ND Joint Council of Extension Professionals


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March 2011

Minutes from the March 29, 2011 North Dakota JCEP Meeting

N.D. Joint Council of Extension Professionals
Meeting Minutes
March 29, 2011, Fargo, Holiday Inn—10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.


 Jackie Buckley, ESP President and Presiding JCEP Chair

Andrew Thostenson, ESP President-Elect, Keeper of the Minutes

Extension Professional Association Leadership

·         NDEAFCS

·         NDAE4-HYW

·         NDAEA

·         ESP

Duane Hauck, Extension Director

Meeting Action Items 

  • Minutes from the previous meeting were not presented because they were not available
  • Andrew Thostenson agreed to take notes for the meeting
  • Discussion ensued on reinstating the fall auction fundraisers for the associations
    • Thostenson moved and Ron Wiederholt seconded that the auctions be conducted on an annual basis at fall conference with the carious associations taking leadership on rotating basis. The proceeds would be distributed on a 55-15-15-15% basis. The 55% going to the lead association, the balance split by the other associations. Motion was approved unanimously.
    • NDEA agreed to take the lead in the fall of 2011
  • Discussed the necessity for the associations to be able to make a pitch to new hires at New Agent Orientation. Each association leadership will follow up with contacting Extension Leadership Team (ELT).
  • Discussed but did not take action on Brad Cogdill memo on creating a Federation of Associations. (See Appendix 1.) Each association to discuss with their memberships before further action.
  • State Association shared reports on major issues and events.
  • Met with Director Hauck
    • Discussed ELT Proposal on agent naming conventions in the extension directory. (See Appendix 2.) Reaction was favorable with no negative comments received.
    • Hauck commented on both federal and state funding situation. State looks very positive, federal looks negative, but the proposed cuts look manageable.
    • Hauck discussed ELT strategy on coping with the wave of retirements.

Discussed next Chair on JCEP. NDAE4-HYW will take the lead in the fall of 2011.

Meeting adjourned


Appendix 1


Professional Associations:

Are Membership and Leadership Issues Real or Perceived?


As the nominating committee of Upsilon Chapter, Epsilon Sigma Phi engaged in its work for its upcoming meeting, we discussed what seemed to be a somewhat limited pool of staff available to nominate for officer roles within the association. Root causes of this have not been qualified by committee members but we discussed its relationship to

a) Staff already committing themselves to leadership roles in other professional associations; b) staff not necessarily seeing value in the ESP membership and consequently haven’t been a member or their membership has lapsed; c) other professional association options being available and perhaps more desirable or their benefits to membership better defined than ESP; and d) the personal expense of maintaining multiple memberships in professional associations of the extension service and this, too, a barrier of some significance.


In consideration of this issue, the nominating committee suggested that a deeper exploration of this issue may be in order and it should include discussion with other professional associations of the extension service. If other associations had similar concerns, perhaps a joint exploration of methods to resolve or reduce this situation should be considered.


Some of the options discussed by the nominating committee include:


1.       Create a more evolved North Dakota Joint Council of Extension Professionals (NDJCEP) association. Could this approach create a state-level ‘federation’ of extension professionals that might provide an opportunity for joint membership of more than one professional association (perhaps at the state level only) resulting in a more streamlined approach to professional association membership that is also more economical than our current structure. This category of membership would provide a state membership in the umbrella or federation without the full expectation of the respective national affiliate (NACAA, NAE4-HA, NDAEFCS, etc.) and the respective dues to do so. Some states use a “federation” of Extension Associations structure. Such a structure might result in a different approach for membership. You are a member of the whole “federation” and can choose which parts (NACAA, NAE4-HA, NDAEFCS, etc.) and their national affiliates like NACAA, NAE4-HA, NAEFCS, NACDEP, etc.

2.       The NDJCEP collectively explore changes or practices to be undertaken that could result in higher number of staff choosing to join extension professional associations. This might include finding out from staff why they don’t join and what associations should change or implement that might cause staff to place a higher value on membership.


The workforce of the future will place a differing value on membership in professional associations. It is the suggestion of the ESP nominating committee that we collectively discuss and take action regarding this issue if it is of mutual concern and benefit to all of the professional associations.


Respectively Submitted by Brad Cogdill

Member, ESP Nominating Committee

March 28, 2011 


Appendix 2

Proposal for Improving Consistency of Agent Titles in the NDSU Extension Service

The renewed focus on program teams (and team names) has spawned reviews of the other Extension resources for consistency. One item that came to our attention is the titles the organization uses for Extension agent positions. Titles are used on position announcements, in the Extension Staff Directory, on enclosures and business card, and with signatures in correspondence.

Currently, the agent titles are based on a competency area, which, in many cases, were selected years ago. The competency area often does not match the current program team names (e.g. “Cropping Systems” as a new competency area vs. the team name of “Crop Management”) and creates inconsistency. New agents are not assigned the expanded titles initially and are given a general title based on their broad program area when hired (i.e. ANR, FCS, 4HYD, CEDL).

About a dozen agents from different program areas were asked for their recommendation about this issue of titles. Their consensus recommendation was that they would prefer to be identified by their broad program area. Part of the rationale was that in counties with only one agent per program area, they did not want the public to think that only handled one subject matter. For instance, an agent does not only have the expertise in livestock systems, but is an educator and resource across a broad array of agriculture and natural resource issues. Internally, we know which teams the agent is involved with to understand their more specific interests and programming. These agents also were not highly sensitive to the issue.

To move forward with updating our directories, etc. , one proposal would be to follow the recommendation by the agents and title each agent by their broad program area. In addition, agents associated with three, specific grant-funded programs, i.e. FNP, EFNEP, and PRC, should be identified by the sponsoring program for clarity. Too, agents that were hired to work with specific program responsibilities such as the horticulture agents in Cass and Grand Forks counties would be titled with that additional designation. Titles on stationery would follow the same format when cards or enclosures are ordered for new agents or when existing agents need a new supply.

Examples of how this would look:

Barnes County

4H                  Bjelland, Ellen              845-8549  Extension Agent, Family and Consumer Sciences                                ellen.bjelland@ndsu.edu

CC                  Grueneich,Randy          845-8528 Extension Agent, Agriculture and Natural Resources                           randy.grueneich@ndsu.edu

PT                   Nadeau, Ashley            845-8528 Extension Agent, Family Nutrition Program                                           Ashley.nadeau@ndsu.edu

PT                   Tichy, Amy                    845-8528 Extension Agent, Parenting Resource Coordinator                                amy.j.tichy@ndsu.edu


Cass County

                        Berge, Angela             241-5937 Extension Agent, Parenting Resource Coordinator                             Angela.berge@ndsu.edu

                        Cook, Dana                 241-5882 Extension Agent, Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Prog.        Dana.r.cook@ndsu.edu

                        Gregoire, Anne           241-5714 Extension Agent, Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Prog.        Anne.gregoire@ndsu.edu

CC                  Kringler, John               241-5711 Extension Agent, Agriculture and Natural Resources                          john.kringler@ndsu.edu

4H                  Nordick, Maxine           241-5798 Extension Agent, 4-H Youth Development                                           Maxine.nordick@ndsu.edu

                        Strang, Michelle          241-5881 Extension Agent, Family Nutrition Program                                         michelle.strang@ndsu.edu

                        Ussatis, Rita                241-5713 Extension Agent, Family and Consumer Sciences                               rita.ussatis@ndsu.edu                    

                        Weinmann, Todd         241-5707 Extension Agent, ANR – Horticulture                                                   todd.weinmann@ndsu.edu

                        Williams, Corineah      241-5712 Extension Agent, Agriculture and Natural Resources                          corineah.williams@ndsu.edu


Proposal for Extension Leadership Team and ND JCEP consideration, 3/17/2011

Chris Boerboom, Jodi Bruns, Lori Lymburner, and Gerald Sturn



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