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Award Winners

Congratulations to our award winners. Their professional contributions and support to our organization are greatly appreciated. It is a privilege to recognize these individuals.

2019 Award Winners

State Meritorious Support Service

Roberta “Robbi’ Hopkins, Extension Administrative Assistant - Ransom County

Bobbi Hopkins
Roberta “aka Robbi” Hopkins has been an integral part of the Ransom County Extension office for 25 years. Robbi started working as temporary summer support, helping get organized for the fair and many other events. Robbi became more and more involved in the day-to-day activities of the office and eventually was changed to a full-time position due to her enthusiasm and “can do” work ethic. Robbi is very active and helpful with the Ransom County 4-H program and is the “go to” person for computers. The Ransom County Extension staff say, “Even though we may not tell her often enough, we couldn’t do our jobs without her. We are so fortunate to have her as part of our team in Ransom County.”

State Distinguished Service

Marcia Hellandsaas, Extension Agent, Family and Community Wellness – McKenzie County

Marcia Hellandsaas








Marcia’s passion for 4-H and Family and Consumer Science programs led her to Extension 29 years ago. Her passion has helped others learn and grow throughout her Extension career. Her programming has included reaching out to the elderly with Stepping On and Powerful Tools for Caregivers as well as youth with three curriculums in county schools and the 4-H Shooting Sports program. Marcia is also very effective in partnering with community groups to strengthen the connection of bringing research to the citizens of McKenzie County and North Dakota.

State Early Career Service

Angie Johnson, Extension Agent, Agriculture and Natural Resources – Steele County

Angie Johnson

In Angie's four years as an NDSU Agriculture and Natural Resources and 4-H Youth Development Extension agent, she has developed, collaborated with, conducted research on and implemented many programs to meet the needs of her clientele in the county, state and region. She has worked with volunteers to increase enrollment in the county 4-H program back to enrollment levels that were seen in the mid-80s for Steele County. She worked with Extension professionals from 13 other states to develop a strong biosecurity program for crop production that has been used across the nation.

State Mid-Career Service

Meagan Scott, Assistant Professor and 4-H Youth Development Specialist

Meagan Scott

Meagan has a passion for youth development. As a county 4-H agent in Mississippi State University Extension, she encouraged her youth to try new projects and get involved beyond the county. She trained several state-winning teams and had several state 4-H Leadership Team members and officers. She formed many partnerships with community members, which grew her program to one of the largest in Mississippi. As a state 4-H specialist at NDSU, she enjoys coaching new agents and creating resources for them. Recently, Meagan established a partnership with South Dakota to form Strengthening the Heartland, a program targeting opioid misuse prevention. Meagan also won the North Central Region Mid-Career Service Award from National ESP.

State Visionary Leadership

Julie Garden-Robinson, Professor and Food and Nutrition Specialist

Julie Garden-Robinson

Julie has been with NDSU Extension for more than 21 years. She has used her multidisciplinary educational background in forming teams with Health, Nutrition and Exercise Sciences; Animal Sciences; Plant Sciences – Horticulture, 4-H Youth Development; Pharmacy; Sociology; and 16 commodity groups, government agencies and professional organizations. She and her collaborators have received more than $13 million in grants that connect nutrition, food safety, agriculture and health. Julie has developed numerous national, regional and state award-winning programs, columns and curricula. Examples include Global Food Safety, Spilling the Beans, On the Pulse of Healthful Eating, On the Move to Better Health and Healthwise for Guys. 

State International Service

Marie Hvidsten, Rural Leadership Specialist and RLND Program Director

Marie Hvidsten

Marie has led the Rural Leadership North Dakota for 17 years. Over the past 8 years, she has taken groups to different countries to learn about their culture, agriculture and people. They have traveled to six countries: Brazil, Costa Rica, Panama, Thailand, Vietnam and Chile. She researches each country to prepare participants for these international experiences.


State Distinguished Team

North Dakota Soil and Water Conservation Leadership Academy
Bruce Schmidt, Andrea Bowman, Jodi Bruns, Lynette Flage, Marie Hvidsten, Katelyn Hain and Jim Collins (L-R)


Schmidt, Bowman and Bruns

Hvidsten, Flage, Hain

Jim Collins

This Leadership Academy is a partnership of NDSU Extension, the North Dakota Health Department and ND State Soil Conservation. The team created leadership materials for governing boards that deal with water and soil issues, such as effective communication, navigating conflict successfully and ethics. The Leadership Academy also included training specific to the basics of watershed hydrology and their stewardship and management. Participants in the Leadership Academy said the program opened their eyes to leadership and their crucial role in water and soil conservation.

Friends of Extension – 2019

North Dakota Association of Counties and North Dakota County Commissioners Association

NDAoC logo

NDCC logo

 

NDSU Extension experienced a $4.1 million reduction in state funding for the 2017-2019 biennium. We also received feedback during the State Board of Agricultural Research and Education (SBARE) comprehensive review that directed us to examine our base funding model and how we allocate resources to deliver impactful Extension programming.

Our county partners stepped up as we dealt with budget challenges and questions about the value of a county-based Extension model. First, counties agreed to amend our base funding model for 2019 by covering 40% of each Extension agent’s total compensation instead of 50% of each agent’s salary. This increased each county’s financial contribution by about $5,000 per agent per year, allowing us to partially address state budget reductions and maintain an Extension presence in all counties. Second, through NDACo and NDCCA, counties voiced strong support to state legislators about the value of NDSU Extension and a county-based Extension model. The support from the two organizations was instrumental in the legislature restoring our state funding to 2017 levels. These actions reinforce that Extension exists as a true partnership between NDSU and counties.

 

Tom Knudsen

Tom Knudsen

Tom Knudsen retired as vice president of agriculture at Minn-Dak Farmers Cooperative in Wahpeton in June 2019. Throughout his 42 years with the company, Tom strongly supported the NDSU Extension sugarbeet specialists. He encouraged sugarbeet growers to participate in winter educational seminars, research plot tours and coffee shop meetings. He attended nearly all Extension meetings during his career.

For 33 years, Tom served on the Sugarbeet Research and Education Board of MN and ND. This board funds a significant portion of Extension and research activities for Mohamed Khan and Tom Peters, and includes a three-quarter time secretarial position. As the Minn-Dak Farmers Coop voting member, Tom supported on average more than $60,000 per year, or $1,980,000 over his career on the board. He also served on the International Sugarbeet Institute planning committee for 33 years. Tom also supports Wilkin and Richland County 4-H, the North Dakota 4-H Foundation and other local activities.

Farm Forum

Farm Forum logo

With headquarters in Aberdeen, South Dakota, the Farm Forum reaches out to educate and inform the people involved in the agricultural industry by providing stories from a variety of sources. The Farm Forum prints many of the NDSU Extension news releases as well as columns by Extension educators from local counties. Their distribution covers a wide geographic area that includes North Dakota, South Dakota, Iowa and Minnesota, and past editors have participated in multiple NDSU Extension programs and written articles to assist the farm producers and their families based on what they learned.

2018 Award Winners

Bios and photos of winners are available on the 2018 ESP Awards page. 
State Meritorious Support Service – Cindy Entze, Extension Administrative Assistant | Mercer County
State Meritorious Support Service – Jan Hanson, Extension Administrative Assistant | McLean County
Early Career Service – Andrew Friskop, Plant Pathologist
Mid-Career Service – Carrie Knutson, Extension Agent, Horticulture | Grand Forks County
Distinguished Service – Dean Aakre, 4-H Youth Development Specialist
Visionary Leadership – Vanessa Hoines, Extension Agent, Family and Community Wellness | Morton County
Administrative Leadership – Jim Gray, West District Director
Friend of Extension – Chris Boerboom, Retired NDSU Extension Director
Friend of Extension – Michael Miller, Director and Bibliographer, NDSU Libraries and Germans from Russia Heritage Collection
Friend of Extension – Kendall Nichols, Director of Research, N.D. Soybean Council

2017 Award Winners

Bios and photos of winners are available on the 2017 ESP Awards page. See our news release for photos taken at conference.

State Meritorious Support Service – Dawn Alderin, Administrative Assistant, Oliver County
State Meritorious Support Service – Vicki Miller, Administrative Office Manager, Center for Community Vitality
Early Career Service – Esther McGinnis, Assistant Professor and Horticulturist
Mid-Career Service – Marie Hvidsten, Rural Leadership Specialist
Distinguished Service – Andrew Thostenson, Pesticide Program Specialist
Visionary Leadership – Greg Endres, Area Cropping Systems Specialist
Administrative Leadership – Charlie Stoltenow, Agriculture and Natural Resources Program Leader
Friend of Extension – Bill Davis, Acting State Director for USDA Rural Development
Friend of Extension – Dale Ihry, Executive Director, North Dakota Corn Utilization Council and North Dakota Corn Growers Association
Friend of Extension – Renae Korslien, General Manager, North Dakota State Fair

2016 Award Winners

Meritorious Support Service Award – Aimee Thapa
Mid-Career Service Award – Donna Anderson
Administrative Leadership Award – Deb Gebeke
Distinguished Service Award – Ken Hellevang
Visionary Leadership Award – Carmen Rath-Wald
Continued Service Award – John Kringler
Friends of Extension – Joe Breker, Arlene Dura, Durward & Phyllis Otterness, and Russ Tweiten

2015 Award Winners

Meritorious Support Service Award – Jayne Aukland & Linda Schuster
Early Career Service Award – Karla Meikle
Mid-Career Service Award – Janet Knodel
Administrative Leadership Award – Gerald Sturn
Distinguished International Service Award – Mohamed Khan
Distinguished Service Award – Brad Brummond
Visionary Leadership Award – Brad Cogdill
Friends of Extension – Jesse Handegard and Rodney Howe

2014 Award Winners

Meritorious Support Service Award - Jeralyn Fischer and Cindy Olson
Mid-Career Service Award - Jodi Bruns
Meritorious Service Award - Marcia Hellandsaas
Administrative Leadership Award - Chris Boerboom
Distinguished International Service Award - Charlie Stoltenow
Distinguished Service Award - Willie Huot
Distinguished Team Award - Tri-County Tourism Alliance
Friends of Extension - Reinhard Hauck and Myron & Muriel Johnsrud

2013 Award Winners

Meritorious Support Service Award - Kari Presler
State Early Career Award - Marie Hvisten
State Distinguished Service Award - Kathy Tweeten
Continued Excellence Award - Duane Hauck
Visionary Leadership Award - Lynette Flage
Administrative Leadership Award - Jay Fisher
Distinguished Team Award - Julie Garden-Robinson, Peggy Anderson, Mary Froelich, Bill Hodous, Dena Kemmet, Lionel Olson, Calli Thorne
Friends of Extension Award - Allan & Leah Burke, Julie & Chad Ellingson and Michael O'Keeffe

2012 Award Winners

Meritorious Support Service Award - Claudia Dean and Kris Holt
State Early Career Award - Roxanne Johnson
State Mid-Career Award - Rick Schmidt
State Meritorious Service Award - Julie Garden-Robinson
State Distinguished Service Award - Peggy Anderson
Continued Excellence Award - Marcia McMullen
Visionary Leadership Award - Marie Hvidsten
Administrative Leadership Award - Brad Cogdill
Distinguished Team Award - Kenneth Hellevang, Lori Scharmer, and Debra Pankow
Friends of Extension Award - Ray Morrell, Phillip Mueller and Steve Wollmuth

2011 Award Winners

State Early Career Service Award -Sharon Smith
State Meritorious Service Award - Jackie Buckley
State Distinguished Service Award - Kathleen Tweeten
State Friend of Extension Award - Connie Sprynczynatyk and Bob and Helen Weed
Meritorious Support Service Award - Cheryl Dew

2010 Award Winners

State Mid-Career Service Award - Debra Gebeke
State Meritorious Service Award - Mohamed Khan
State Friend of Extension Award - Carol Goodman & Craig Larson
Meritorious Support Service Award - Val Entringer

2009 Award Winners

State Early Career Service Award - Jodi Bruns
State Meritorious Service Award - Brad Cogdill
State Distinguished Service Award - Linda Hauge
State Friend of Extension Award - Julie Burgum, Jerry Effertz, and Mick Kjar
Meritorious Support Service Award - Holly Halvorson and Sharon Lane
Retirees Service Award - Gary Moran
State Administrative Leadership Award - Becky Koch

2008 Award Winners

State Early Career Service Award - Lori Scharmer
State Mid-Career Service Award - Rachelle Vettern
State Meritorious Service Award - Karla Monson and Debb Pankow
State Distinguished Service Award - Terry Gregoire
Diversity and Multicultural Award - Margaret Tweten
State Friend of Extension Award - Paul Govig and Mark Johnson
Meritorious Support Service Award - Diane Greicar

2007 Award Winners

State Early Career Service Award - Barb Holes-Dickson
State Mid-Career Service Award - Lynette Flage
State Meritorious Service Award - Terry Lykken and Willie Huot
State Distinguished Service Award - Marcia McMullen
State Friend of Extension Award - Roger Johnson and Sandy Holbrok
Meritorious Support Service Award - Nancy Smith, Hope Eppler and John Grindahl
Retirees Service Award - Sharon Anderson
State Visionary Leadership Recognition Award - Brad Brummond
State Administrative Leadership Award - Duane Hauck

2006 Award Winners

State Early Career Service Award - Janet Knodel
State Mid-Career Service Award - Rita Ussatis
State Meritorious Service Award - George Flaskerud
State Distinguished Service Award - Elroy Haadem
State Friend of Extension Award- Marcy Hansen, Doug Vannurden and Tom Archbold
Meritorious Support Service Award - Alice Amundson
Retirees Service Award - Walt Mattson
State Visionary Leadership Recognition Award - Debb Pankow

2005 Award Winners

State Early Career Service Award - Bruce Sundeen
State Mid-Career Service Award - Dwain Barondeau
State Meritorious Service Award - Greg Endres, Becky Koch and John Kringler
State Distinguished Service Award - Duane Hauck
25 Year Tenure Recognition Award - Jackie Buckley and Brad Cogdill
State Friends of Extension Award- Corene Vaughn and Mark Conlon
Meritorious Support Service Award - Blair Johnson and Virginia Lund
State Visionary Leadership Recognition Award - Jay Fisher
Retirees Service Award - Ruth Gulbranson
State Retirement Certificate- Jerry Larson

2004 Award Winners

State Early Career Service Award - Dave Franzen
State Mid-Career Service Award - Marcia Hellandsaas
State Meritorious Service Award - Marcia McMullen, Dale Siebert and Clint Gienger
State Tenure 25-Year Recognition Award - Ron Beneda, Eunice Sahr and Jay Fisher
State Distinguished Service Award - Gene Elhard
State Friend of Extension Award - Jody Hauge, Neal Fisher and Wayne Ulven
Meritorious Support Service Award - Betty Bodine, Sandy Erickson and Kim Neprash
Retirees Service Award - Wayne Hankel
Visionary Leadership Recognition Award - Roger Egeberg
State Retirement Certificates - Sharon Anderson and Morris Davidson

2003 Award Winners

State Early Career Service Award - Nels Peterson
State Mid-Career Service Award - Debb Pankow
State Meritorious Service Award - Kurt Froelich, Julie Hassebroek and June Kraft
State Distinguished Service Award - Jerry Larson
State Friend of Extension Award - Cornelius P. Grant, Steve Metzger and Gary Nelson
Meritorious Support Service Award - Deb Evenson, Stanna Flom, Dena Kemmet and Marlys Novotny
Retirees Service Award - Harry Hecht
Visionary Leadership Recognition Award - Terry Gregoire

2002 Award Winners

State Early Career Service Award - Lynette Flage
State Mid-Career Service Award - Bruce Schmidt
State Meritorious Service Award - Gerald Strun and Karen Zotz
State Distinguished Service Award - Anita Rohde
State Friend of Extension Award - Alon Wieland, Ryan Brooks, Bismarck-Mandan Convention and Visitors Bureau
Meritorious Support Service Award - Sandy Osborne, Marilyn Geiszler, Connie Job and Monte Kelly
Retirees Service Award - Morris Holm
Visionary Leadership Recognition Award - Linda Crow

2001 Award Winners

Sate Early Career Service Award - Julie Garden-Robinson
State Mid-Career Service Award - Verona Lechler
State Meritorious Service Award - Peggy Anderson, Eugene Elhard and Kathy Tweeten
State Distinguished Service Award - Art Lamey
State Friend of Extension Award - Sharon and Mick Anderson, Robert Anderson and Tim G. Bryan
Meritorious Support Service Award - Lesa Wilm and Patty Flaagen
Retirees Service Award - Ron Anderson
Visionary Leadership Recognition Award - Linda Narum

2000 Award Winners

State Early Career Service Award - Carmel Miller
State Mid-Career Service Award - Roger Egeberg
State Meritorious Service Award - Dean Aakre, Ron Beneda and Terry Gregoire
State Distinguished Service Award - Darnell Lundstrom
Sate Friend of Extension Award - Gladys Cairns, Edwin Schmidt and Scott Stofferahn
Meritorious Support Service Award - Teresa Luck, Mary Beth Odegaard and Agnes Vernon
Visionary Leadership Recognition Award - Vernon Hoffman

1999 Award Winners

State Early Career Service Award - Becky Koch
State Mid-Career Service Award - Jackie Buckley
State Meritorious Service Award - Julie Hudson-Schenfisch, Jay Fisher, Linda Hauge and George Maher
State Distinguished Service Award - Connie Weed
State Friend of Extension Award - Kathy Hogan, Bill Pietsch and Burdell Johnson
Meritorious Support Service Award - Gail Hokenson, Ellen Boekes and Lori Lymburner
Retirees Service Award - Banks and Evelyn Sieber
Visionary Leadership Recognition Award - Duane Hauck

1998 Award Winners

State Early Career Service Award - Richard Zollinger
State Mid-Career Service Award - Marcia McMullen
Sate Meritorious Service Award - Arthur Lamey and Dave Rice
State Distinguished Service Award - Linda Crow
State Friend of Extension Award - Scott Hennen, Melana Howe and Steve Wennblom
Meritorious Support Service Award - Ardis Carvell, Kaye Jessen and Faye Klein
Retirees Service Award - Jim Berg
Visionary Leadership Recognition Award - Rhonda Conlon

1997 Award Winners

State Friend of Extension Award - Joel Janke, Mikkel Pates, Donavan Eck

1996 Award Winners

State Friend of Extension Award - Kevin Pifer, Wayne Colberg, Rod Burgad

1995 Award Winners

State Friend of Extension Award - Jerry Doan, Mike Hergert, Paul Langseth

1994 Award Winners

State Friend of Extension Award - Wendell Herman, Vernice Johnson, Gary Puppe

1993 Award Winners

State Friend of Extension Award - No honoree-no conference held

1992 Award Winners

State Friend of Extension Award - Mel Maier, Bill Drummond, Lorren Henke

1991 Award Winners

State Friend of Extension Award - Dean Thurow, Gerald Iverson, Luther Berntson

1990 Award Winners

State Friend of Extension Award - Dave Borlaug, Larry Ristvedt, Nancy Jo Bateman

1989 Award Winners

State Friend of Extension Award - Kathleen Braaten and James Marsden

1988 Award Winner

State Friend of Extension Award - Raymond Schnell

1987 Award Winners

State Friend of Extension Award - Delbert Moore and Keith Bjerke

1986 Award Winners

State Friend of Extension Award - Jack Dahl, Jean M. Guy, Merlind (Bud) Lannoye

1985 Award Winners

State Friend of Extension Award - Lois Jones and Bernie Johnson

1984 Award Winners

State Friend of Extension Award - Stanley Bale, Clair Michels, Lois Sullivan

1983 Award Winners

State Friend of Extension Award - Judy DeWitz and Don Kenna, Sr.

1982 Award Winners

State Friend of Extension Award - Elvira Thiel, Kyle Miller, Clarence Sande

1981 Award Winners

State Friend of Extension Award - Arthur and Grace Link

1980 Award Winners

State Friend of Extension Award - Wilma Galegher, Clark Jenkins, Alvin Kramer

1979 Award Winners

State Friend of Extension Award - Arden Burbidge, Al Gustin, George Mikkelson

1978 Award Winners

State Friend of Extension Award - Royal Berstler, Kathy Coyle, Arlene Sagnessn

 

Dean has been with NDSU Extension since 1983. He served as assistant county agent and county agent in Stutsman County, 4-H activity coordinator and 4-H youth specialist. He has coordinated the 4-H division of the North Dakota State Fair for 30 years. Dean leads Real Colors for new staff orientation and co-coordinated two Real Colors training/certification sessions in North Dakota. He says his greatest joy in Extension has been the opportunity to witness youth grow and develop into community-minded adults who give generously of their time and talents for benefit to others.

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