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Accepting applications for 2012-2013 administrative internships (8/16/2012)

Applications are being accepted for NDSU Extension Service administrative internships. This is the fourth year of the program, developed by the Extension Leadership Team, that is designed to provide full-time Extension agents or area or state specialists who are interested in future administrative leadership roles with an opportunity to participate in the ELT discussions and decision-making processes.

Lynette Flage, Ken Hellevang, Jodi Bruns and Julie Garden-Robinson have completed internships, and Charlie Stoltenow and Ron Wiederholt will complete theirs on Sept. 30, 2012. This current opportunity is available to two agents or specialists for the time period of Oct. 1, 2012 to Sept. 30, 2013.

Click here for a detailed description of the program and application form. Applications are due to my office by Tuesday, Sept. 4, 2012. All agents and area and state specialists who meet the qualifications and are interested are encouraged to apply.

Chris Boerboom, Extension Director

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Accepting applications for 2013 NELD North Central (8/16/2012)

The Extension Leadership Team invites applications from agents, area and state specialists, and administrators interested in participating in the 2013 NELD North Central program. Applicants must have been employed by NDSU Extension for at least five years. A program overview provided by University of Minnesota Extension (the host institution) provides a good description of what it's all about.

The program requires full commitment and participation. In addition to personal and professional development resources, participants will attend four, on-site seminars as follows:

  • Session 1, January 23-26, Chicago, IL, Understanding My Role as Leader - Examining leadership and followership through self-assessments, facilitative tools and personal plans
  • Session 2, April 13-20, Costa Rica, Entering the Realm of the Other - Incorporating intercultural experiences in leadership with opportunities for exploring Extension-type work through the lens of another culture
  • Session 3, July 14-18, Washington, DC, Leading in a Shared Power World - Building leadership skills and networks for increased effectiveness in Extension at the national level
  • Session 4, September 25-28, St Paul, MN, Integrating Leadership for Change - Synthesizing information and skills for practical application in professional and institutional roles

Participants' transportation, meals, lodging and seminar tuition will be supported with state funds.

Participants will be selected from the applications that reach my office by Tuesday, September 4. Please allow enough time to get the needed signatures along the way.

As you consider whether or not to apply, you may find it helpful to visit with a few of your colleagues who have participated in previous years. Those still with NDSU are:

2012   Janet Knodel & Samantha Roth

2011   Raquel Dugan-Dibble, Kendall Nichols & Sharon Query

2010   Gayle Gette, Sue Isbell & Joel Ransom

2009   Crystal Schaunaman & Rita Ussatis

2008   Jodi Bruns, Bill Hodous & Charlie Stoltenow

2007   Mike Hanson & Lori Scharmer

2006   Donna Anderson, Peggy Anderson & Steve Sagaser

2004   Jim Hennessy & Colleen Svingen

2002-03   Lynette Flage, Randy Grueneich & Mohamed Khan

2001-02   Ellen Bjelland & Blaine Schatz

2000   Al Ulmer & Dave Franzen

1998-99   Jackie Buckley & Karl Hoppe

1997-98   Michelle Effertz

1996-97   Kathy Tweeten

1993-94   Jay Fisher

1992-93   Ken Hellevang, Becky Koch, Marcia McMullen & Gerald Sturn

We invite you to consider this opportunity to look at leadership in a new way.

Chris Boerboom, Extension Director

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N.D. State Fair (7/31/2012)

Last week I was able to attend a thoroughly enjoyable day and a half at the N.D. State Fair. Kudos to county staff, the Center for 4-H Youth Development and specialists for great effort on their part in making the Extension presence there a success. The number of 4-H exhibits was a fantastic 9,300 this year! I just think of the number of kids that this represents, and the skills and knowledge gained by these youth (and parents too). And this is just a subset of the county fairs and achievement days held across the state. It’s good to see that 4-H is alive and well in North Dakota and is an important part of NDSU Extension.

Thanks also go out to Ag Communication for pushing out news releases on results of the shows and exhibits.

Chris Boerboom, Extension Director

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Morrill Act 150th anniversary video now downloadable (7/18/2012)

The video about the Morrill Act and NDSU that Chris Boerboom mentioned in an earlier post is now available for download in wmv or mpu4 formats at

Lori Lymburner, Assistant to the Extension Director

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SBARE priorities for the NDSU Extension Service (7/17/2012)

With this posting, I am sharing the status of the State Board of Agricultural Research and Education’s (SBARE) actions related to Extension. SBARE received input from commodity organizations, Research Extension Centers, CAFSNR departments, Extension and other interest groups last winter on the needs for agricultural research and Extension in North Dakota. After deliberating on these needs, SBARE organized the needs into initiatives and ranked them for consideration of state funding for the 2013-2015 biennium. The initiatives for Extension were developed independently of the initiatives for the N.D. Agricultural Experiment Station. Last week, the State Board of Higher Education recommended funding for the first three Extension initiatives and also recommended funding for Extension’s sole capital request. Our capital request is an exciting proposal to renovate the cabins and main lodge at the Western North Dakota 4-H Camp, build a new multi-purpose building, and upgrade other infrastructure. Extension should be pleased with the hard work and diligence of SBARE in prioritizing the educational needs of our clientele. I look forward to continuing this process into the next legislative session.

Chris Boerboom

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Kudos to staff (7/6/2012)

I’ve received notice about several awards for which Extension staff members have been selected. Please join me in applauding these colleagues:

Roger Ashley, Area Extension Specialist/Cropping Systems, Dickinson REC – The Manitoba-North Dakota Zero Tillage Farmers Association presented Roger with the U.S. Zero Till Nonfarmer of the Year Award on Jan. 10.  Each year ManDak recognizes one Canadian and one U.S. citizen for “outstanding contribution” to the Association. Two producers also are recognized, and this year, Kevin Larson, farmer from Willow City, North Dakota  was the U.S. award recipient.

Linda Kuster, Nutrition Education Assistant/FNP, Grand Forks County – Linda received an NDSU Staff Recognition Award in the technical/paraprofessional category on April 10, 2012 for “extraordinary contributions she makes in her position.”   The awards, coordinated through the Office of Human Resources and NDSU Staff Senate, are presented annually to broad-banded staff of North Dakota State University.

Sue Isbell, Extension Agent/4-H Youth Development, Sioux County – Sue was a honored by NDSU’s Division of Equity, Diversity and Global Outreach with the Green and Golden Globe Diversity Award on April 16 for “going above and beyond her job description to promote diversity.”

Brad Cogdill, Chair, Center for 4-H Youth Development and District Director, Cass and Richland counties – Brad has been selected by Epsilon Sigma Phi to receive the national Administrative Leadership Award. The award will be given at the national meeting at Mobile, Alabama this October.

Lori Scharmer, Extension Agent/Family and Consumer Sciences, Ward County; Ken Hellevang, Agricultural Engineer, Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering; and Debb Pankow, Family Economics Specialist, Human Development and Family Science  – Lori, Ken and Debb also have been chosen for a national award by Epsilon Sigma Phi.  They are receiving the Team Recognition award for Flooding Preparation and Recovery Education and Assistance.

Bob Bertsch, Web Technology Specialist; Becky Koch, Director; and Bruce Sundeen, Electronic Media Specialist – all Agriculture Communication – Bob, Becky and Bruce were honored June 11-14 at the Association for Communication Excellence international meeting in Annapolis, Maryland. Bob received the Pioneer Award for the North Central Region that recognizes members who demonstrate exceptional leadership and technical skills, and make significant contributions to the association during their first 10 years of membership. He also received a silver  in Technology Education for Twitter Cohort Immersive Learning Experiment in the Critique and Awards contest.  Becky received a gold in Targeted Publications for Livestock and Land Stewardship Ag Mag, including Outstanding Professional Skill Award for Diversity category. She also received a bronze in Educational Project/Non-credit for Family Preparedness Course for Extension Disaster Education Network. Bob and Becky  tied for the gold in Best Innovative Use of New Technology for Smartphone Applications for Disaster Education. Bruce got a silver in Informational or Non-credit Educational Video Production for Eat Smart. Play Hard. Thundar’s New Game Plan Video.

Chris Boerboom, Extension Director

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Legislative update sessions, soil health and Morrill Act anniversary (7/2/2012)

I want to thank all of the agents and support staff for hosting and presenting Extension’s impact at the legislative update sessions. Through these events, Extension connected with 50 legislators and candidates, and 31 commissioners to hear our story. While I was only able to attend a limited number of the sessions, I was impressed with the feedback provided about your programs. Duane Hauck had similar praise.

County Legislative Gatherings

click here for larger view

You may recall that Extension and the Ag Experiment Station received funding in the last legislative session for a soil health initiative. Frank Casey, interim director of the School of Natural Resource Sciences, compiled a two-page summary of the progress on the initiative, that is posted at the following site if you are interested.

July 2, 2012 is the 150-year anniversary of the Morrill Act, which established the land-grant university system including NDSU. Counties, RECs and departments will soon receive a commemorative poster. In the meantime, you may wish to watch a four-minute video about this history and NDSU at This video will be formatted for downloading so you can use it at meetings for the coming year. We will let you know when it is available for download.

Chris Boerboom, Extension Director

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Welcome and professional development (6/6/2012)

I'm nearing the end of my first month as the permanent director of the NDSU Extension Service. I am truly honored to have been selected for this position because I know the breadth, personal touch, and impacts Extension has with the people of North Dakota (and beyond). We’re doing good work, and we have a bright future ahead of us. I thank all of you who sent me a congratulatory email. I appreciated them.

I also want to take this opportunity to forward to you a chart that summarizes the array of professional development opportunities that Extension supports for you. This chart is posted on the Professional Development & Self-Assessments website. Please reference it for summaries of the different offerings, target audience, and funding. Thanks to Deb Gebeke and the rest of the ELT for consolidating this information into a handy reference.

I hope you all have a great day.

Chris Boerboom, Extension Director

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