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FAQs about the new district assignment areas soon to be put into place (12/4/2012)

1. Why is the Extension Leadership Team (ELT) changing the district lines?

The short answer is to provide better support to agents and assistants.

2. What’s the longer answer?

For many years the Assistant Director for ANR and Chair of the Center for 4-H Youth Development have had a part-time district director (DD) role for two sets of counties in southeastern North Dakota. We’re restructuring responsibilities to provide continuity and better support for staff members in southeastern N.D. by removing the DD responsibilities from these two positions and dedicating a full-time DD for southeastern N.D. We will also shift a few counties to this new district so other DDs will be able to devote more attention to their respective staffs.

3. When will the new districts go into effect?

The new districts will be implemented with the starting date of the new district director for the Southeast District. The search process for that position is currently under way.

4. How many district directors will we have?

Four full-time (Gerald Sturn, southwest; Mike Hanson, northwest; Lynette Flage, northeast; and new district director, southeast) and one part-time (Jay Fisher, Fort Berthold).

5. What will the new districts look like?

Map of new Extension districts to be implemented in early 2013The new district assignments will help balance the number of staff supported by each DD. A better balance will provide the time needed to build upon the onboarding process and mentoring for new agents, and improve support for all agents. We value our county presence, so it’s essential that our new agents and assistants have a successful launch in their counties and careers. This change will help.

Click here for a larger view.


6. Will the existing Multicounty Program Units (MPUs) still be used?

Map of new Extension districts with MPU lines to be implemented in early 2013We will continue to follow MPU lines for civil rights reviews and appointments to the SBARE and North Dakota 4-H Foundation Board of Directors because of legislation and other procedures. However, we will discontinue having MPU coordinators, and we will not refer to MPUs programmatically. Agents will continue to work collaboratively with other counties in a way that makes the most sense for the program or activity being delivered in their region. Counties will often plan activities within their district, but it may be more logical to coordinate with counties from another district in other instances. In many ways this is what has been occurring anyway.

Click here for a larger view.

7. Will we still have district conferences?

Yes, district conferences will continue for county staff using the new district lines.

8. What other stuff needs to happen with this change?

Online documents that reference MPUs will be revised, and district email lists will be created. DDs will seek new volunteers to assist with district conference planning.


9. I still have questions about this. Who can I talk with?


Your district director will be glad to answer any additional questions you may have.

Chris Boerboom, Extension Director

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