NDSU Extension Service honors staff with Program Excellence awards

Four educational efforts were honored with Program Excellence awards at the recent North Dakota State University Extension Service/Research Extension Center fall conference in Fargo.

The German-Russian Country: Prairie Legacy (Tri-County Tourism Alliance), Getting It Right in Soybean Production, North Dakota 4-H Camp Healthy Challenge, and Nourishing Boomers and Beyond teams received certificates and cash awards sponsored by Farm and Ranch Guide.

German-Russian Country: Prairie Legacy (Tri-County Tourism Alliance)

Germans from Russia make up 41 percent of North Dakota’s residents, yet the state does not have a concentrated effort to provide a way to maximize the potential of heritage travel and tourism to the center of German-Russian Country (Emmons, Logan and McIntosh counties). The alliance is an association that citizens from the three countries formed to preserve and promote the Germans from Russia heritage and culture, and to enhance tourism in the three counties. Their efforts have resulted in an Oktoberfest in Napoleon; a large increase in visitors to Lawrence Welk’s boyhood home near Strasburg; a cafe guide; and strong sales of “Ewiger Saatz,” a food/history/cookbook.

Team members: Acacia Stuckle, Carmen Rath-Wald, Kathleen Tweeten, Michael Miller, Tom Isern, Dean Ihla, Deanne Cunningham, Diane Rogness, Claudia Berg

Getting It Right in Soybean Production

From 2000 through 2013, North Dakota’s harvested soybean acreage increased from 1.85 million to 4.62 million acres. This largely was due to soybean production expanding into new areas and new growers planting the crop. This led to a need to educate newer producers about growing soybeans in the different regions of the state. NDSU Extension partnered with the North Dakota Soybean Council to determine the topics to be covered and locations with the greatest need for that information. Extension specialists and agents then developed this program. Extension educators held training programs at 13 locations from 2011 to 2014, reaching 649 producers. In 2014, 48 percent of the participants said they gained important insight and information for their farming operation.

Team members: Hans Kandel, Sam Markell, Greg Endres, Janet Knodel, Pat Beauzay, Joel Lemer, Randy Grueneich, Ronald Beneda, Yolanda Schmidt, Raquel Dugan-Dibble, LoAyne Voigt, Sheldon Gerhardt, Crystal Schaunaman

North Dakota 4-H Camp Healthy Challenge

Many young people make poor food choices, engage in unhealthy behaviors and fall short of daily physical activity recommendations. Establishing healthy habits at a younger age is important because it leads to better habits as an adult. The North Dakota 4-H Camp is an excellent setting for teaching young people lifelong skills and habits. The campers were challenged to be healthier by eating more healthfully (fruits and vegetables), being physically active each day, staying hydrated, getting enough sleep, brushing their teeth, wearing sunscreen and washing their hands. Team members: Katie Tyler, Callie Johnson, Julie Garden-Robinson, Leah Haak, Adler Steinberg, Kayla Weber, Heidi Barnick, Jesse Feist

Left to right: Roxanne Meyer, Farm and Ranch Guide; Julie Garden-Robinson, food and nutrition specialist; Katie Tyler, 4-H youth development specialist; Callie Johnson, McHenry County Extension agent, family and consumer sciences; and Chris Boerboom, NDSU Extension Service director

Nourishing Boomers and Beyond

Chronic diseases are affecting a larger proportion of older adults, decreasing their quality of life and increasing health-care costs. This program was designed to improve the “boomers and beyond” (50-plus) audience’s health literacy. The program uses traditional face-to-face programming (community classes, printed materials, recipe demonstrations) and technology-based approaches, including an e-newsletter, website and social media (Facebook and Pinterest). The program has reached an average of 300 people in classes per month and thousands through social media. The Web page has had more than 18,600 views and 1,400 ongoing users. The e-newsletter has 630 subscribers from 48 counties.

Team members: Julie Garden-Robinson, Jane Strommen, Robert Bertsch, Sonja Fuchs, Kimberly Beauchamp, Rebecca West, Deb Tanner, Ellen Crawford, Thomas Robinson, Susan Finneseth, Jeanne Erickson, Karla Monson, Mary Froelich, Marietta Good, Sharon Smith, Marcia Hellandsaas, Acacia Stuckle, JoAnn Runner, Callie Johnson, Deb Evenson, Carolee Kaylor, Ellen Bjelland, Trisha Jessen, Peggy Anderson, Dena Kemmet, Vanessa Hoines, Kari Presler, Janet Wanek, Cindy Klapperich, Susan Milender, Deb Lee