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Extension does great work – thank YOU (8/2/2017)

It’s hard not to be impressed with the great Extension work that happens each day in North Dakota and across the nation because of the Cooperative Extension System. I offer four concrete examples. First, 4-H continues to provide exceptional positive youth development, which was evidenced at the N.D. State Fair with over 600 participants and about 10,000 total entries. These are the accomplishments of the youth, but parents, volunteers and especially Extension staff are the mentors and coaches who provide the positive environment for this success. Kudos to all.

Ditto on kudos to all of the Extension staff and counselors who continue to fulfill the dreams for the N.D. 4-H Camp. I know that a couple camps are in progress or remain for next week, but enrollment will set another record this year. Records are great, but I think of the girls and boys who are having a summer-time blast and learning at the same time. I also thank the counties who supported youth who attended this summer’s camps.

My third example of NDSU Extension’s critical role in the state is your ongoing response to the drought. Personally, I have not seen this severe of drought effects, even in 1988, although I was in Minnesota at that time. Extension’s resources, meetings, news releases, personal consultations and testing have served our farmers and ranchers well. Agents, the information that you are feeding into the Drought Monitor Index is exceptionally valuable. I know the personal conversations and drought situations that you encounter daily are not easy and they’re not done yet, but I and many, many others thank you.

My last example of the recognition of Extension’s continuing value is shown in the challenge related to the herbicide dicamba and its injury to soybean and other sensitive plants. This is a national issue where dicamba applications have been banned in Missouri and Arkansas. While N.D. Extension specialists and agents are not dealing with this at the same frequency as colleagues in other states, Extension is recognized as a critical, non-biased third party in this situation. For a quick read, please check “Who needs Extension anyway?”  My answer to the question is “North Dakota” and the rest of the nation.

Thank you for reminding me of the great work you do every day.

Chris Boerboom, Extension Director

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