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Lisa Pederson and Carl Dahlen receive awards (3/23/2016)

Please join us in a round of applause for two NDSU Extension beef specialists who have received well-deserved honors.

Lisa Pederson 2016Lisa Pederson, beef quality specialist with the Dickinson Research Extension Center, was honored with the 2016 National Beef Quality Assurance (BQA) Educator of the Year Award. The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association presented the award at the Cattle Industry Convention and National BQA Coordinator’s Meeting at San Diego, Calif. the end of January. Lisa was nominated by Jerry Yates and David Workman, Extension BQA peers from West Virginia, and Nancy Jo Bateman, executive director of the North Dakota Beef Commission, and selected by a committee of representatives from universities, state beef councils and affiliated groups. Check out the video to the right to see why Lisa received this award and to learn more about BQA.

Your passion for your work is evident, Lisa!

Carl Dahlen 2016Carl Dahlen, beef cattle specialist with the Department of Animal Sciences, received the 2016 Midwest Outstanding Young Extension Specialist Award at the American Society of Animal Science Midwest Annual Meeting last week in Des Moines, Iowa. The basis for Carl’s selection by association peers was 1. acceptance and application of his concepts, techniques and programs; 2. influence of projects and programs on the livestock industry and the welfare of farm people; 3. leadership qualities demonstrated by ability to influence others to act and to adopt improved practices; and 4. mastery of subject matter, techniques, vision, enthusiasm and attitude.

A well-deserved honor indeed, Carl!

If you haven’t yet, check out the story about Carl’s work in partnership with others at NDSU on the “black box” of embryo development in cow pregnancy (pages 16-17 of the 2015 Annual Highlights).


Chris Boerboom, Extension Director, and Charlie Stoltenow, Assistant Director-Agriculture and Natural Resources

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New website offers branding guidelines and advice (3/9/2016)

Branding is not just a logo, website design or motto. Branding is not wearing a specific hat or shirt. Branding is not the same thing as advertising an event, service or field day. Branding can incorporate all of these things, but more importantly, branding is the intersection of what we say, what we do and how we present ourselves.

Branding is a feeling – an expectation or relationship that accounts for what the public believes about the NDSU Extension Service. Branding is what our clients expect from us when they visit our county office, attend a program or use our educational materials. It's everything anyone thinks of when they hear our name or see our logo.

In early 2015, a team of NDSU Extension Service agents, staff and specialists was assembled to create a branding committee. As a committee, our objective was to assess the current state of the NDSU Extension Service brand and to work together to create solutions for our branding needs.

The first step has been to create a central source for all things branding related. Our committee has created a Branding and Communications website under For Employees.

This website assembles visual elements and guidelines that help define the NDSU Extension Service brand. These elements, when used in our communications, work together to create a positive connection experience for clients, faculty, staff and stakeholders.

This website serves as central source for all questions related to branding guidelines. What should my email signature look like? What logos can I use on fliers promoting my upcoming program? What resources are available to make our office look and sound more professional?

All of these questions are answered on the new website. We hope it will become a valuable resource for our staff and will be seen as the “go to” site for all new employees and established employees that might need to brush up on their branding skills.

Current committee members are: Kelli Armbruster, Information Specialist; Chris Augustin, Area Extension Soil Health Specialist; Julie Garden-Robinson, Professor/Extension Food and Nutrition Specialist; Marcia Hellandsaas, McKenzie County Extension Agent; Callie Johnson, McHenry County Extension Agent; Becky Koch, Agriculture Communication Director; Lori Lymburner, Assistant to the Extension Director; Andy Robinson, Assistant Professor/Extension Potato Agronomist; Lori Scharmer, Extension Family Economics Specialist

Kelli Armbruster and Andy Robinson

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868,773 (3/8/2016)

While we are well into another year of great educational programs, let’s pause a minute to look back at 2015. The 868,773 in the headline? That’s the number of direct contacts Extension had with North Dakotans last year. Though these contacts are just one measure of our work, they demonstrate our direct connection with the people whom we serve in a very tangible way. 2015 QPRsIf you think your QPRs don’t matter--you’re only one person--please think again. The chart to the right (click to upsize) will be put in front of SBARE members, legislators and others who have a say in our future, so please continue to take the time to report. It supports your peers, your program team and Extension as a whole.

I thank you for your impact reports as well. Contacts from QPRs are important, but impact reports tell the story of how Extension changes lives. The more solid successes you report well, the better position we’re in to tell stakeholders that NDSU Extension is a great investment for our county, state and federal partners. They demonstrate the need for and strength of all of our program areas. Your impact reports are used in legislative reports; they’re shared with our congressional delegation; and many are posted on a national database that touts excellence and accomplishments in Extension programming for our national partner, USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA). They, and the work you do matter. Please continue to give due diligence to reporting so we can know about and celebrate your successes with you.

My sincere thanks for the energy, effort and enthusiasm you put into extending knowledge and changing lives in North Dakota.

Chris Boerboom, Extension Director

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Community forums pilot program (2/24/2016)

In response to last fall’s community forums, Extension is offering mini-grants to fund projects that are targeted at addressing key challenges in North Dakota. The following three proposals have been received and rated favorably for their targeting of issues related to community engagement and healthy citizens. I wish the best to these teams in the development and implementation of these programs during 2016. I will continue to accept proposals using the call for proposals that was emailed to 'all-ext' on Jan. 19.

Thinking In and Out of the Box: Garden Explorations for Children

Team: Julie Garden-Robinson, Monique Stelzer, Brock Shouldis and Todd Weinmann

The project will employ train-the-trainer workshops leading to five community-based gardens. Families and children will learn the importance of growing healthful foods, and about food safety, science and food economics.

Watch Me Grow – Family Fun Night 

Team: Jean Noland, Steve Sagasar, Michael Knudson, Linda Kuster, Carrie Knutson, Kayla Bakewell, Molly Soeby and Willie Huot

The project will target approximately 300 families in Grand Forks, Grand Forks Air Force Base, Northwood and Larimore with gardening lessons to ultimately improve healthful food choices.  

Civic U. 

Team: Dena Kemmet, Samantha Roth, Alicia Harstad, Joel Lemer and Amelia Doll

The project will develop a parliamentary procedure training guide and demonstration. The program will be piloted, including a quiz bowl, with youth at the North Dakota 4-H Camp.

 Chris Boerboom, Extension Director

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Friend of Master Gardener award given (2/22/2016)

Todd WeinmannWe all know how fulfilling the Master Gardener program is to our clientele. To show their appreciation for the help and education they receive from us, they awarded their first-ever Friend of the Master Gardener at their annual banquet on Jan. 15, 2016. The award, designed to recognize NDSU personnel who provide notable support to the Master Gardener program, was given to Todd Weinmann, Extension ANR-horticulture agent in Cass County.

Todd was recognized for his work with the Master Gardener program on a statewide level. He has been a frequent lecturer in the Master Gardener core course and in their continuing education programs. He has built the largest county Master Gardener program in the state by providing meaningful volunteer opportunities.Todd was speechless when he received the award (which is a rare occurrence indeed).

Applause photoPlease join us in a round of applause for Todd.

Ron Wiederholt, Southeast District Director and Esther McGinnis, Extension Horticulturist

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It’s a great day to be an Extension employee (1/13/2016)

As winter gets long and daylight is short, it can begin to feel a bit gloomy. That’s when we need to take a breath and remember that, despite everyday challenges, the NDSU Extension Service is a great place to work because we make a difference---you make a difference.

In her Dec. 11, 2015 blog post, Deb Gebeke pointed to the organization’s recently revamped careers page. If you haven’t yet gone there, take a minute when you have a chance. Especially, flip through the Compensation and Benefits section to be reminded of what is provided to help you feel appreciated, motivated, energized and productive. A friend of Extension recently noted that our retirement package with 11 to 18% contributions and fully-funded health insurance valued at over $13,500 are incredible. I can’t agree more.  

You’ll find a link to a brochure there too, to put in the hands of high school and college students, and others who may aspire to be an agent if they knew more about us. Printed copies are available from Lori Lymburner for individual contacts, high school career fairs and other opportunities you have to promote the NDSU Extension Service as a great career choice.

Chris Boerboom, Extension Director

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2015 National 4-H Congress (12/22/2015)

Four of our North Dakota 4-H youth and their adult chaperone, represented the NDSU Extension Service well at the 2015 National 4-H Congress in Atlanta, Georgia in late November. The youth were Traci Lagein, Towner County; Emily Zikmund, Walsh County; Rebecca Liffrig, Oliver County; and Marisa Smith, Sargent County. The chaperone was Barb Thoreson, 4-H volunteer from Kathryn, ND in Barnes County.

Excite, Spark, Ignite was the theme of the 4-H Congress event. Former North Dakota Agriculture Commissioner Roger Johnson, who currently works at National Farmers Union, is included in the photo below. That organization sponsored Miss America Betty Cantrell (former 4-Her from Georgia) to speak and perform at the Gala event. Extension Director Chris Boerboom was also in attendance representing Extension Service directors on the National 4-H Congress board that governs the event.

North Dakota 4-H uses an application and selection process to choose the youth who attend. The North Dakota 4-H Foundation provides financial support for this national event opportunity. Applications for the trip are due August 1.

The press release provides more information about the event.

National 4-H Congress 2015 

(left to right) Roger Johnson, Traci Lagein, Emily Zikmund, Betty Cantrell, Rebecca Liffrig, Marisa Smith, Barb Thoreson, and Chris Boerboom

Brad Cogdill, Chair, Center for 4-H Youth Development

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LaMoure County 4-H recognized as organization of the year (12/17/2015)

We all know how much 4-H positively impacts communities through education, facilitation and empowerment. Residents of LaMoure, N.D. made it official by formally recognizing the LaMoure County Extension 4-H program with the 2015 Chamber of Commerce Organization of the Year Award. The neat thing about this award is that the whole community is invited to nominate organizations they see as stand-outs in activity, community engagement and impact, and nominations rolled in for their local 4-H program. Though Julianne Racine, Extension agent/ANR, accepted the award--it’s kept a secret until presented at the banquet--she was quick to pass the credit to Caroline Homan, Extension agent/4-HYD, citing Caroline’s dedicated and passionate efforts to grow adult and youth volunteerism and participation in the 4-H program. Julianne says “Caroline does a stellar job. We are all very grateful to have her as a colleague and youth development leader.” Pictured below is Julianne receiving the award at the event and, on the right, the whole LaMoure County Extension team who views working together instrumental to a successful Extension program.

LaMoure County 4-H Organization of the Year 2015LaMoure County Extension Staff 2015

                                                                                          [Caroline Homan, Julianne Racine, Christina Job]

Kudos to the LaMoure County Extension team! We’re proud of you!

Ron Wiederholt, Southeast District Director

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15 Extension employees recognized (12/16/2015)

The ceremony for the NDSU Agriculture and Extension Faculty/Staff Awards was held on campus last Thursday. I had the pleasure of helping recognize the 15 Extension colleagues who were nominated for awards of excellence. The nominees and recipients were:

  • Carl Dahlen, Extension Beef Cattle Specialist/Animal Sciences
  • Jeri Fischer, Administrative Assistant/Burleigh County
  • Myrna Friedt, Administrative Assistant/Carrington Research Extension Center
  • Sheldon Gerhardt, Extension Agent, ANR/Logan County
  • Linda Hammen, Office Administrator/Grand Forks County
  • Tom Kalb, Extension Horticulture Specialist/Plant Sciences
  • Sharon Lane, Distribution Center Manager/Agriculture Communication
  • Lindsay Maddock, Extension Agent, ANR/Wells County
  • David Newman, Extension Swine Specialist/Animal Sciences
  • John Nowatzki, Extension Ag Machine Systems Specialist/Ag & Biosystems Engineering
  • Andy Robinson, Extension Potato Agronomist/Plant Sciences
  • Deb Tanner, Graphic Designer, Agriculture Communication
  • Rita Ussatis, Extension Agent, FCS/Cass County (recipient, AGSCO Excellence in Extension Award)
  • Agnes Vernon, Graphic Designer/Agriculture Communication
  • Abbey Wick, Extension Soil Health Specialist/School of Natural Resource Sciences (recipient, Myron & Muriel Johnsrud Excellence in Extension/Outreach Award)

Ag and Extension Faculty Staff Awards 2015

[Back row: Sheldon Gerhardt, Tom Kalb, Carl Dahlen, Andy Robinson, Linda Hammen, Deb Tanner, Chris Boerboom]

[Front row: Rita Ussatis, John Nowatzki, Sharon Lane, Agnes Vernon, Jeri Fischer]

Applause photoI said it at the ceremony, and will say it 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

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Staff selected for upcoming professional development (12/14/2015)

PILD – A slate of nominations were submitted by the respective presidents of the NDEAFCS, NDAE4-HYW, NDAEAA and ESP for the Public Issues and Leadership Development (PILD) Conference at Crystal City, Virginia in April. Our delegates, who will learn more about and communicate the public value of Extension Service educational programs, will be:

  • Julie Kramlich, Extension Agent, ANR/Adams County
  • Holly Arnold, Extension Parent Educator/Minot
  • Brad Brummond, Extension Agent, ANR/Walsh County
  • Macine Lukach, Extension Agent, FCS/Cavalier County and Extension Parent Educator

NELD North Central – Interest remains strong in this professional and personal leadership development experience that involves four seminars (one in Costa Rica). Selected from the applications for the 2016 class are:

  • Julie Garden-Robinson, Extension Food and Nutrition Specialist
  • Penny Nester, Extension Agent, ANR/Kidder County
  • Todd Weinmann, Extension Agent, ANR-Horticulture/Cass County

Administrative/ELT Internship – The Extension Leadership Team was pleased to receive a number of applications for the 2016 administrative internship. Joining the ELT at the table in 2016 will be:

  • Dena Kemmet, Extension Agent, FCS/Mercer County
  • Crystal Schaunaman, Extension Agent, ANR/McIntosh County

Applause photoI want to take this opportunity to publicly thank Lisa Pederson, Todd Weinmann and Joe Zeleznik for the many contributions they made to discussion and decision-making during 2015. The ELT learned much from them and previous interns, and hope they feel the same.

Please join me in a round of encouraging applause!

Chris Boerboom, Extension Director

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