NDSU Extension


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Biennial Budget

NDSU Extension Service 2015-2017 budget: $11.1M county, $29.7M state, $7.3M federal, $7.4M grants and contracts


  • On Jan. 28, the previous Extension Staff Directory was replaced by a new mobile-friendly public directory that stems from an internal online database that contains additional information useful to staff.
  • An Innovation Team was established to "provide leadership on emerging opportunities in technology and program applications for use in and by NDSU Extension." This team supplanted the eXtension (pronounced E-extension) Institutional Team.
  • A Branding Committee was appointed by NDSU Extension Service Director Chris Boerboom on Jan. 13 to assess the current state of the NDSU Extension Service brand and to work together to create solutions for our branding needs. Original members were Chris Augustin, Julie Garden-Robinson, Callie Johnson, Lori Lymburner, Andy Robinson, Lori Scharmer, Molly Soeby, Katie Tyler and Marcia Hellandsaas. Kelli Armbruster joined the group in Aug. 2015 and Becky Koch continues as an ad hoc member. Initial focus was to create an internal central website for all things branding related. The site was launched on March 9.
  • Dec. 11 marked the last of 12 posts on the For Employees blog that highlighted aspects of last year’s organizational culture survey of the 12 North Central Region states. They were purpose and vision, strategic direction and intent, goals and objectives, consistency and core values, agreement, coordination and integration, creating change, customer focus, organizational learning, empowerment, teamwork and capacity development.
  • Following an internal search, Gregory Lardy, head of the Department of Animal Sciences, was appointed to a three-year role as associate vice president for agricultural affairs in addition to retaining his responsibilities as department head. The appointment was effective March 1. It was extended in March 2018.
  • Major renovations at the North Dakota 4-H Camp near Washburn are getting rave reviews by campers. A $2.35 million project included upgrades to the three cabins and dining hall and expanding outdoor camping opportunities. Another major component was constructing a multipurpose facility, named the Johnsrud 4-H Education Center in honor of Dr. Myron and Muriel Johnsrud. Myron was NDSU Extension Service director from 1974 to 1986. The cabin and dining hall renovations were completed in time for the camping season. A ribbon cutting for the Johnsrud 4-H Education Center was held on Aug. 14. The ceremony recognized Myron and Muriel for their building sponsorship and their sustained commitment to growing new leadership through 4-H. The program included reading of letters from Gov. Jack Dalrymple and the North Dakota congressional delegation of Sen. John Hoeven, Sen. Heidi Heitkamp and Rep. Kevin Cramer. Donors provided $1.4 million for the project through the North Dakota 4-H Foundation’s Shape a New Destiny campaign. The state legislature provided the other $950,000. A campaign was launched to raise another $400,000 for furnishings in the cabins, dining hall and new center; small-group seating; and program amenities such as a crafts shack, multidiscipline shooting range, fishing pond, high-ropes course, and walking and riding trails.
  • NDSU Extension Service held 11 community forums across the state to get stakeholder input on crucial issues and challenges affecting their area. More than 325 people participated. Three areas emerged as critical: economic prosperity, community engagement and healthy citizens. A follow up report in 2016 showed how Extension took action by developing a number of new programs and strengthening other relevant programs already in place.
  • The NDSU Harvest Bowl program annually recognizes success, dedication and hard work of outstanding agriculturists in 53 counties and Fort Berthold in North Dakota and 10 counties in Minnesota. Four Extension employees and their spouses, all who also actively farm, were honored as outstanding agriculturalists on Nov. 6. Recognized was Dean and Pam Aakre, Clay County, Minn. (Dean is 4-H youth development specialist with the Center for 4-H Youth Development); Craig and Margie Askim, Mercer County, N.D. (Craig is Mercer County Extension agent); Kristie and Les Berdal, Nelson County, N.D. (Kristi is Extension agent in Nelson and Steele counties); and ElRoy and Carol Haadem, Burleigh County (ElRoy was long-time Extension agent in Burleigh County).

Program Highlights

Knowledge was extended to North Dakotans through 868,773 face-to-face and other direct contacts by NDSU Extension Service employees.

More than 500 landowners attended Extension’s land reclamation workshops. Landowners learned about laws and regulations governing oil and gas extraction and information they need when negotiating agreements for the use of their land. The importance of communication and carefully reviewing agreements or contracts before signing was also addressed in the workshops. Extension specialists also developed a checklist and template to help landowners and companies develop reclamation plans. (2015 Annual Highlights - Kevin Sedivec, David Saxowsky and Jodi Bruns)

Soil Health Café Talk sessions have become a way for farmers and NDSU Extension Service specialists and agents to share information and learn from each other. The laid-back settings at the local grain elevator, seed store or small-town coffee shop provide a place for small groups to gather and discuss issues such as soil salinity, sodicity, cropping systems, cover crops and compaction. The producers feel comfortable asking questions they might not ask at a large meeting. They bounce ideas off each other, and it helps Extension personnel better understand some of the challenges farmers are facing and what they’re doing to overcome those challenges. (2015 Annual Highlights - Abbey Wick and Melissa Seykora)

The Agricultural Act of 2014 was the first farm bill passed since 2008, and it called agricultural producers to make major decisions. More than 11,500 producers attended educational workshops that NDSU Extension specialists and agents, and Farm Service Agency personnel conducted to help farm operators and farmland owners enroll in the program that best met their needs. Extension created a web page with information on the farm bill including news releases, a PowerPoint presentation and the 2014 Farm Bill Decision Aid Excel spreadsheet. (2015 Annual Highlights - Andrew Swenson and Dwight Aakre)

NDSU Extension’s Design Your Succession Plan program was held at many locations in North Dakota. Farm and ranch families learned how to get started in developing a succession plan, how to talk with family members about this subject, and how to choose and work with professionals such as attorneys, financial planners, trust officers, accountants, agricultural lenders, insurance agents and tax experts. Having a succession plan is vital because the farm or ranch is often a legacy that has been in the family for generations. (2015 Annual Highlights - Lori Scharmer)

More than 1,000 North Dakota youth participated in 4-H judging contests and other competitions such as shooting sports. The youth learned valuable skills such as public speaking, settings goals and priorities, listening, communicating effectively, making decisions and teaching others. (2015 Annual Highlights - Dean Aakre)

Extension teamed up with school districts across the state to deliver three programs to improve children’s health. On the Move to Better Health encourages fifth-graders to eat more fruits, vegetables and calcium-rich foods, and improve their fitness habits. Banking on Strong Bones teaches fourth-graders about nutrition and provides educational materials for school libraries, supplemental activities and taste testing. Go Wild With Fruits and Vegies targets third-graders with wild animal characters that emphasize the importance of eating fruits and vegetables and participating in physical activity (2015 Annual Highlights - Deb Gebeke)

Soybean cyst nematode (SCN), a microscopic plant-parasitic worm, is emerging as a major threat to soybean production in North Dakota. It was first detected in North Dakota in Richland County in 2003, and within a decade was confirmed in a dozen counties. Early detection and proactive management is key to prevent significant yield loss. With support from the North Dakota Soybean Council, Extension distributed SCN sample bags to soybean growers through county Extension offices and at Research Extension Center field days throughout the state. Growers could sample for SCN, mail the bag to the NDSU Plant Diagnostic Lab and receive their data in the mail. (2015 Annual Highlights - Sam Markell)

NDSU Extension Service’s Community Impressions is a new program to help communities learn about their strengths and weaknesses through the eyes of first-time visitors. One group of volunteers from two similar communities make unannounced visits to each other’s town, then report their findings to residents and leaders. Communities learn valuable information they can use to improve their communities. Bowman and Carrington piloted the program and found community pride was among the communities’ major strengths. (2015 Annual Highlights - David Lehman)

Waterhemp, a member of the pigweed family, is moving rapidly across eastern North Dakota. The first step to control its spread is awareness and identification. Waterhemp biotypes are resistant to herbicides and have the ability to produce a massive amount of seed that can germinate and emerge after a farmer has completed post-emergent herbicide applications. Extension Plant Sciences specialists have developed a program to help Extension agents educate producers about managing the weed. (2015 Annual Highlights - Tom Peters)

Savvy Shopping was recognized with a Program Excellence Award. Extension team members were Linda Kuster, Jean Noland, Donna Bernhardt, Carrie Knutson, Carole Hadlich and Nancy Smith. To decrease risk of developing obesity, diabetes and heart disease, grocery store tours were offered to low-income families and SNAP recipients to identify economical ways to purchase fruits and vegetables, learn about healthful and low-cost protein options, compare unit prices, comparing food labels and identify whole grains on food labels.

Evaluating the Sustainability of Beef Cattle Systems was recognized with a Program Excellence Award. Extension team members were Carl Dahlen, Rick Schmidt, Brian Zimprich, Andrea Bowman, Karla Ryan, Penny Nester, Craig Askim, John Dhuyvetter, Andy Swenson and Ron Haugen. This program provided beef producers with information on incorporating estrous synchronization and artificial insemination into their operations to enable them to make informed decisions and optimize their herd management.

Communication Camp was recognized with a Program Excellence Award. Extension team members were Bob Bertsch, Ellen Crawford, Susan Finneseth, Sonja Fuchs, Becky Koch, Linda McCaw, Scott Swanson, Bruce Sundeen and Stacy Wang. This three-day, intensive program prepared teams of three to five educators to focus on key messages and use new communication tools to develop a communication strategy, including news releases, online content and a video, for a specific issue in a program area.

Grants of $100,000+ Received

  • $675,000 from N.D. Department of Public Instruction for Gearing Up for Kindergarten. Debra Gebeke, PI.
  • $164,772 from University of Minnesota for Sugarbeet Specialists. Charles Stoltenow, PI.
  • $164,000 from National 4-H Council for 4-H National Mentoring Program 5: Standing Rock, Sioux County. Rachelle Vettern, PI.
  • $148,752 from USDA-NIFA for ND/MN Extension State and Area Specialist Positions in Health, Nutrition and Exercise Science. Debra Gebeke, PI.
  • $141,341 from North Dakota Corn Utilization Council for Research and Extension Efforts at the Soil Health and Agriculture Research Extension (SHARE) Farm (Years 3 and 4). Abbey Wick, PI.
  • $140,000 from Environmental Protection Agency for North Dakota Discovery Farms Phase II. Paulo Flores, PI.
  • $112,474 from Environmental Protection Agency for Eastern North Dakota Soil Salinity Demonstration Network/319 Nonpoint Source Program. Abbey Wick, PI.
  • $100,000 from USDA-NIFA for North Dakota SARE 2015-2016 State Professional Development Program. Karl Hoppe, PI.
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