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Horticulturist Esther McGinnis Awarded Early Career Service Award

North Dakota State University Extension specialist and assistant professor of horticulture Esther McGinnis received the Early Career Service Award from Epsilon Sigma Phi, a professional fraternity that supports and encourages professional development and excellence for Extension professionals.

November 9, 2017

North Dakota State University Extension specialist and assistant professor of horticulture Esther McGinnis received the Early Career Service Award from Epsilon Sigma Phi, a professional fraternity that supports and encourages professional development and excellence for Extension professionals. The award was presented during the NDSU Extension Service/Research Extension Center fall conference held October 24-27 in Fargo.

The criteria for the Early Career Service Award are demonstrated enthusiasm, performance, and accomplishment during the first ten years of service.

According to Epsilon Sigma Phi, McGinnis “has reinvigorated the [North Dakota Extension] Master Gardener Program by improving the Master Gardener core course, expanding the number of volunteer opportunities available to Master Gardeners and enhancing continuing education opportunities for them. As a result, the number of active Master Gardener volunteers and interns has increased by 171 percent, and volunteer service hours have increased by 310 percent. In addition, Master Gardeners instituted a food donation project and a pollinator program, and built 18 public pollinator gardens to use as teaching gardens. Master Gardeners are using the gardens to inspire homeowners to build their own pollinator gardens and adopt sustainable pesticide practices.”

McGinnis coordinates horticultural Extension programs in eastern North Dakota and oversees the North Dakota Extension Master Gardener Program. She began working at NDSU in 2013. She says she is “very honored to receive this award and appreciate[s] being recognized for [her] hard work in the last few years.”

For more information on Epsilon Sigma Phi, see https://www.ag.ndsu.edu/esp.

For information on the North Dakota Master Gardener program, see https://www.ag.ndsu.edu/mastergardener.

Author: Karen Hertsgaard, 701-231-5384,
Editor: Kamie Beeson, 701-231-7123,

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