Extension Agents & Staff
the NDSU Extension Service. We extend education to North Dakota residents of all ages and walks of life. You’ll find us at work in your county, at Research Extension Centers and at the main campus of North Dakota State University. As North Dakotans work to improve their lives, we’re there to help. Our efforts have a special emphasis on strengthening agriculture and developing the potential of youth, adults and communities. Our efforts are funded by county, state and federal government.
We have a rich history of extending North Dakota’s land-grant university. Federal legislation established Extension in 1914, but years before that our predecessors were extending education through lectures, institutes, tours, fairs and demonstrations.
... that through Extension’s help
“men and women may develop within
themselves the ability to bring
about a better condition in the community.”
North Dakota’s first Extension director
Paige Brummund, Extension Agent
Paige joined the Ward County Extension Service in 2011. She is a graduate of NDSU with a Bachelor's Degree in Animal Science and Equine Studies and a minor in Agribusiness. A native of Oakes, her previous work experience has been in the private sector managing bovine and equine reproductive programs on ranches in Texas and Oklahoma. Paige is responsible for educational programs in animal systems, horticulture, agronomy, and community and youth development. She also has administrative duties in the Extension Office.
- Livestock Production- information on program areas in all animal systems with a focus in bovine and equine. Programs include education on herd health, nutrition, reproduction, and general husbandry.
- Crop Production - information on program areas in agronomy. Programs include education on best management practices, weed control, crop rotation, soil health and crop budgeting among other topics.
- Horticulture - information on a variety of home and commercial horticulture programs. Topics include gardens, lawns, trees, and fruit and vegetable production in North Dakota.
- Agribusiness - provides programming in the areas of farm and ranch succession planning, farm business management, Annie's Project (farm business education for women), ag budgeting and marketing.
Ellen M. Bjelland, Extension Agent
Ellen joined the Ward County Extension Service in June of 2013. She serves as the Family and Consumer Science Agent and in that capacity offers research-based educational programming in the areas of Food and Nutrition, Family Resource Management and Human Development. Ellen is a graduate of NDSU with a Bachelor's Degree in Home Economics Education and a Master's Degree from the University of Missouri-Columbia in Human Development and Family Studies. Ellen is a native of Berthold, North Dakota.
- Foods and Nutrition - provides current research-based education and information for healthy living choices.
- Family Resource Management - resources and information on managing family finances and wise consumer practices.
- Human Development - resources and education to help with personal and family relationships and communications.
Trisha Jessen, Extension Agent
- Trisha teaches research-based education to SNAP eligible youth and adults in
the four core elements: Dietary Quality, Food Safety, Purchasing and Security.
Holly Arnold, Extension Parent Educator
Holly joined the Ward County Extension Service in October 2003. She received her Child Development/Family Services degree from NDSU. Since 2007, Holly has been the Parent Resource Center (PRC) coordinator for Region II which includes the following counties: Bottineau, Burke, McHenry, Mountrail, Pierce, Renville and Ward.
- PRC - Coordinate and deliver educational opportunities, information and
resources to parents, caregivers, and other professionals.
Michael Slotten - Extension Agent
Mike joined the Ward County Extension Service in March of 2016. He received his Bachelor's Degree in Natural Resource Management from NDSU in 2011 and his Master's Degree in Environmental Management from St. Edwards University, Austin, Texas and Universite’ Catholique de I’Quest, Angers, France in 2015.
Mike has a passion for working with youth. He brings experience as PowerLife Guide, Huddle Coach, Trip Leader, Teaching Assistant, Project Leader, and Tour Guide with church groups, River Keepers, Pheasants Forever, and Delta Waterfowl. He was a District Technician with the Richland County SCD and Natural Resources Conservation Service in Wahpeton for a time in 2011-2012.
- Mike works with 4-H club leaders, members, and volunteers providing hands-on, real-life learning experiences building traditional and modern club programs and ideas.
Laura Morelli, Extension Assistant
Laura began working with the Extension Service in 1995. She provides support for the agents in 4-H and Parent Resource Center. She received a Bachelor of Social Work degree from Minot State University.
Shirrell Ott, Extension Assistant
Shirrell began working with the Extension Service in February of 2015. She provides support for the agents in 4-H Youth Development, Family and Consumer Sciences, and Family Nutrition Program. Shirrell received her A.A. degree from UND in Grand Forks.
For 31 years she has worked in offices providing support to busy executives.
Micki Mertz, Sr. Administrative Assistant
Micki began working at the extension office in January of 2014. She provides support for the office running the day to day operations as well as assisting Paige in areas concerning agriculture, horticulture, ranching, and pesticide programs. She studied English at the University of North Dakota.