders that Extension is a good investment for them. Keep ‘em coming and thank you.
Another success: Check outin Bismarck of a young 4-H member. I hope when you watch it you will agree that this young lady has a great insight to the power of 4-H and the importance of giving back to others.
Over 300 people came out to hear what NDSU Agribusiness and Applied Economics Associate Professor David Saxowsky, and Extension Agents Keith Brown, Calli Thorne, Marcia Hellandsaas and Andrea Bowman (and other professionals) had to say about the multitude of changes going on in Divide, McKenzie and Bowman counties due to the oil industry. The primary focus of the meetings held Feb. 11 at Crosby, Feb. 12 at Watford City and Feb.13 at Bowman was oil and gas development from the perspective of mineral and land owners, however, mineral leasing, pipeline easements, surface damages, industry technologies, future county oil and gas projects, and other topics were also discussed. Dale Enerson, cooperatives specialist with the North Dakota Farmers Union, gave an update on western North Dakota oil field operations. The Bowman session was one component of their Southwest Ag Forum.
Compensating surface owners for disruption to land resources and farm/ranch operations based on the North Dakota surface compensation statutes was also touched on, and it was hoped that more time could be spent on issues relating to pipeline easements—a critical topic for Divide and McKenzie counties. Another session is being considered for this spring.
Participants gained a better understanding of considerations when leasing mineral rights or negotiating easements; the laws and statutes in North Dakota that govern oil and gas development, and options available if parties think they are not being treated fairly. They also learned about changes that have been made in the laws and statutes by the North Dakota legislature to address concerns such as surface owner rights and compensation, and why there are limitations to what the legislature can do.
A two-part video of the presentations given at Watford City is available on the McKenzie County Extension Office website.
During the past couple of years the NDSU Extension Leadership Team (ELT) has made a concerted effort to strengthen professional development opportunities available to employees at the county, area and state levels. The overall goal is to support personal and professional development while also supporting organizational needs. Examples include the 7 Habits and Coaching training, the mentoring program, County Office Management training, North Central NELD (National Extension Leadership Development) and PILD (Public Issues Leadership Development). A complete list of opportunities is available at http://www.ag.ndsu.edu/ProfessionalDevelopment/.
Each time you take the initiative to attend one of these opportunities or work to complete an advanced degree, you improve your skills and send a message to the organization that you may be interested in additional leadership roles. As our organization grows and changes, opportunities arise for those seeking leadership roles. I encourage you to visit with your supervisor if you are interested in pursuing an advanced degree or one or more of the options in the professional development opportunities list.
Today I am pleased to announce that Jodi Bruns will begin to provide leadership for new staff orientation and professional development as Margaret Tweten steps down from this role. Jodi’s experience as Horizons Coach, ELT administrative intern, interim district director, participation in PILD and NELD, and completion of her Master’s degree have prepared her to be highly effective in this role. Jodi has taken the initiative to build her leadership capacity, and we are pleased to have her serve in this 0.2 FTE role. (The majority of her time will continue to be on county programming.) We look forward to Jodi continuing our efforts to strengthen new staff training and support organizational management needs in general.
I am pleased to announce that Karl Hoppe, area livestock systems specialist at the Carrington REC, will serve as our new Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) co-coordinator along with Bill Hodous, Ramsey County Extension agent. Karl will be taking over for Ron Wiederholt on Feb. 1, 2013. I look forward to Bill and Karl’s leadership on extending the program activities that SARE provides to North Dakota. This includes professional development and training opportunities for our Extension staff and other professionals. It also includes many grant opportunities that fit our mission. Here are a few examples from the 2012 funding year:
- Carl Dahlen – Research and Education Project, $199,995, “Evaluating the Sustainability of Beef Cattle Breeding Systems”
- Glenn Muske and Abby Gold – Professional Development Program Project, $74,908, “Expanding Opportunities for Sustainable Small Farm Specialty Crop Producers: Training Educators in Feasibility Analysis, Marketing, and Community Building”
- Michelle Effertz – Youth Educator Project, $1,998, “Western ND 4-H Camp SARE Garden”
- Rick Schmidt – Youth Educator Project, $1,982, “Utilizing Cover Crops for Sheep”
You can read more about these and other projects at http://www.northcentralsare.org/Grants/Recent-Grant-Projects.
While we have been very successful in tapping into SARE grant resources in these three areas, we haven’t been as successful with the Farmer Rancher Grant Project. Of 53 North Central grants in 2012, none were awarded to North Dakota. This could be a great resource for agents and specialists to work with our clientele as they adopt new production practices. Bill and Karl will be your contacts if you have questions about these and other SARE programs. Thank you to them and all who are involved with SARE.
Join me in a round of applause for the 21 Extension faculty/staff members recognized at the Agriculture and Extension Faculty/Staff Awards ceremony yesterday: Shafiqur Rahman, Chris Augustin, Andrea Bowman, Carrie Knutson, Reid Redden, Brad Brummond, Dave Franzen, Marie Hvidsten, Trisha Jessen, Tom Kalb, Mohamed Khan, Tim Petry, J.W. Schroeder, Scott Swanson, Myrna Friedt, Paulann Haakenson, Sharon Lane, Cindy Selstedt, Susan Finneseth, Joan Opp and Danelle Walker. And one more round of applause, please, for the two selected for awards:
Reid Redden -- Myron and Muriel Johnsrud Extension in Extension/Outreach Award
Brad Brummond -- AGSCO Excellence in Extension Award
To be nominated and selected by peers makes this recognition program that much more meaningful. Thank you to the nominees for striving for excellence in their work, to those who took the time to nominate a colleague, and to those who served on the selection committees. It was another proud day for Extension.