NDSU Extension


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  • On May 17, the NDSU Extension Service and NDSU Agriculture sites were launched in the Ag Content Management System to make them more dynamic with "featured" content highlighting efforts and successes.
  • NDSU employee email and calendars were transitioned to NDSU Outlook.
  • “While we may not have the challenges facing folks on the Gulf Coast with the oil spill, we do have major issues facing our state: major housing and labor shortages in oil-producing areas, record water levels in the Devil´s Lake basin with no end in sight, and water diversion to provide flood protection in the Red River Valley, just to name a few. Extension has always helped citizens deal with public issues and cope with change. I encourage local Extension agents who have these and other issues in their backyards to continue helping local leaders and citizens access the research and educational support of NDSU.” (Duane Hauck June 24 email to staff)

Program Highlights

Knowledge was extended to North Dakotans through 532,719 face-to-face contacts by NDSU Extension Service employees.

NDSU Extension Service became part of the Hunger Free North Dakota Garden Project through a partnership with the North Dakota Department of Agriculture, Creating a Hunger Free North Dakota Coalition, Lutheran Social Services’ Great Plains Food Bank, Dakota College at Bottineau’s Entrepreneurial Center for Horticulture, Northern Plains Sustainable Agriculture Society, North Dakota Farmers Market and Growers Association, Pride of Dakota companies and Healthy North Dakota. This initiative addressed the lack of access to fresh fruits and vegetables in North Dakota by capitalizing on gardeners and producers across the state who plant an extra plot and donate that harvest to their local food pantry. (2010 Annual Highlights - Abby Gold, Dean Aakre and Tom Kalb)

Fusarium head blight (FHB), also known as scab, caused estimated losses of more than $2 billion in the spring grain region in the 1990s. The devastating impact lead to an awareness of the need for a national, multidisciplinary and multi-institutional research system to win the war on scab. About 20 North Dakota Research Extension Center, main Experiment Station, Extension Service and USDA-Agricultural Research Service scientists and specialists participate in the U.S. Wheat and Barley Scab Initiative. North Dakota scientists and specialists have succeeded in developing some of the nation’s top FHB-resistant varieties, been key in determining successful ways to use fungicides for management, determined the effects of cropping practices on the disease, provided regional services in mycotoxin analyses, found new sources of resistance, and are pioneers in gene discovery and transformation. (2010 Annual Highlights - Marcia McMullen)

North Dakota producers coped with weather extremes in 2009-10 with NDSU Extension Service’s help. A wet spring delayed planting in 2009, then a cool growing season slowed the growth of crops such as corn, soybeans, wheat and barley and prevented some corn from reaching maturity, causing it to discolor during drying. Wet conditions later in the summer put harvesting behind schedule and caused mold to grow on corn in the field. Heavy snowfall and fast snowmelt in spring 2010 led to flooding primarily in the Red River Valley for the second year in a row, and some parts of the state experienced excessive rainfall, which caused problems for producers. Extension specialists and agents stayed connected through weekly crop conference calls; specialists developed publications and fact sheets with options for producers; the NDSU Plant Diagnostic Laboratory tested moldy corn to identify the mold type and to check for toxins; informational meetings were held with producer groups, grain elevators and grain inspectors; and information on drying and storing grain was addressed in mass media and individual consultations. (2010 Annual Highlights - Ken Hellevang)

In June and August, NDSU Extension Service held sessions at 13 sites throughout North Dakota to train teachers to use the National Endowment for Financial Education’s High School Financial Planning Program (HSFPP). The training helped teachers meet the 2009 state Legislature’s mandate that North Dakota high schools must offer a personal finance curriculum beginning in the fall of 2010. The HSFPP was also presented at Invest ND, a weeklong academy for educators that the North Dakota Securities Commission puts on every summer. (2010 Annual Highlights - Debra Pankow)

Twenty spring gardening meetings, often held on Saturdays throughout the state and region, have been a huge success with more than 3,900 gardeners participating in 2010. As many as 24 horticultural topics are covered during the events, including square foot gardening, lawn care, tree selections and maintenance, annual and perennial flower selections, landscape design principles, propagation techniques, fruits and vegetables for the home gardener, hardy roses, ornamental grasses, beekeeping, container gardening, home winemaking, growing grapes for winemaking, terrarium construction, houseplant care, and selecting and solving common horticultural problems. NDSU Extension personnel were event coordinators and instructors. Key instructors were Ron Smith, Tom Kalb, Barb Laschkewitsch, Leslie Lubenow, Steve Sagaser, Todd Weinmann, Jackie Buckley, Mike Rose, ElRoy Haadem, Sheldon Gerhardt, Bill Hodous, Andrea Bowman, Craig Askim, Rick Schmidt and Julie Kramlich. (2010 Annual Highlights)

Extension’s new rural and agribusiness enterprise development specialist plays a valuable role in the growing area of agribusiness development. From helping a community-supported agriculture operation find ways to market their operation, to helping dairy producers explore new ways to market milk, to helping a restaurant owner find sources of locally raised beef to serve in his establishment, and many things in between, this specialist is assisting enterprises and helping communities find ways to attract new businesses, and retain and expand existing businesses. (2010 Annual Highlights - Glenn Muske)

During the 2009-10 school year, 853 high school seniors and 250 parents participated in a program called “Are You Ready? The College Transition.” NDSU Extension’s Center for 4-H Youth Development collaborated with the NDSU President’s Council on Alcohol and Other Drugs, Fargo public schools and North Dakota Higher Education Consortium for Substance Abuse Prevention to offer the program at 15 sites throughout North Dakota. Seniors and their parents learned how to manage the normal conflicts that result from the high school-to-college transition, increase their communication skills and create a plan for students to use when faced with conflicts or issues. Students also received advice on financial planning, friendships, getting along with roommates, dating, values, diversity, making healthy choices, stress, personal safety, alcohol and drugs, and how to be successful academically. Parents learned how to stay connected with their son or daughter while enabling their child to take a big step toward independence. (2010 Annual Highlights - Sharon Query)

The Operation: Military Kids (OMK) Bravo Camp helped the 185 youth from military families who participated develop strategies for coping with a family member’s military deployment. They learned to use a global positioning system to find “mission” bags with materials and instructions for their camp activities, which focused on communication and coping skills. Participants discovered that working together can overcome obstacles and they learned how to identify and discuss their thoughts and feelings during a family member’s deployment. A team consisting of OMK and county Extension staff, local partners and Joint Family Support Assistant Program’s military family life consultant led the camps. (2010 Annual Highlights - Diane Hahn)

The growing popularity of gardening is rekindling interest in home canning. To dispel myths about food preservation and provide home canners with information on safe food preservation, Morton County Extension educators presented “Food Preservation: It’s Not Like Grandma Used To Do.” The program’s five lessons reached more than 300 people in Morton, Oliver and Burleigh counties in 2010 and even more people were reached through displays at a library, shopping mall and county fair; through 6,000 food preservation publications distributed; and through a local TV program that helped spread the word about food preservation and the dangers of using untested canning recipes. (2010 Annual Highlights - Vanessa Hoines)

The year 2010 was memorable for elementary school students at Fort Yates, Selfridge and Cannon Ball. Their local Extension agent helped them develop confidence while learning math skills and concepts such as velocity, energy, force and gravity making catapults and shooting arrows. Concepts were taught monthly in the schools and at a summer day camp. One Saturday a month, year-round, was spent with Selfridge youth teaching them about archery. Also in 2010, a Sioux County 4-H member attracted national attention to their 4-H program. High school senior Samantha Jo Ridley became the first recipient of the National 4-H Council’s 4-H Youth in Action Award. She was honored for embodying the spirit of the 4-H movement while overcoming obstacles and leading efforts to make her community and world a better place. (2010 Annual Highlights - Sue Isbell.)

The North Dakota nitrogen recommendations for spring and durum wheat that were developed during the 1960s and early 1970s were replaced on Dec. 1, 2009. The new recommendations followed a review of 50 site-years of nitrogen rate studies conducted from 1971 to 2005, and about 50 additional site-years of studies from 2005 to 2009 throughout North Dakota. The new recommendations follow the ‘return to nitrogen’ approach that considers the relationship of wheat yield to nitrogen rate, soil test nitrogen, credits from previous crops (legumes, sugar beet leaf color), the relationship of wheat grain protein to nitrogen rate and the cost of nitrogen. The research also showed that North Dakota needed to be divided into three recommendation regions because of their different climates and soil. (2010 Annual Highlights - Dave Franzen)

Seventeen people from Watford City, Stanley and Dickinson participated in a Rural Leadership North Dakota short course that consisted of five, five-hour sessions over a three-month period. They learned about developing effective communication skills, understanding individuals’ behavior styles, managing conflict, identifying community assets and creating community networks. The participants started 15 projects to enhance their communities, including a community garden, wellness center, an affordable housing initiative, a healthful cooking class and social networking opportunities for citizens. This is the second short course RLND has offered, and more are being planned. (2010 Annual Highlights - Marie Hvidsten)

In December 2009, NDSU’s Bioenergy and Product Innovation Center (BioEPIC) joined a 12-state alliance that simultaneously broadcast a daylong “Growing the Bioeconomy: Solutions for Sustainability” conference. North Dakotans viewed the broadcast on their computers, at broadcast sites NDSU hosted or through corporate-sponsored sites. Conference topics included greenhouse gas emissions from biofuel systems, production of biomass crops, bioenergy economic and policy issues, and the potential role of biochar (a coal-like material from the chemical decomposition of condensed organic substances) in carbon sequestration. (2010 Annual Highlights - Ken Hellevang)

Making Sense of Sensory Losses as We Age was recognized with a Program Excellence Award. Extension team members were Dena Kemmet and Sean Brotherson. Educational materials exploring sensory changes as a part of aging were developed for statewide delivery. Vision, hearing, touch, taste and smell were the five primary senses explored in the materials designed to help individuals first understand sensory loss then adapt to the changes.

Beyond Annie's Project: Farm Management Program for Women was recognized with a Program Excellence Award. Extension team members were Michelle Effertz and Rick Schmidt. In response to input from participants in their 2009 Annie's Project program, agents in McLean and Oliver counties provided a four-session follow up providing more specifics on grain and livestock marketing, computer financial analysis and estate planning.

Farm and Small Business Estate Planning was recognized with a Program Excellence Award. Extension team members were Willie Huot, Lori Scharmer, Mike Rose, Marcia Hellandsaas, Dale Naze, Eunice Sahr, Eugene Elhard, Julie Hassebroek, Jackie Buckley and Vanessa Hoines. A three-part educational series pertinent to estate and transition planning were delivered by interactive video and local experts at Grand Forks, Jamestown, Minot, Bismarck, Oakes and Watford City. Extension specialists from North Dakota and Iowa also presented. Topics included family communication, transition planning, business organization forms, asset transfer options, tax implications, power of attorney and probate laws.

Best of the Best in Wheat and Soybean Research and Marketing was recognized with a Program Excellence Award. Extension team members were Joel Ransom, Hans Kandel, Marcia McMullen, Rich Zollinger, Dave Franzen, Frayne Olson, Dwight Aakre, Ken Hellevang, John Nowatzki, Sam Markell, Lionel Olson, John Kringler, Greg Endres, Roger Ashley, Brian Jenks, ElRoy Haadem, Tim Semler, Warren Froelich, Kurt Froelich, Mike Rose, Jeremy Pederson, Brian Sorenson, Chad Deplazes and Jan Knodel. Wheat acreage and production had been declining due to low prices, high input costs and, in eastern North Dakota, losses from diseases such as scab. Attendance at educational programs was on the decline. To address the issues, a number of partner organizations were involved in the design and delivery, and the newly imagined program content contained only the latest and best information available. Meeting places were rotated and attendance improved with many reporting a significant increase in profit by adopting practices learned.

Crunch and Munch was recognized with a Program Excellence Award. Extension team members were Julie Garden-Robinson, Hope Eppler, Carol Enno, Calli Thorne, Paula Bear, Sue Isbell, Mary Jean Hunter, Cassie Dinneen and Cindy Dunn. The 12-lesson program was done as an after-school program for grades 4-6 and as an in-school program for special-needs high school students in Sioux County and Fort Berthold. Growing and preparing food and activities to improve fitness and improve consumption of fruits, vegetables, calcium-rich foods and whole grains were part of the program that reached 45 children and adolescents directly, and siblings, parents, grandparents and community members indirectly.

Grants of $100,000+ Received

  • $1.4 million from USDA Food and Nutrition Service for North Dakota Family Nutrition Program. Debra Gebeke, PI.
  • $685,900 from Environmental Protection Agency for North Dakota Discovery Farms. Joao Paulo Flores, PI.
  • $300,000 from Northwest Area Foundation for Enhanced Work with Horizons Communities. Lynette Flage, PI.
  • $168,518 from Environmental Protection Agency for Livestock Waste Educational Information and Assistance Program, Carrington. Ron Wiederholt, PI.
  • $158,511 from CSREES for Youth Development Specialist. Duane Hauck, PI.
  • $141,444 from University of Minnesota for Sugarbeet Specialists. Charles Stoltenow, PI.
  • $140,000 from CSREES for North Dakota 4-H SET for the Future Sustainable Community Project. Sharon Query, PI.
  • $135,000 from CSREES for Integrating Research, Extension and Education in the Northern Plains and Mountains Region to Address Water Resource Issues. Tom Scherer, PI.
  • $114,758 from USDA-NIFA for North Dakota Extension Integrated Pest Management Coordination Program. Janet Knodel, PI.
  • $109,996 from Bush Foundation for Goals for a Decade: Courageous Leaders – Vibrant Communities. Kathleen Tweeten, PI.
  • $107,635 from Ducks Unlimited, Inc., for Area Agronomist for the Prairie Pothole Region. John Lukach, PI.
  • $104,932 from CSREES for Federally Recognized Tribes Extension Program on Fort Berthold Indian Reservation. Jon J. Fisher, PI.
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