North Dakota Association of Agriculture Extension Agents



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Committee Minutes 2019

4-H and Youth Committee Report- October 9, 2019

Members Present via Skype: Brian Zimprich (chair), Angie Johnson, Breana Kiser, and Rick Schmidt

Implementation of $20/member enrollment fee 2018

Discussion was held on the new ND 4-H $20/member (cap limit of $60/family) enrollment fee that was fully implemented in 2018.  Committee members were asked what types of feedback/responses counties were receiving from it – with most commenting on having little to no issues at this time.

Recommendation: None

State 4-H Contest and Exhibition Overview

Data was shared with the committee, regarding participation in statics, livestock, and 4-H contest events. All events were holding at average or slightly above average, based upon the group’s consensus. Horses showed the only decline, due to the Equine herpes outbreak this year.

Discussion was had on who hires the judges for the ND State Fair. The ND State Fair hires the horse judge. For livestock judges (including rabbit and poultry), Shelly from the ND State Fair, asks for recommendations in which Dean from the 4-H office asks agents/specialists for judge recommendations. It is the final call of the ND State Fair on what judges are hired for each species.

Angie discussed reviewing how ribbons are awarded for Project Expo and Communications Arts contests at the state level. The idea in question was how can the events be more than just a “participation contest”? Communication Arts contest is an option at the National Level, so what would it take to make that a possibility if youth are interested in going for Nationals.

Recommendation: Make sure agents and specialists are aware that he/she can suggest and recommend judges for livestock shows at the ND State Fair.

Brian noted that there will be breakout sessions regarding state fair contests during the 2018 Fall Conference, so for now, staying tuned to what the updates are and continuing to have this conversation to get thoughts and ideas from other agents. Research the contests and how they are run at the national level as well to get an idea of what changes would have to be made.

Youth Quality Assurance

YQCA was implemented in many counties this year and was a requirement at the State Fair to exhibit livestock in 2018. Asked for feedback regarding how it perceived in the counties and overall very positive acceptance of the program. Some offered face-to-face trainings, while others utilized the online versions.

Recommendation: None

Understanding the 4-H Program Planning Teams

Angie shared with the committee the 2018 4-H program planning committees. Some agents are not aware of the committees, and are interested in potentially participating in one. Specialists are not aware of this committee information either.

Recommendation: More publicity of the 4-H program planning materials to agents, as all agents have a 4-H component, as well as including specialists in on the committees. The date has been set for the 4-H program planning meeting as Dec 11-12. Location TBD.

Following the agenda – no discussion was held on 4-H camp, shooting sports, Achievement Days, or the 4-H impact survey from 2017/2018.

This is Angie’s last year as chair for the 4-H and youth committee. Brian Zimprich (vice chair) will be the chair for 2019.


Ag Committee Committee Report- October 7, 2019

Members Present via Skype: Crystal Schaunaman (chair), Melissa Sekorya (Vice-Chair), Rick Schmidt, Greg Benz, Craig Askim, Byron Parman

Review Our Purpose

Providing professional improvement opportunities for members with responsibilities in each area of emphasis. This includes the development of professional improvement opportunities, securing resources to fund these activities, and promoting these activities to members. As ideas for professional improvement are brought to the Agricultural Economics Committee, it will be the responsibility of the committee to determine if the idea for professional improvement is feasible, and if so then determine what course should be taken to offer this opportunity to members.

Upcoming Professional Development Opportunities and Programs

• Farm Stress Team – Sean Brotherson put together new resources and there is a Farm Financial Outlook/Youth Stress Workshop in Mandan, October 18. Register by Oct. 14 at The $20 registration fee includes lunch. has other resources.

• Annie’s Project – materials are available on Google Drive again for agent resources or website

• DYSP – Carrie Johnson is the contact for any questions. Google drive resources here:

• Ag Lenders Conferences: Last week of October, 28-Grand Forks, 29-Minot, 30-Bismarck, 31-Fargo. Reduced rate for Extension Agents. Conference – 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

• Farm Business Management In-Service: November 13 in Bismarck Career Center. More details to come! Joint with Ag Agents and Farm Business Management instructors.

• Income Tax Management – November 15, 9-12 p.m. 9 sites across the state on zoom. Ron will email a link for agents to attend for free to listen in.

• Northwest Farm Managers annual meeting – January 29, 2020. 8-4:30 p.m., Fargo. Bring in people who are not from North Dakota – not your typical speakers.

• Crop Insurance Conference – January 13, 2020. 8-4:30 p.m., Fargo. Targeted to crop insurance agents who need CEU’s. 

• Land 101 (surveys, abstracts, etc.) with David Ripplinger hosted by Greg Benz in Dunn County. Hoping to make into a county program that other counties could do. November 14 and 21, 2019.

• Frayne’s Marketing Updates – does not want to compete with private marketing firms. These updates are for marketing club facilitators, clubs and agents. Have been noted to not share – do not forward to an email listserv.

• Dave Ripplinger has been doing quite a bit of hemp economics and agronomics programming meetings.

• New Agricultural Finance Specialist/ Assistant Professor – Bryon Parman started a year ago. Going well. He was shocked at how fast the programming and content was received within the state – kudos to NDSU.

• Curious about fall conference program teams.

• Other professional development needs

• What is Extension’s role with The Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC) and Price Loss Coverage (PLC) programs authorized during the 2018 Farm Bill. Can sign up for 2019 and 2020 but after that it will be an annual re-enrollment. Will be introduced at the farm business management in-service and a more in-depth training when details/rules of the program are known. Sign up period ends March 15, 2020 so training sometime before then. MFP December 6 deadline.


Animal Science Committee Meeting- October 14, 2019

Members Present via Skype at 2:30: Yolanda Schmidt (chair), Craig Askim, Paige Brummond, Lisa Pederson, Rachel Wald, Brian Zimprich, Yolanda Schmidt, Angie Johnson, Lindsay Maddock, Rick Schmidt, and Sheldon Gerhardt. Crystal Schaunaman joined briefly.

Minutes of the last meeting were reviewed.

National Committee

Paige shared that National Conference delegates were encouraged to help make agents in their home states award of the American Registry of Professional Animal Scientists (ARPAS) certification and encourage participation. Lisa stated that ARPAS certification support for agents and specialists has been discussed by the Extension Leadership Team (ELT) in the past. She will revisit this discussion with ELT to cover testing cost for agents and host a ND test site.


ND delegates also participated in a report on this year’s conference pre-tour and discussed plans for next year’s pre-tour in Virginia, which will also focus on Animal Science.

Professional Development

Packing Plant & Feeding Facility Tour - The committee reviewed progress of last year’s professional development plans.  Janna Block has organized a packing plant and feeding facility tour for educational material development for all agents and specialists for the fall of 2020. Committee members will visit with Family & Community Wellness agents in their offices and at Fall Conference about the benefits of attending and encourage FCW agents to attend.


4-H Livestock Showmanship Guidelines - Rick shared that livestock showmanship videotaping is complete and the group is working on narrations. It is anticipated that showmanship videos for five species including poultry and rabbits should be available later this fall.

Youth Quality Assurance Program (YQCA) - Brian shared that people have been getting the hang of the program and more counties are requiring YQCA certification at their county fairs and 4-H Achievement Days.

ND Hay Pricing Publication – Discussion was held on the continued need for a ND Hay Pricing Guide for agents that would include a guide of pricing hay, damaged field crops and other alternative forages specific to ND. Yolanda reached out to specialists last fall but no progress was made on the development of a document. She will reach out again and actively pursue publication development.

Action Plan

The committee’s action plan for 2020 includes continuing efforts to help recruit agents and specialists with livestock showmanship experience and passion to help lead lessons at 4-H Livestock Camp. Livestock Camp numbers have continued to increase so the Camping Committee is looking at doing an advanced and beginner group rather than adding a second camp later due to time conflicts with county fairs and other summer events.

Based on statewide need and limited numbers of producer opportunities to learn artificial insemination to improve their herd genetics, the committee will work on collaborating with local and regional semen companies to set up a series of producer AI schools. Lisa and Yolanda will lead this effort.

Chair Selection

Yolanda agreed to remain in the chair position for another year. Rachel will continue as the co-chair.

Respectfully submitted by:

Yolanda Schmidt

NDAAEA Animal Science Committee Chair


NDAAEA Agronomy & Pest Management Committee Meeting- October 14, 2019

Members Present via Skype at 9:30 am: Anitha Chirumamilla (chair), Alicia Harstad (Vice-Chair), and Duaine Marxen

Election of Officers: Since Vice-Chairman Samantha Lahman is no longer with NDSU the position is up for election. Also, Anitha has finished her 2 year term as Chairman and this position is also up for election. Since there is no quorum, the election process has been postponed to be carried out during a pre-gathering before our Annual NDAAEA meeting. Anitha will send out an e-mail to all the members to gather 10 minutes before the annual meeting to finish the election.


Anitha Chirumamilla proposed that the plant diagnostic lab should save a tissue sample if they think that further testing may be needed which is not covered under free testing. Also, Alicia Harstad mentioned that the lab should clarify the test charges upfront before testing and that they should send a reminder to all agents every year with the list of tests and charges associated.

Seed Increase program was discussed. Duaine Marxen shared that there is a great need for a new wheat variety from NDSU. The previous wheat variety ND Vitpro was good with rich color but it was very hard to combine and there is no big market for color. ND Riveland and Grano Durum did really well. ND 17009 GT soybeans are great because of early maturity and good yields.

Alicia made a comment that the protocol of Palmer Amaranth needs to be revised/updated including the reviews of past two years of our battle with Palmer. It was discussed that molecular testing is still needed to confirm the presence of Palmer in a county. Alicia shared information about a genetic lab in Fargo which tests for Palmer and provides results in less than 2 days.  

Action Steps:

Anitha will relay our concerns to:

  • Plant diagnostic lab regarding samples and sampling charges;
  • NDCIA regarding new wheat variety and
  • Weed Specialists on updating the protocol of Palmer identification


Natural Resources, Horticulture, Sustainable Ag Committee Meeting- October 5, 2019

Members Present via Skype at 1:00 pm: Craig Askim (chair), Breana Kiser (Vice-Chair), Katelyn Hain, Rick Schmidt

The NRHSA committee of the NDAEAA meet by conference call on October 5 at 1:00 pm.

Craig Askim, Katelyn Hain, Breana Kiser, Rick Schmidt were in attendance

Discussion was held on Dicamba issues across the state all stated with the new rules and awareness it does not appear to as large of an issue this year.

Sunflower survey is under way, Rick stated the field he conducted survey on some had rotten heads to them.

Pesticide Re-certification classes where discussed:

Still have some counties without Agriculture Agents so other agents are covering them counties. Talk about what is and what is not the correct ways to charge for services on this and who should pay for what.

Rick sated he would like to try to put on educational workshops in the area of Range judging and range/grass identification. He wants to work with County NRCS offices and provide the education for both agents and the public. Looking at things like identification, timing for cow turnout, weed control, and invader and grazing pressure.

Rick – ask the group there thoughts on the FSA programs such as the FMP program and the new farm bill. He asked what Extension role should be in providing educational information to the public on this, because FSA is not allowed to promote their own programs.

Group stated that the Weekly Horticulture calls conducted through the growing season are very worthwhile and encourage them to counties.

With no other business committee call was adjourned at 1:55 pm.

Submitted by,

Craig Askim Chairman


Early Career Committee Report-October 8, 2019

Members Present via Skype at 1:30 pm: Lindy Berg (chair), Breana Kiser (Vice-Chair), Alicia Harstad, Angie Johnson, Penny Nester, Melissa Seykora, Greg Benz

Add Greg Benz to the committee and remove Alyssa Scheve.

Lindy reviewed 2018-19 Peer Calls. It was decided to continue Peer Calls on a quarterly basis. Penny will facilitate the first call in November, 2019 to be focused on new staff. The call will address any questions new staff may have following orientation and fall conference, as well as questions leading into the winter programming season. Lindy will host a call in January 2020, Alicia in April, and Melissa in August. Topics are yet to be determined based on the needs of new staff and occurring issues.

Last year the committee called all the first timers and welcomed them to fall conference and answered any questions they had. We will continue this process again this year. It was discussed to invite a specialist to the committee to help assist and recruit new specialists. It was decided to concentrate on agents this year.

We would like to move forward requesting $200 annually from the NDAAEA to go towards recruiting new members into the NDAAEA at fall conference. We would like to invite all member to assist at the NDAAEA trade show booth.

Lindy reviewed the minutes from last year administrative skills and technology action plan. It was decided to focus on Peer Calls and recruiting new members into the NDAAEA.

Lindy’s term is expiring and Breana Kiser, current vice-chair will be moving into chair position. Greg Benz volunteered to move into the vice-chair position.


Search of Excellence; Professional Excellence Committee Meeting-October 23, 2019

Members Present via Skype at 9:00 am: Karl Hoppe (vice chair), Brad Brummond and Craig Askim – Ron Wiederholt (chair) has retired

The Search for Excellence; Professional Excellence committee is in charge of search for excellence awards (which we didn’t have any submissions this year) and poster contest.

The committee reports that: 

* Chris Augustin, soil health specialist, NDSU North Central Research Extension Center, Minot  - second place nationally in the poster category, applied research division - "A Comparison of Three Garden Soil Test Kits and a Certified Soil Testing Lab" (others involved in the poster project were Jim Staricka, soil scientist, NDSU Williston Research Extension Center; Ryan Buetow, Extension cropping systems specialist, NDSU Dickinson Research Extension Center; Jasper Teboh, soil scientist, NDSU Carrington Research Extension Center [CREC]; and Beth Burdolski, Extension agriculture and natural resources agent, Burleigh County)

* Alicia Harstad, agriculture and natural resources agent, Stutsman County - state winner in the poster, Extension education, category - "Palmer Amaranth Weed Watch in North Dakota" (others involved in the project were Tom Peters, Extension sugarbeet agronomist; Brian Jenks, Extension weed specialist; and Bill Hodous, agriculture and natural resources agent, Ramsey County)

The committee encourages all staff to submit applications for NACAA search for excellence programs and also present program or abstracts at the national meeting.  If travel expenses are an issue for agents, then please consider applying for the North Dakota SARE travel scholarship program.


Communication Committee Meeting- October 7, 2019

Members Present via Skype:  Ashley Ueckert (vice chair), Louie Voight, Craig Askim, and Rick Schmidt

Ashely reported that Penney will have the $25 stipends for the communication awards. Ashley will prepare a copy of the award winner’s applications for display at the state conference. She will also check with Penney or Alicia about being part of the NDAEA display at conference.

Craig mentioned that more and more information was becoming available at the national meeting.

Also discussed was the request to try to have more ready to use facebook posts with the NDSU branding. Possibly something on info ag or google docs.

Public Relations –

If there is anything we are not addressing, please have the association let us know.

We discussed the need for new members and how to get them involved

            -Maybe a specific invitation to the meetings?
            -Share the website with them.
            -Find out who is new this year.

Maybe we could have an online template with past award winners.

Rick suggested that maybe we develop conference calls within our Districts and make sure to invite new agents.

We agreed that it would be great to have a list of “benefits” to belonging to the State Association. This is something we would like to have state-wide involvement.

Rick also mentioned that somehow it would be nice to get more agents involve in 4-H camp and state fair.

There being no further business, meeting adjourned.

            Loayne Voigt,


Scholarship/Life Member Committee Meeting-October 16, 2019

Members Present via Skype at 9:00 am: Randy Grueneich (chair), Mary Keena and Anitha Chirumamilla

We discussed the $2300 we have available for scholarships. We agreed to use $2000 to be awarded in the next year and will set aside $300 for future use.  The $2000 for scholarships will be offered at two times, this fall (October) and next spring (April). We plan to open applications for the first offering on October 24th.  The application form was discussed and modified with Mary Keena offering to develop a Google Forms application.

Recommendation for Ron Wiederholt for life membership was discussed. Because Ron is still employed part time we will wat to recommend him for life membership until next year.

Meeting adjourned.


Social Committee Meeting- October 15, 2109

Members Present via Skype at 9:00 am: Mary Keena (chair), Calla Edwards, Chris Augustin, Naeem Kalwar

Absent: Penny Nester

The 2019 Fall Conference Professional Development Scholarship Banquet will be held on Tuesday, October 22, 2019 at the Fargo-Moorhead Curling Club at 5:30 p.m. Chris Augustin is working with NDSU Carnivore Catering on a meal that will be served buffet style at 6:30 p.m. Penny Nester will be brining tables clothes, decorations and a sound system. Penny Nester is also making arrangements with the FM Curling Club for beverages and setup. Mary Keena will be bringing extra tables. Calla Edwards is working on the thank you gifts. They will be sent out after Fall Conference.

Sponsorship is on track as compared to other years. We only had 148 people register for the Social but 188 registered for Fall Conference. We know that some folks who didn’t register will be attending. This makes it hard to plan for an appropriate meal count. We don’t want to run out of food, but we also don’t want to pay for food we don’t need. As a committee, we will suggest that Alicia Harstad, President, shares this concern at JCEP and encourages other associations to remind their members about the importance of registering and being respectful of sponsorship dollars.

The committee will meet at 4:00 p.m. in the lobby of the conference center on the day of the social to go set up. Calla Edwards will resume the chairperson position after the Social and will host a wrap-up meeting two weeks after Fall Conference.

Respectfully submitted,

Mary A. Keena


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