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NDSU Extension Service Teams Honored for Program Excellence

Extension teams are honored for their work in forages, specialty crops, agriculture literacy and nutrition education.

Four North Dakota State University Extension Service teams have been honored for their work with a Program Excellence Award. The teams received their awards at the Oct. 18-20, NDSU Extension and Research Extension Center conference in Fargo. The honors included cash awards sponsored by Farm and Ranch Guide.

Ditch Hay Program

North Dakota livestock producers cut and bale hay in road ditches. There was no baseline information assessing the quality of ditch hay or identifying the variables impacting ditch hay quality. In addition, increased activity on rural roads in some portions of the state have caused increases in dust accumulation on plants adjacent to the roads, leading to more questions about nutrient quality and suitability of these forages as livestock feed. Training meetings were conducted to standardize data and sample collection, and Extension agents from 29 counties collected and characterized samples from 182 operations in 36 counties. Samples were analyzed for nutrient content, and an additional training focused on interpretation and dissemination of results. Individual reports were returned to producers, summary presentations were developed and project participants disseminated results. Participating producers reported a 64 percent increase in knowledge and understanding of variation in nutrient content of ditch hay, a 55 percent increase in knowledge and understanding of the factors that impact quality of ditch hay, and a 55 percent increase in knowledge and understanding of the importance of forage testing.

Team members (from left in photo, front row): (team members listed by county are all Extension agriculture and natural resources agents) Breana Kiser, Dickey County; Nicole Wardner, Sheridan County; Kelsie Egeland, Emmons County; Megan Vig, Griggs County; Angela Johnson, Steele County; Katie Wirt, Grant County; Miranda Meehan, assistant professor/livestock environmental stewardship specialist; Craig Askim, Mercer County; Katelyn Hain, Nelson County; Kelcey Hoffmann, Cass County; Lindsay Maddock, Wells County; Crystal Schaunaman, McIntosh County; (from left, back row) Paige Brummund, Ward County; Sheldon Gerhardt, Logan County; Richard Schmidt, Oliver County; Kevin Sedivec, professor/rangeland management specialist; Carl Dahlen, associate professor/beef cattle specialist; Jim Murphy, representing program sponsor Farm and Ranch Guide; Karl Hoppe, Carrington Research Extension Center area specialist/livestock systems; John Dhuyvetter, North Central Research Extension Center area specialist/livestock systems; Timothy Becker, Eddy County; Mark Miller, Rolette County; Brian Zimprich, Ransom County; Joel Lemer, Foster County; Duaine Marxen, Hettinger County. Not pictured: Danielle Steinhoff, Williams County; Yolanda Schmidt, Pierce County; Bradley Brummond, Walsh County; Ashley Stegeman, formerly Burleigh County; Jackie Buckley, Morton County; Becky Buchmann, Dunn County; Kurt Froelich, Stark/Billings County; Fara Brummer, former Central Grasslands Research Extension Center livestock systems specialist

Field to Fork: Enhancing the Safe Use of North Dakota Specialty Crops

Ensuring safe, nutritious food is critical not only for the consumer, but also for the specialty crops industry. Foodborne illnesses related to fresh fruits and vegetables have risen in recent years. The team designed a project to enhance knowledge and safe food handling of specialty fruit and vegetable crops from field to table. More than 450 people attended the 14 webinars, which were archived on YouTube for future use and had 1,038 views. Of respondents, 49 percent indicated they would change their behavior as a result of the webinars. A comprehensive website was developed for new and existing Extension information about certain specialty crops and had 4,470 visitors. Ten Field to Fork handouts were developed for use in farmers’ markets. An online mini-course was created using Versal software. Other marketing materials also were developed.

Team members (from left in photo): Shaundra Ziemann-Bolinske, Extension agent, family and consumer sciences, Burleigh County; Stacy Wang, Extension associate; Julie Garden-Robinson, professor/food and nutrition specialist; Jim Murphy, representing program sponsor Farm and Ranch Guide; Esther McGinnis, assistant professor/horticulturist; Todd Weinmann, Extension agent, agriculture and natural resources/horticulture, Cass County; Tom Kalb, horticulturist; Ellen Crawford, information specialist. Not pictured: Allie Benson, program assistant; Bob Bertsch, Web technology specialist; Deb Tanner, graphic designer; Scott Swanson, electronic media specialist; Clifford Hall, Plant Sciences professor; Kyla Splichal, Williston Research Extension Center horticulture/crop research specialist; Glenn Muske, rural and agribusiness enterprise development specialist; David Saxowsky, Agricultural and Applied Economics associate professor

Kids, Compost, Crops and Consumption

Ninety-two percent of children in North Dakota do not eat enough vegetables. The average American consumer is three to four generations removed from agriculture. A multidisciplinary Extension team built the Kids, Compost, Crops and Consumption program to teach youth about nutrition, agricultural production and the origin of their food. The program was piloted to 80 third- and fourth-graders at a low-income school in the Fargo school district. The program consisted of six monthly lessons focusing on a different part of the food cycle. Each student was provided with a square-foot garden box and the supplies and information to grow spinach during the summer. Students also received two recipes for using spinach and tasted those recipes. Every lesson also promoted daily physical activity. A monthly newsletter reviewed the current lesson for the whole family. Students improved their knowledge of nutrition, composting and agriculture: 97 percent said they know livestock use plants as food; 78 percent know paper can be composted, compared with 41 percent before the program; and 85 percent indicated they now are more willing to try new fruits and vegetables.

Team members (from left in photo): Alicia Harstad, Extension agent, agriculture and natural resources, Stutsman County; Mary Berg, area Extension specialist, livestock environmental management, Carrington Research Extension Center; Jim Murphy, representing program sponsor Farm and Ranch Guide; Todd Weinmann, Extension agent, agriculture and natural resources/horticulture, Cass County; Stacy Wang, Extension associate; Nikki Johnson, area Extension specialist, community health and nutrition; Kelcey Hoffmann, Extension agent, agriculture and natural resources, Cass County. Not pictured: Linda Schuster, administrative secretary, Carrington Research Extension Center

Watch Me Grow

An NDSU Extension community forum in Hillsboro highlighted community and family concerns, including lack of quality family opportunities, health and wellness at a young age, access to healthy affordable foods and how to grow your own food. A similar format at an Extension Advisory Council meeting elicited a need for a family-oriented outreach program to rural communities in Grand Forks County. Watch Me Grow was developed by the Extension team to deliver education on container gardening and nutrition, while providing for family and community engagement. The program was delivered in Northwood and Larimore and to Head Start youth and their families. Northwood and Larimore families chose between a pepper and tomato transplant and Head Start families chose pea, bean or carrot seeds to plant in their grow bags. Results indicated 90 percent had successful container gardens, 80 percent ate vegetables from their container gardens and 60 percent saved money by growing their own vegetables.

Team members (from left in photo): All from NDSU Extension Service – Grand Forks County: Kayla Bakewell, Extension agent, family and consumer sciences (now in Richland County); Linda Kuster, nutrition education assistant, Family Nutrition Program; Carrie Knutson, Extension agent, 4-H youth development; Jim Murphy, representing program sponsor Farm and Ranch Guide; Willie Huot, Extension agent, agriculture and natural resources; Steve Sagaser, Extension agent, agriculture and natural resources/horticulture. Not pictured: Michael Knudson, former Extension agent, agriculture and natural resources; Jean Noland, Extension agent, Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program; Molly Soeby, Extension parent educator and Extension agent, family and consumer sciences; Nancy Smith, Northeast District administrative assistant; Linda Hammen, office administrator; Carole Hadlich, former administrative assistant; plus, Grand Forks Head Start staff

NDSU Agriculture Communication - Oct. 21, 2016

Source:Becky Koch, 701-231-7875, becky.koch@ndsu.edu
Editor:Kelli Armbruster, 701-231-6136, kelli.armbruster@ndsu.edu
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