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NDSU Extension personnel honored nationally

Extension agents and specialists receive national recognition for their 4-H programming.

Six North Dakota State University Extension personnel were honored for their work during the recent National Association of Extension 4-H Youth Development Professionals conference in Madison, Wisconsin.

The awards and the recipients were:

  • Achievement of Service (recognizes recipients for providing 4-H programming for more than three but less than seven years) – Emily Burkett, 4-H youth development agent, Ward County, and Lynnette Vachel, 4-H youth development agent, Mountrail County
  • Distinguished Service (recognizes recipients for providing 4-H programming for seven or more years) – Cindy Klapperich, retired family and community wellness agent, Sargent County, and Susan Milender, family and community wellness agent, Barnes County
  • Meritorious Service (recognizes recipients for providing innovative 4-H programming and leadership for 15 or more years) - Brian Zimprich, agriculture and natural resources agent, Ransom County
  • Communicator Award, Individual Educational Piece – Meagan Hoffman, associate professor and 4-H youth development specialist, Extension Center for 4-H Youth Development

National Association of Extension 4-H Youth Development Professionals is the professional organization for those dedicated to promoting, strengthening, enhancing and advocating for the 4-H youth development profession.

Burkett joined NDSU Extension in 2015 as an agent-in-training for three counties before joining Ward County as the 4-H youth development agent. She is a Minnesota 4-H alum and is pleased to be sharing the joys of 4-H with the youth in Ward County.

Vachal is the 4-H youth development agent in Mountrail County. Her Extension career started in 2016. 4-H runs in her family. Her husband, four children and three grandchildren have been members. Prior to joining NDSU Extension, she was a science teacher and wellsite geologist. Her hobbies include camping, reading and spending time with her grandchildren.

Klapperich’s work with youth and volunteers is rooted in the relationships she has built with them. She has facilitated many leadership development programs for youth and adults, including Lead Local, Youth Lead Local and Building Tomorrow’s Leaders. She also enjoys working collaboratively with colleagues on creative projects to strengthen 4-H statewide.

Milender serves the residents of Barnes County as a family and community wellness agent and 4-H coordinator. One of her goals is to provide programming and resources for youth, volunteers and families who are new to 4-H.

Zimprich has been with NDSU Extension for 18 years, working with multiple areas of 4-H across North Dakota. He serves as co-chair of the 4-H Animal Science Committee and is a past president of the North Dakota Association of Extension 4-H Youth Development Professionals. He organizes the Southeast Judging Classic and has coached several livestock teams that have gone on to compete in national contests.

Hoffman’s educational program, “Vaping: Small Devices, Big Impacts,” was created to educate middle school youth about the potential health impacts of vaping, using positive youth development and healthy decision-making approach.


NDSU Agriculture Communication – Oct. 31, 2022

Source: Penny Nester, 701-523-4911, penny.nester@ndsu.edu

Contact: Emily Burkett, 701-857-6450, emily.burkett@ndsu.edu

Contact: Lynette Vachal, 701-628-2835, lynnette.vachal@ndsu.edu

Contact: Susan Milender, 701-845-8528, susan.milender@ndsu.edu

Contact: Brian Zimprich, 701-683-6128, brian.zimprich@ndsu.edu

Contact: Meagan Hoffman, 701-231-7964, meagan.scott@ndsu.edu

Editor: Elizabeth Cronin, 701-231-5391, elizabeth.cronin@ndsu.edu

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