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With thanks to Director Boerboom (7/2/2018)

It's your time for a round of applause, Chris. Please accept our thanks for all you've done for us as individuals and an organization during your tenure with NDSU Extension. You go into retirement with our respect and admiration. 

Applause photo

All the best to you,

Your NDSU Extension Family

Chris Boerboom Retirement Reception

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Kudos x 3! (5/4/18)

Please join me in a round of applause today for Scott Knoke, Macine Lukach and Julie Garden-Robinson.

Scott Knoke Quarter Century ClubScott, Benson County Extension agent, and Macine, Cavalier County Extension agent and parent educator, were inducted into the NDSU Quarter Century Club last night. Scott was able to attend to receive his award in person. Thank you both for your 25 years of dedicated service to NDSU and the people of North Dakota.Julie Garden-Robinson

Julie, Extension food and nutrition specialist, is adding Honorary State FFA Degree to her credentials. Nominated by student members and affiliated bodies of the North Dakota FFA Association for her interest in and assistance to agriculture education/FFA, Julie will receive this highest degree bestowed by the association at their annual state convention in Fargo the first week of June. Congratulations, Julie!

 Chris Boerboom, Extension Director


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Deb Johnson, Susan Finneseth and others honored at NDSU Staff Recognition Social (4/19/2018)

Several Extension broad-banded staff members were recognized with awards at the NDSU Human Resources/Payroll and Staff Senate recognition social held on campus April 12. Deb Johnson and Susan Finneseth received a Staff Recognition Johnson Finneseth Boerboom 2018Award—Deb in the technical job category and Susan, the professional job category.

Deb is the FNP and EFNEP nutrition education assistant in Burleigh and Morton counties. Despite being in her position less than two years, she has already built a robust schedule of classes. Deb actively looks for opportunities to enhance the programs, helps others and forms new partnerships. One school teacher commented, “when Deb walks down the hall, the kids treat her like a rock star,” because her classes are so popular. Enthusiastic, professional, problem-solver and creative describe her best.  

As manager of the EFNEP and FNP programs, Susan navigates well the federal rules of these programs that are chock-full of details and deadlines. Susan’s accuracy and attention to detail does not go unnoticed. Recently NDSU Extension was one of six institutions (out of 76) to receive an award at a national EFNEP conference for submitting all federal reports on time with no revisions required. These skills also serve her well as the resident expert on PEARS. Team player, collaborative, liked and dedicated all describe Susan.

And these Extension staff members were recognized for their 285 years of combined service with NDSU: Cora Crane, Peter Hakk, Niki Lynnes and Kelly Stehr (5 years); Pat Beauzay, Cindy Cross, Chad Deplazes, Cassie Dick and Nancy Hillen (10 years); Danelle Walker (15 years); Jana Dauber, Frank Duray, Paulann Haakenson, Kris Holt, Carolee Kaylor and Bill Kozojed (20 years); Sharon Lane and Deb Tanner (40 years).

Applause photoWe appreciate and celebrate each of you – congratulations!

Chris Boerboom, Extension Director

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Two in Plant Pathology promoted (3/22/2018)

Jan Knodel 2018Sam Markell 2018The titles of two specialists in the Department of Plant Pathology will change on July 1. Jan Knodel, Extension entomologist, and Sam Markell, Extension plant pathologist, have been promoted to professor. While we know the excellence of their programming and contributions to the state, these academic promotions are a formal acknowledgement of their scholarly achievements in Extension, research and teaching. We’re proud of their accomplishments!

Chris Boerboom, Extension Director

Jan Knodel              Sam Markel


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1,087,442 in 2017 (2/1/2018)

Congratulations NDSU Extension staff!

2013_2017ContactsWe ran the totals on our 2017 face-to-face and other direct contacts with North Dakotans, and we surpassed a million – a 33% increase over five years. Click on the pie for a closer look at the contacts by program area. Each slice is important and contributes to a well-rounded Extension program that serves North Dakota very well. I’m proud of our work and look forward to using these numbers and your impact statements to tell our story to SBARE members, legislators and others in key roles.

Jan. 1, 2018 marked our transition to using PEARS (instead of QPRs) to report contacts. Tips to help you with that will be added to NDSU Extension’s PEARS website next week.

Thanks for all you do. You are truly transformational.

Chris Boerboom, Extension Director

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Many receive awards at NAE4-HA Annual Meeting (12/26/2017)

Many NDSU Extension Service agents and specialists were honored at the National Association of Extension 4-H Agents annual meeting at Indianapolis, Ind. in November. Please join me in a round of applause for Extension Agents Kimberly Fox, Benson County; Samantha Lahman, Pembina County; Maxine Nordick, Cass County; Crystal Schaunaman, McIntosh County; Rick Schmidt, Oliver County; and Specialists Adrian Biewer, 4-H youth development, and Rachelle Vettern, leadership-volunteer development with the Center for 4-H Youth Development. Information about the awards is included in the recent news release. Congratulations to each of you!

Chris Boerboom, Director

NAE4HA2017Left to right seated: Kimberly Fox and Acacia Stuckle

Left to right standing: Karla Meikle, Rick Schmidt, Crystal Schaunaman, Brian Zimprich, Ron Wiederholt, Penny Nester, Dena Kemmet, Caroline Homan, Meagan Scott, Brad Cogdill and Amelia Doll

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13 Extension employees recognized (12/8/2017)

The ceremony for the NDSU Agriculture and Extension Faculty/Staff Awards was held on campus yesterday. I had the pleasure of helping recognize the 13 Extension colleagues who were nominated for awards of excellence. The nominees and recipients were:

  • Chris Anderson, Production Manager-Print and Copy Services, Agriculture Communication
  • Cora Crane, Grant Coordinator, Plant Sciences
  • Sonja Fuchs, Web Technology Specialist, Agriculture Communication
  • Hans Kandel, Extension Agronomist, Plant Sciences
  • Dena Kemmet, Extension Agent, Mercer County
  • Macine Lukach, Extension Agent & Parent Educator, Cavalier County
  • Miranda Meehan, Extension Livestock Environmental Stewardship Specialist (recipient, Myron & Muriel Johnsrud Excellence in Extension/Outreach Award)
  • David Ripplinger, Extension Bioproducts/Bioenergy Economist, Agribusiness & Applied Economics
  • Rick Schmidt, Extension Agent, Oliver County (recipient, AGSCO Excellence in Extension Award)
  • Gerald Stokka, Extension Veterinarian-Livestock Stewardship, Animal Sciences
  • Acacia Stuckle, Extension Agent, Emmons County
  • Shannon Ueker, Administrative Secretary, Plant Sciences (recipient, Donald & Jo Anderson Staff Award)
  • Melanie Ziegler, Administrative Assistant, Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering

I said at the ceremony, and will say again here, that I sincerely thank not only the nominees for their outstanding work, but those who took the time to tell their peer’s stories and the selection committees who had the very difficult task of selecting only one recipient for each award.

Congratulations all!

Chris Boerboom, Extension Director

Ag & Ext Awards 2017

Pictured left to right are Chris Boerboom, Rick Schmidt, Sonja Fuchs, Shannon Ueker, Miranda Meehan, Chris Anderson, Macine Lukach and David Ripplinger

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Agents share their experience establishing an Extension advisory council (12/5/2017)

McLean County had never had an Extension advisory council. Until last night, that is. Daunted a little by the county’s square miles (second largest in the state), Michelle Effertz and Calla Jarboe cast their anxieties aside and held the inaugural meeting of their brand new advisory council. We asked for their reflections, and here’s what Michelle said:

Calla and I put our heads together to generate a list of possible council members. We each called our potential board members and asked them to serve one-, two- or three-year terms on the board. Most of those we called were very happy to serve. We also invited our county 4-H ambassadors to attend, and we had two 4-H members at the meeting.

The most valuable benefits of having an advisory council?

  1. Helping county residents get a better understanding of the breadth of Extension programs and finding out that they see real value in the programs we provide.
  2. I think our carousel activity helped them see that what we currently do is beneficial, and it also encouraged them to dream bigger. From this activity we found out that mental health is a big concern in the ag and natural resources area, and we found out that they want us to do more life skills/financial skills development with older youth.
  3. They also said that they want our programming to be fun!!!! Who says education has to be serious all the time?

It wasn’t difficult to do once we made up our mind to do it and get things rolling. It took some organizing, but the new guide provides all the templates you need. You can download them from the Web and tweak them as needed for your group. We gave them a sample of bylaws to review but will vote on that and elect officers at our second meeting in March.

Thank you Michelle and Calla! For more good advice, please tune in to the Advisory Council webinar on Wed., Dec. 6, 10 a.m. CST. (Rachelle Vettern, contact)

Chris Boerboom, Extension Director

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A sense of belonging (11/29/2017)

We all want it, right – that feeling of security that comes from a smile and encouraging word from a co-worker, peer or leader of a group we’re a part of.  A sense of belonging is a basic need of all people, no matter their age, background or orientation, and we have a responsibility to deliver on this with our co-workers, peers and program participants. It’s not just the right thing to do, it’s an expectation of all NDSU employees and county support staff.

The Extension Diversity Council and Deb Gebeke have been working with Dr. Katherine Soule, national 4-H experts and NDSU Equity Office personnel on training that can help all of us be better at creating a sense of belonging for others, especially those of the LGBTQ+ communities. Dr. Soule, a University of California Extension professional who has done extensive research in supporting individuals who identify as members of the LGBTQ+ communities, has insightful information to share with us. All Extension employees will receive an email from Deb and the Diversity Council soon about online training and Q/A sessions with Dr. Soule. Please take note of the materials and plan to participate. Because this subject is especially critical in our work with 4-H youth, I ask each county office to sit down together as a staff to discuss the materials and brainstorm ways in which they can collectively make their programs a safe and judgement-free place for youth.

I thank Deb and the Extension Diversity Council (Cindy Dunn, Randy Grueneich, Vanessa Hoines, Trisha Jessen, Naeem Kalwar, Randy Mehlhoff, Megan Ness Ditterick, Todd Weinmann and Ron Wiederholt) for their work on this and additional trainings in the future.

Chris Boerboom, Director

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NDSU Extension FCS rocks! (11/9/2017)

NEAFCS Omaha MeetingMany NDSU Extension Service agents and specialists were recognized with awards at the National Extension Association of Family and Consumer Sciences annual meeting at Omaha, Neb. in October. Join me in a round of applause for Extension Agents Brenda Langerud, Ramsey County; Rita Ussatis, Cass County; Kristi Berdal, Nelson & Steele counties; Kim Fox, Benson County; Sara Laite, Ramsey County; and Julie Garden-Robinson, food and nutrition specialist. Information about the awards is included in the recent news release.

Julie Garden-Robinson 2017Ellen Bjelland 2017Ellen Bjelland, Extension agent/Ward County, and Julie Garden-Robinson were elected for two-year terms on the National Extension Association of Family and Consumer Sciences Board. Ellen is the Central Region director, and Julie is vice president for public affairs. According to Julie, the last time North Dakota had a presence on the board was about 40 years ago, and we now make up one-sixth of it!  This is great testament to Julie’s and Ellen’s leadership skills and a nice endorsement for NDSU Extension.

Windbreak Cookbook CoverThe Windbreak Cookbook Featuring Fruits of the Prairie Forests received the Notable State Government Documents Award from the North Dakota Library Association. The cookbook and two other top nominations will be forwarded for national consideration by the American Library Association in late spring 2018. This is a great example of a multidisciplinary and partnership effort with Derek Lowstuter, North Dakota Forest Service, proposing the original idea and Julie Garden-Robinson, food and nutrition specialist; Kathy Wiederholt, fruit project manager, CREC; and Esther McGinnis, Extension horticulturist, working together with him. Credit is also given to Joe Zeleznik, Extension Forester, who wrote the foreword, and Ellen Crawford who did a great job editing. Bring on the Dakota Juneberry pie!


Kudos to all of you!

Chris Boerboom, Extension Director

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