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Extension Program Excellence Awards

Learn more about the Extension Program Excellence Awards.

Here are the nominations for the 2019 Program Excellence Awards. Forks' Well Fed and Gearing Up for Grazing were announced as the winners at the Oct. 22-24 Extension/REC fall conference.

2019 news release


Team members: Carrie Johnson, Stacy Wang, Nikki Johnson; Students: Abby Sklebar, Sarah Wendt, Taylor Geer, Katelyn Mocko, Emily Carlson, Alexis Schmidt, Jacob Johnson; Community Partners: North Dakota Nutrition Council, Blue Cross Blue Shield of ND, NDSU Residence Life, NDSU College of Human Sciences and Education, NDSU Campus Attractions, Midwest Dairy, Prairie Roots Food Co-op, Seim Living and Learning Community

#Adulting teaches life skills to young adults through engaging hands-on lessons delivered by peer educators, social media and web delivery mechanisms. #Adulting has increased the visibility of Extension as a relevant, valuable, trusted and reliable resource for young adults and has improved participant knowledge and confidence in completing essential life tasks.

Extension Food and Nutrition Volunteers

Team members: Rita Ussatis, Vanessa Hoines, Kristi Berdal, Kayla Carlson, Cindy Klapperich, Ellen Bjelland, Katalin Quale, Julie Garden-Robinson, Rachelle Vettern

The Food and Nutrition Volunteer program engaged 68 volunteers, who reported 3,451 contacts, including children and adults in On the Move, Healthwise and other food-related programs, with the value of their collective volunteer hours (at $25.43/hour) of $10,350.

Extension Master Gardener Program

Team members: Esther McGinnis, These individuals spoke in the Extension Master Gardener Core Course or supervised Master Gardener interns or volunteers in their home counties: Joseph Zeleznik, Tom Kalb, Barb Laschkewitsch, Chandra Langseth, Sam Markell, Yolanda Schmidt, Carrie Knutson, Janet Knodel, Paige Brummund, Elizabeth Burdolski, Alicia Harstad, Kathy Wiederholt, Greg Morgenson, Adnan Akyuz, Julie Garden-Robinson, Sue Isbell, Jan Stankiewicz, Ken Eraas, Kyla Splichal, Dan Folske, Lynnette Vachal, Marcia Hellandsaas, Calla Edwards, Craig Askim, Rick Schmidt, Shelby Hewson, LoAyne Voigt, Sara Clemens, Mark Miller, Rachel Wald, Scott Knoke, Bill Hodous, Penny Nester, Breana Kiser, Anitha Chirumamilla, Brad Brummond, Katelyn Hain, Alyssa Scheve, Randy Grueneich, Brian Zimprich, Melissa Seykora, Lindy Berg

The Extension Master Gardener Program is a volunteer service program that beautifies communities, answers gardening questions, plans horticultural workshops, works with children, feeds the hungry and conserves pollinators.

Forks' Well Fed -- 2019 Winner

Grand Forks winners









Team members: Molly Soeby--FCW, Linda Kuster--FNP, Jean Noland--EFNEP (retired), Megan Hruby--SNAP Education, University of Minnesota Extension, Caryl and Ben Lester--Stable Days Youth Ranch and Town Square Farmers' Market, Nikki Johnson, Linda Hammen, Brooke Riendeau, Marty Jackson--UND graduate intern, Katie Skarda and Emily Joerger--UND interns, Kacey Morgan--NDSU intern, Alana Ivers--SDSU intern

When low-income families learn skills to stretch their food dollars, increase produce consumption and engage in activities that give back to other food insecure people, all areas of their lives are impacted. We see reduced risks of obesity and chronic disease, increased community volunteerism and self-confidence, and anchoring to community with a sense of belonging and contributing; the students are now the teachers.

Gearing Up for Grazing -- 2019 Winner

Grazing Team










Team members: (First row, L-R): Crystal Schaunaman--McIntosh County, Craig Askim--Mercer County, Sheldon Gerhardt--Logan County, Hannah Nordby--Adams County, Rick Schmidt--Oliver County. 

(Second row, L-R):
Lindsay Maddock --Wells County, Lindy Berg--Towner County, Rachel Wald--McHenry County, Miranda Meehan--Assistant Professor/Livestock Environmental Stewardship Specialist, Calla Edwards--McLean County, Shelby Hewson--Slope County

(Third row, L-R): Yolanda Schmidt--Pierce County, Devan Leo--McKenzie County, Tessa Keller Osterbauer--Grant County, Paige Brummund--Ward County, Greg Benz--Dunn County, Nicole Wardner--Sheridan County, Penny Nester--Kidder County.

Not pictured: Kevin Sedivec--Professor/Rangeland Management Specialist and Interim Director, Central Grasslands Research Extension CenterKatelyn Hain--Nelson County, Katie Wirt--formerly Grant County, Erin Gaugler--Range Research Specialist, Kelcey Hoffmann--formerly Cass County, Morgan Wisness--formerly McKenzie County, Marissa Leier--formerly Morton County

The Gearing Up for Grazing Program is a hands-on monitoring program to observe grazing readiness and encourage producers to select a grazing start date based on plant development, improving the quality of grassland ecosystems. The Gearing Up for Grazing program increased Extension agents' capacity to engage with producers about grazing readiness, increasing producers' understanding of grazing readiness, resulting in several producers expressing intent to change and 25 producers changing how they selected their grazing start date.

German-Russian Country: Prairie Legacy (Tri-County Tourism Alliance)

Team members: Acacia Stuckle; Carmen Rath-Wald; Jodi Bruns; Julie Garden-Robinson; Michael M. Miller, Director & Bibliographer, NDSU Germans from Russia Heritage Collection; Bob Dambach, Retired Director of Television, Prairie Public Broadcasting; Claudia J. Berg, State Historical Society of North Dakota Director, Bismarck; Tom Isern, NDSU Center for Heritage Renewal Director; Troyd Geist, Folklorist, North Dakota Council on the Arts; Residents of Emmons, Logan and McIntosh counties (German-Russian Country) who are invited to and participate in monthly meetings of the Tri-County Tourism Alliance

The Tri-County Tourism Alliance led by NDSU Extension has increased tourism to the counties, while developing documentaries, books, educational materials and social media to increase awareness of the Germans from Russia heritage in North Dakota.

Improving Soil Health and Land Management in North Dakota

Team members: Abbey Wick, Benjamin Geaumont, Naeem Kalwar, Jasper Teboh, Chris Augustin, Caley Gasch, Dan Graham, Szilvia Yuja, Joel Bell

The NDSU Ag soil health team delivers programming to every corner of ND in an effort to address soil health and land management issues. After years of program delivery, growers and land managers are adopting long-term soil health practices such as cover crops to preserve this natural resource for generations.

For prior Program Excellence awards, see past Extension Program Excellence winners and nominations.

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