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Extension Delivers Programs in Innovative Ways

One of the goals of the NDSU Extension Service is to enable lifelong learning. Determining the most appropriate way to deliver its programs can be as important as developing them.

Exyension delivers programs in innovative ways
(NDSU photo)

Extension makes educational information available so people can access it when they want it and in the way that best meets their needs.

Some of the ways Extension reaches people are through workshops, meetings, websites, mobile apps, videoconferences, publications, lessons, news releases, email, social media, field tours and one-on-one conversations.

Here are a few examples of NDSU Extension’s innovative program delivery in 2017:

More Than Beans Meetings

More Than Beans is a monthly meeting hosted by Golden Valley County Extension agent Ashley Ueckert on a topic of importance in the county. 

Most of the meetings are held about 7 a.m. to encourage participation before work. Coffee and a light breakfast are provided.

“I really try to identify topics that are of interest to people in Golden Valley County and then invite interesting speakers to present on those topics,” says Ueckert. “These meetings are for everyone, as the topics range from understanding Medicare and Part D supplement plans to budgeting for the holidays.”

Other meeting topics included indoor winter gardening, drought management, tree issues, food preservation, crop marketing, vegetable varieties, backyard poultry flocks and creating your own compost. 

for more information:

Ashley Ueckert, 701-872-4332,

Spring Fever Garden Forums

Organized by NDSU Extension horticulturist Tom Kalb, the Spring Fever Garden Forums use the internet to connect gardeners in North Dakota with horticulture experts from NDSU Extension.

Throughout March and April 2017, about 450 gardeners at 30 NDSU Extension county offices learned how to care for their yards and gardens by watching a live, interactive video broadcast of experts presenting on gardening topics.

Each week during the forums, Extension specialists in trees, entomology, turf, vegetables, fruits, flowers, soils and shrubs were on hand to deliver information and answer questions.

Since 2014, all Spring Fever Garden Forums have been archived at ww.ag.ndsu.edu/springfever.

for more information:

Tom Kalb, 701-328-9722,

Soil Health Café Talks

With settings such as the local grain elevator, seed store or small-town coffee shop, NDSU Extension soil health specialists and local agents are changing the way they disseminate information to North Dakota’s farmers.

Started in 2014, the Soil Health Café Talks are informal, discussion-based sessions with no set agenda, and farmers’ questions determine the direction of the meetings.

Small-group session time also is included to discuss such issues as soil salinity, sodicity, cropping systems, cover crops and compaction.

“It also helps NDSU Extension better understand some of the management challenges farmers are facing and the innovative approaches farmers are taking to overcome those challenges,” says NDSU Extension soil health specialist Abbey Wick. “We can then use this information to guide our research efforts and develop meaningful programs.”

for more information:

Abbey Wick, 701-850-6458,

Nourishing Boomers and Beyond

Started in 2014 as a monthly class aimed at helping North Dakotans age 50 and older eat more nutritiously and reduce their risk of developing chronic diseases, Nourishing Boomers and Beyond has since evolved into a robust online program.

On its website, participants can find information on topics, such as fitness, stress, sleep habits, the digestive and immune systems, medications and prediabetes.

In addition to the website, information is provided via a free, monthly e-newsletter, a Nourishing Boomers and Beyond Facebook page, a Pinterest site, links to food and fitness trackers, and mobile apps. 

for more information:

Julie Garden-Robinson, 701-231-7187,

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