North Dakota Association of Agriculture Extension Agents



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Search for Excellence; Professional Excellence Committee Minutes

Minutes from 2015-2019

2019 Minutes

Search of Excellence; Professional Excellence Committee met via skype at 9:00 am 10/23/19

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.


2018 Minutes

Meeting held on Sept. 20, 2018

Present: Craig Askim, Karl Hoppe, Brad Brummond, Ron Wiederholt 

  1.  There was discussion about award winners and presenters at 2018 NACAA AMPIC and the list is as follows:

Search for- and Professional Excellence 2018 award winners:

                Search for Excellence in Consumer or Commercial Horticulture

State Winner

Todd Weinmann

Search for Excellence in Young, Beginning, or Small Farmers/Ranchers

State Winner

Lindy L Berg, Katelyn Hain co-developer

Posters - Applied Research


Penny Nester

Presenters at 2018 AMPIC:

  1. Katelyn Hain - accepted to give a presentation on soil health and water quality
  2. Alicia Harstad -  accepted to give a presentation about a bus tour she and other NDSU Extension specialists and agents took to Nebraska to see and learn about Palmer amaranth, an extremely invasive weed, and the teaching materials they developed as a result.
  3. Penny Nester, presented poster on the impacts of bale grazing on soil health and herbage production in south-central North Dakota (Kevin Sedivec, Mary Berg, Chris Augustin, Sheldon Gerhardt, Marissa Leier, and Fara Brummer, were co-developers of the poster)
  4. Also, Mohamed Kahn, sugarbeet specialist - National Creative Excellence Award for developing a new method of controlling cercospora leaf spot in sugarbeets
  5.  There was also much discussion about encouraging colleagues to apply for awards, submit abstracts for posters and presentations and attend an AMPIC


1.  Committee members will do more direct contacting of prospective candidates

2.  Remind members that previous winning applications are available on NACAA website and in County Agent Magazine if they are looking for an example or template to follow.

3.  Reading the winning entries is also a quick way to get some professional development

4.  Encourage winners and presenters to also present at our fall conference so they can get more mileage and recognition out of their work.

5.  Remind staff that are hesitant that attendance at AMPIC can be funded through a SARE scholarship so travel expenses are not a hindrance to applying

  1.  The committee was in need of a Vice-Chair and discussion ensued.
    1. Karl Hoppe agreed to be Vice-Chair of Committee
    2. Meeting adjourned

Minutes submitted by Ron Wiederholt, Committee Chair.

2017 Minutes

The Search for Excellence and Professional Excellence committee met by Skype on Monday, October 2, 2017 at 9amMST/10am CST. 

People that attended the call were Brad Brummond and Julie Kramlich.  Ashley Ueckert and Bruce Schmidt from the Public Relations & Communications Committee.

  • Since there is no description of the Search for Excellence and Professional Excellence in the by-laws we have submitted to the President the short description to the committees.  Below is what should be added.
  • Will ask that the national committee handbook be linked to our website.  This will give members Information about the all the difference committees.
  • Award Winners

Search for Excellence State Winners 

-Lindy Berg in Crop Production

-Mary Berg in Consumer or Commercial Horticulture

Professional Excellence (posters)

-Lindy Berg submitted the May 30th Frost: Keep Flax or Try Soybean? (State Winner and National Finalist)

- Mary Berg submitted Kids, Compost, Crops and Consumption: Introducing the whole Food Cycle to Urban Youth

-Lisa Pederson submitted the Bovine Emergency Response Plan Program, The Scene of the Accident Is Not The Place To Build Your Team!

  • Chair- Julie Kramlich and Vice Chair- Ron Wiederholt will remain the same. 
  • The Committee talked about with low membership in the Search for Excellence/ Professional Excellence Committee and Public Relations & Communications Committee that we would not combined the committees but when committees work with each other for help reviewing and judging applications for award applications.
  • The committee needs to encourage staff members to fill out award applications.

Committee Members:

  • Julie Kramlich - Chair
  • Ron Wiederholt Vice Chair
  • Craig Askim
  • Brad Brummond
  • Karl Hoppe

Proposed By-law changes:

Search for Excellence

The objectives of the Search for Excellence Committee will be to promote and recognize quality program efforts of NDAAEA members. This committee will conduct recognition programs in program development, implementation and evaluation by NDAAEA members.

  1. See that all members of your state association receive information on Search for Excellence Award Programs.
  2. Encourage and recruit agents to apply for awards.
  3. Conduct state judging of Search for Excellence Programs within two weeks of the date listed in the Awards Edition of The County Agent as due date to State Committee Chair.
  4. Send State Winners in each of the awards programs to your regional Vice-Chair listed in the magazine prior to April.

Professional Excellence

The objective of the Professional Excellence Committee will be to showcase excellence in program efforts of NDAAEA members. This will be done by giving them the opportunity to present posters and abstract papers at the NACAA Annual Meeting/Professional Improvement Conference.

  1. Encourage and recruit agents to submit posters for the Poster Session.
  2. Provide information to general membership on poster preparation and writing abstracts.
  3. Collect abstracts from Poster Session entrants and forward them to the Regional Vice-Chair for consideration for the Poster Session.

2016 Minutes

Meeting held on September 30, 2016 at 8:30MT/9:30CT by Skype.

Members on the call were Craig Askim, Ron Weiderholt, Katie Wirt and Julie Kramlich.

Awards and Poster applications winners that were recognized this summer at the national conference.

Todd Weinmann, the agriculture and natural resources-horticulture agent in Cass County - state winner of a Search for Excellence Award in the consumer or commercial horticulture area and national finalist for Search for Excellence Awards in the farm health and safety and forestry and natural resources categories. He earned state and regional awards to advance to the national level.

Mohamed Khan, Extension sugar beet specialist - state winner of the Search for Excellence Award in the crop production category

Crystal Schaunaman, the agriculture and natural resources agent in McIntosh County - national finalist for the Search for Excellence Award in the farm and ranch financial management area. She also received state and regional awards to advance to the national level.

Greg Endres, area Extension cropping systems specialist at the Carrington Research Extension Center - a regional finalist for a poster presentation in the applied research category. He won at the state level to advance to the regional competition.

Looking into changing the bylaws for the Search for Excellence; Professional Excellence committee. Currently, there is really no good bylaws that explain what this committee does. It has nothing in the bylaws what the committee currently is doing. There is a possibility of combining with Public Relations; Communications committee. Both committees are looking into if we can and should combine. Plans to discuss at the annual meeting held at NDSU Extension Conference. Plans is to have new bylaws for the committee to be voted on at the 2017 annual meeting.

It was mention that committee needs to encourage staff members to fill out award applications.

On a side note, Craig Askim mentioned about the Lead and Learn Incentive Program to still recognize staff members that are doing great work at maybe at conference even if there are no funds for the program. Ron Wiederholt will bring it up to the Extension Leadership Team.

2015 Minutes

Search for Excellence awards committee report. Need to get more people to apply. People need to brag about themselves. Past couple of years Todd Weinmann has been the only person to apply. There will be a session on Thursday morning at the National Association of County Agricultural Agents conference from the first-timers’ perspective where you can learn about awards and other opportunities.

Bill Hodous would like to be added to the committee.

Julie Kramlich – Committee chair

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