MSU Extension partner recognized nationally

MSU News Service
Carrie Schumacher

BOZEMAN — A community partner of Montana State University Extension has been recognized nationally for her outstanding support of Extension efforts.

Carrie Schumacher, interim vice president for academic and vocational education at Fort Peck Community College and owner of BCS Consulting, was selected as a 2021 National Epsilon Sigma Phi Friend of Extension honoree. The award will be presented in October at the national conference in Savannah, Georgia.

Schumacher has lived on or near the Fort Peck Indian Reservation her entire life, dedicating time and expertise to local communities. Over the 20 years she has worked at Fort Peck Community College, she has supported the efforts of more than a dozen MSU Extension and research faculty. The resulting relationships, scholarship and Extension programming are invaluable to MSU, residents of the Fort Peck Reservation, Montana’s six other reservations and to tribal colleges and universities throughout the region, according to letters and documents nominating her for the award.

“Carrie Schumacher has an amazingly detailed knowledge of the cultures and information needs of rural American Indian communities in Montana and other northern Great Plains states,” wrote Vince Smith, a longtime collaborator of Schumacher’s, in the nominating materials. Smith is also director of the Agricultural Marketing Policy Center at MSU and an MSU professor of agricultural economics and economics. “Her acute understanding of agricultural production, marketing, conservations and policy issues, considerable organizational and interpersonal skills, and knowledge of relevant federal resources have enabled MSU Extension and tribal college and university Extension faculty to be effective in working with those communities to meet their Extension and outreach program needs.”

Over the years, Schumacher’s connections have resulted in workshops and grants that have enabled MSU faculty and local partners to deliver more than 200 outreach programs. Her efforts have also supported the publication of more than 20 research papers and more than 60 educational bulletins that have been used by tens of thousands of American Indians and other farmers, ranchers and policymakers over the past two decades.

Schumacher has worked with MSU faculty for approximately 18 years. She has helped MSU Extension and research faculty to deliver culturally relevant programs in partnership with American Indian agricultural producers, agribusinesses and decision makers in Montana reservation communities, said Cody Stone, MSU Extension executive director.

“We have been especially appreciative of her expertise, commitment and direction over this past year,” Stone said. “COVID-19 has affected American Indian communities more severely than many other rural areas. Her guidance and communication skills have been even more important to effectively deliver Extension programming since the start of the pandemic. While we have changed our programming strategy over this past year, we have been able to maintain connection and provide timely policy updates through Carrie’s efforts.”