Carrington Research Extension Center


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Meeting You Where You Are, Online


More than 4,600 NDSU Extension program sessions were held in 2020, reaching in excess of 304,000 participants. That was no small feat, especially when considering 37.5% of the programs were held either strictly online or in a combination of online and face-to-face.

The sudden change to virtual platforms (programming, meetings, strategy sessions, grant presentations, advisory board input sessions) in March 2020 required all of us at NDSU, including CREC staff, to learn some new tricks – even the old dogs! Our living rooms, spare bedrooms and basements were quickly turned into offices. We invited our colleagues and constituents into these personal spaces and we kept working. Field plans were finalized, research proposals submitted and educational programs shared.

We found ourselves rethinking many of our programs and how we share information with you. This wasn’t necessarily a bad thing. Moving things to an online format really made us think, “What’s important here?” and “What do we really want people to learn, know, and be able to implement right now in their operations or in their lives?”

Moving to an online format was mentally draining at times but it also helped us answer the question, “Why are we doing this?” Ultimately, if a program, meeting or strategy session was held, it was because we really, really thought it would be important for you to have the information.

As we move back to a mixed model of face-to-face and online programming, we will continue to ask those important questions. We don’t want to host a meeting, online or face-to-face, unless there is confirmation from you, our constituent, that it’s necessary and useful.

If 2020 taught us nothing else, it did teach us that time is most certainly precious and we don’t intend to waste it.

As we head into 2021 here are a list of upcoming online meetings and a few previously recorded programs that we think, based on your feedback, will be useful for you.


NDSU Extension Cropping Systems Specialist Greg Endres discussed the 60-species Weed Arboretum as part of the Crop Management Field School video programs.

Upcoming events, mostly online at this point, involving Carrington REC staff, are listed at

Mary Keena
Livestock Environmental Management Specialist

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