NDSU Extension


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  • A Shape a New Destiny capital campaign for the Western North Dakota 4-H Camp was launched in March to enhance learning environments, increase capacity to accommodate larger youth groups, provide access to people of all abilities and ensure a sustainable, environmentally responsible camp program. Donations would be used to build a new multipurpose 4-H Camp building, renovate the three cabins and main lodge (kitchen and dining room), and enhance outside program amenities.
  • Extension Leadership Team changed the structure of field operations on Feb. 1 that ended operating within Multicounty Program Units (MPU). For many years the Assistant Director for Agriculture and Natural Resources and the 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 (MPU 6 and part of 5). The responsibilities were restructured 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. They also shifted a few counties to this new district so other DDs will be able to devote more attention to their respective staffs. This created four districts: Northwest (Mike Hanson, DD), Southwest (Gerald Sturn, DD), Northeast (Lynette Flage, DD) and Ron Wiederholt (Southeast). Jay Fisher continued his part-time DD role for the Fort Berthold Extension office.
  • Chris Boerboom was appointed NDSU Extension Service director effective June 1 after five months as interim director and assistant director for agriculture and natural resources and district director for counties of Multicounty Program Unit 6, i.e. Barnes, Dickey, LaMoure, Ransom and Sargent.
  • First floor of NDSU's Morrill Hall got a face-lift. A comprehensive history of the land-grant university system is prominently displayed.
  • NDSU hosted the Great Plains Land-Grant Summit June 12-13 to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the Morrill Act. The Morrill Act of 1862, introduced by Rep. Justin Smith Morrill from Vermont and signed into law by President Abraham Lincoln on July 2, 1862, created land-grant universities so that working class citizens could have equal access to higher education with a focus on farming and mechanical skills. Lawmakers, community leaders, faculty and staff gathered at the Land-Grant Summit to reflect on and discuss the past, present and future of land-grant universities through presentations from leaders in higher education, government and business. www.ndsu.edu/landgrantsummit/

Program Highlights

Knowledge was extended to North Dakotans through 844,509 face-to-face and other direct contacts by NDSU Extension Service employees.

NDSU researchers and Extension specialists held tile drainage meetings for farmers in 10 North Dakota counties and provided plot tours at the NDSU tile drainage research site. (2012 Annual Highlights - Hans Kandel)

To combat excess saline in soils, testing and retesting of water from tile drainage outlets at eight sites throughout the Red River Valley identified as having salt-affected soil was completed. Preliminary results from current research echo the findings of previous research that indicates tile drainage can reduce the level of salt in soil through time, and once the salts are gone, they won’t be replenished. (2012 Annual Highlights - Roxanne Johnson and Tom Scherer)

Western North Dakota 4-H Camp near Washburn is an important element of the NDSU Extension Service’s 4-H youth program. The camp, nestled among the trees along the Missouri River between Fort Mandan and the Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center, allows youth to experience the outdoors and gain an appreciation for North Dakota scenery in a historical setting while making friends and learning new skills. More than 400 youth attended camps in 2012. Evaluations showed that 96 percent learned new skills, 94 percent made new friends and 75 percent are more willing to participate in other activities at home as a result of their 4-H camp experience. The camps are open to all youth ages 6 to 18. 4-H membership is not required to attend camps. (2012 Annual Highlights - Brad Cogdill)

More than 37,000 North Dakotans have diabetes. Through a program called Dining With Diabetes North Dakota Style (DWD), Extension agents team up with certified diabetes educators or registered dietitians to provide information to help those suffering from or at risk of development diabetes to make lifestyle changes they need to manage the disease. DWD is designed to help people particularly in rural areas who lack access to health education services. Classes feature recipe demonstrations, taste testing and goal setting. It empowers participants to make healthier food choices and become more physically active. (2012 Annual Highlights - Abby Gold)

In cooperation with others, Extension specialists developed a bovine emergency response plan that outlines what first responders should do if they are faced with livestock that are injured during transport, for example. To further help North Dakota producers enhance their livestock care and husbandry at a time when they face an increasing demand for accountability in animal welfare issues, NDSU Extension Service hired its first livestock stewardship specialist, Gerald Stokka. The 2011 legislature provided funding for the new position. Other livestock stewardship efforts have included developing a DVD on cattle handling for auction markets and a cattle-handling video for producers available on YouTube. (2012 Annual Highlights - Lisa Pederson, Charles Stoltenow and Gerald Stokka)

Extension and research personnel in Fargo and at Research Extension Centers across the state conducted research to reduce glyphosate-resistant weeds in North Dakota cropping systems and maximize herbicide activity through the use of adjuvants. Discovered in a soybean field in Traill County in 2007, common ragweed was the first confirmed glyphosate-resistant weed species in North Dakota. Waterhemp, kochia and horseweed (marestail) have since been added to the list. (2012 Annual Highlights - Jeff Stachler and Richard Zollinger)

The Plant Diagnostic Laboratory (PDL) has been providing economical, unbiased plant and pest diagnostic services to agricultural professionals, the horticulture/turf/forestry industries, homeowners and individuals in North Dakota for more than 40 years. The lab processed more than 3,000 samples in 2011 and more than 2,000 through October 2012. Most samples came from North Dakota, but some came from about a dozen other states and Canada. Notable problems diagnosed in 2012 include soybean cyst nematode, root rots and other drought-related complications. Common problems in 2011 included ash anthracnose, Dutch elm disease and home molds. (2012 Annual Highlights - Kasia Kinzer)

The rapidly growing oil and gas industry in western North Dakota is having significant impacts on people and communities. To meet the challenges, the NDSU Extension Service Center for Community Vitality conducted Taking Charge of Your Community’s Future forums at Hettinger, Lansford, Glen Ullin and Underwood. The forums assisted individuals and community leaders in the fringe communities to plan for the dynamic change, take advantage of the opportunities and help mitigate problems such as rapid growth, and deal with issues such as mineral rights. www.ag.ndsu.edu/ccv/oil-and-gas-resources (2012 Annual Highlights - Kathleen Tweeten)

While North Dakota and surrounding areas experienced several months of below-average precipitation, Devils Lake has been slow to recede. In 2012, an estimated 151,000 acres of cropland were not available for planting. However, this is down about 12,000 acres from 2011. The total impact on business activity in the region from direct and indirect losses in 2012 is estimated at $180 million. These losses include reduced personal income of $47 million and reduced retail trade activity of $39 million. Employment losses are estimated at 264 jobs for the region. (2012 Annual Highlights - Bill Hodous and Dwight Aakre)

To help combat bullying and underage drinking, NDSU Extension Service is involved in the Parents LEAD and Take a Stand programs. Parents LEAD (Listen, Educate, Ask, Discuss) is a North Dakota-specific underage drinking prevention program that provides parents with tips on handling children’s questions and starting the often-difficult conversation about underage drinking. An Extension specialist communicates with parents through a blog on the Parents LEAD website and writes monthly emails with information for parents based on their child’s age and/or grade. Take a Stand, created by the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service, is a bullying prevention curriculum that focuses on equipping youth with basic life skills to help them deal with bullying and conflict. NDSU Extension staff members are trained in the curriculum, which helps meet the North Dakota Legislature’s mandate that bullying prevention education become part of school districts’ programming throughout the state. (2012 Annual Highlights - Sharon Query)

A $5 million grant from the USDA’s Agriculture and Food Research Initiative is funding a five-year project to improve the land and lives of people on the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation. The 2.2 million acre reservation straddles the North Dakota-South Dakota border and is home to about 9,000 people. Inadequate land management led to degraded rangeland conditions, including poor forage production, large prairie dog towns and considerable erosion potential. Project partners have leased a 4,000-acre parcel of rangeland near McLaughlin, S.D. as a demonstration site. Accomplishments include evaluating the interaction of the Sioux people’s cultural traditions and this project; completing initial evaluations of forage, and soils and wildlife surveys; and initiating opportunities for students and Native American ranchers to learn modern and sustainable beef production strategies. (2012 Annual Highlights - Rob Maddock, Chris Schauer, Kevin Sedivec and Robert Littlefield)

New American Garden Project was recognized with a Program Excellence Award. Extension team members were Carrie Knutson, Donna Bernhardt, Stevan Sagaser and Jean Noland. Many new Americans arrive with experience growing produce, but now live in apartments without access to garden space. Monseigneur Vetter donated an acre of land and tilling, Lutheran Social Services and Global Friends Coalition collaborated on the advertising, and the Grand Forks Extension staff delivered the program. Each participant was provided with tomato, broccoli, cauliflower and pepper plants, and Asian mustard seeds. Participants were taught how to freeze vegetables to enjoy during the winter months.

Be Sun Savvy was recognized with a Program Excellence Award. Extension team members were Julie Garden-Robinson, Peggy Anderson, Mary Froelich, Bill Hodous, Dena Kemmet, Lionel Olson and Calli Thorne. According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, outdoor workers are twice as likely to get skin cancer compared with their indoor counterparts. Also, many people do not consume at least five daily servings of cancer-fighting fruits and vegetables. Working with the North Dakota Cancer Coalition, the team developed presentations using activities, brochures, bookmarks and a display to attract attention on this topic at health fairs, pesticide trainings, gardening events and fairs.

Livestock Nutrition Training Series was recognized with a Program Excellence Award. Extension team members were Reid Redden, Charlie Stoltenow, Carl Dahlen, Karl Hoppe, John Dhuyvetter, Lisa Pederson, J.W. Schroeder, Jackie Buckley and KaSondra Staiger. This educational initiative provided continuing education to early career agents in livestock nutrition-related subject matter, enhanced awareness of key questions to ask and items to observe during farm visits, increased confidence and professionalism, increased agent and producers interaction, and fostered communication and collaboration among members of the Extension Livestock Management Program Team. The program was delivered as a series of meetings and independent study by agents.

Farmland Lease Workshop was recognized with a Program Excellence Award. Extension team members were Dwight Aakre, Willie Huot, Andy Swenson, Callie Thorne, Brian Zimprich, Paige Brummund, Raquel Dugan-Dibble, Jim Hennessy, Emily Kline, Joel Lemer, KaSondra Staiger, Evan Twedt and Ron Haugen. Workshops were held at eight sites across the state with the goals of showing operators and landowners the importance of written lease agreements, the different methods of leasing land, and to develop their confidence in selecting and implementing a lease agreement.

Grants of $100,000+ Received

  • $1.4 million from USDA Food and Nutrition Service for North Dakota Family Nutrition Program. Debra Gebeke, PI.
  • $837,944 from USDA NIFA for National Farm Business Management Benchmarking Collaboration. Frayne Olson, PI.
  • $358,482 from USDA NIFA for Mobilizing Rural Communities to Assess and Improve the Ecological Environment to Prevent Childhood Obesity. Abby Gold, PI.
  • $157,343 from Environmental Protection Agency for North Dakota Riparian Ecological Site Description Development. Kevin Sedivec, PI.
  • $152,251 from USDA-NIFA for Youth Development Specialist. Brad Cogdill, PI.
  • $152,028 from University of Minnesota for Sugarbeet Specialists. Charles Stoltenow, PI.
  • $128,000 from CSREES for North Dakota 4-H SET for the Future Sustainable Community Project. Sharon Query, PI.
  • $115,152 from Environmental Protection Agency for Eastern North Dakota Soil Salinity Specialist – Years Three, Four and Five. Abbey Wick, PI.
  • $114,758 from USDA-NIFA for North Dakota Extension Integrated Pest Management Coordination Program. Janet Knodel, PI.
  • $114,190 from Ducks Unlimited, Inc., for Area Agronomist for the Prairie Pothole Region. John Lukach, PI.
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