NDSU Extension nutrition, food safety and health outreach recognized nationally

North Dakota State University

North Dakota State University Extension staff were recognized at the National Extension Association of Family and Consumer Sciences annual session held in Raleigh, North Carolina.

NDSU Extension family and community wellness professionals Mettan Pfilger, Julie Garden-Robinson, Ellen Bjelland and Shaundra Ziemann-Bolinske attend the National Extension Association of Family and Consumer Sciences award ceremony.

NDSU Extension family and community wellness professionals were recognized for the On the Move to Better Health Cooking and Baking Schools Go Virtual program. They placed first in the central region and first in the nation. Team members were:

  • Julie Garden-Robinson, food and nutrition specialist
  • Donna Anderson, agent in Eddy and Foster counties
  • Erin Berentson, agent in Bottineau County
  • Ellen Bjelland, agent in Ward County
  • Kari Helgoe, agent in Pembina County
  • Marcia Hellendsaas, agent in McKenzie County
  • Courtney Hoikkala, agent in McLean County
  • Cindy Klapperich, (former) agent in Sargent County
  • Sara Laite, agent in Ramsey County
  • Deb Lee, agent in Ransom County
  • Kendra Metcalfe, agent in McHenry County
  • Susan Milender, agent in Barnes County
  • Christina Rittenbach, agent in Stutsman County
  • Rita Ussatis, agent in Cass County
  • Shaundra Ziemann-Bolinske, agent in Burleigh County

The program engaged youth in virtual afterschool lessons to increase their food preparation knowledge and skills and improve their knowledge of food science and nutrition.

 “Eating nutritiously and knowing how to prepare food can increase quality of life and save millions of dollars in collective health-care costs for North Dakotans,” said Carrie Johnson, NDSU Extension assistant director and family and community wellness program leader. “The team, led by Julie Garden-Robinson, provides valuable outreach to the citizens of North Dakota that provide practical, applicable tools for individuals and families.”

“We appreciate the numerous community partners who helped us implement these programs statewide. We also acknowledge the financial support from the National 4-H Council with funding from the Walmart Foundation, the North Dakota Department of Health, Department of Public Instruction, North Dakota Farmers Union and numerous North Dakota commodity groups,” says Garden-Robinson.

Garden-Robinson also received an individual Educational Curriculum Package award. She placed first in the central region and first in the nation for her On the Move to Stronger Bodies curriculum. The curriculum helps upper elementary students identify nutritious food options and develop a personalized physical activity plan.

“The participating children and their parents speak highly about both ‘On the Move’ programs, and we can see from their evaluations that these programs make a difference,” says Garden-Robinson.

Also during the conference, Garden-Robinson began her one-year term as president of the National Extension Association of Family and Consumer Sciences. She is the first person from North Dakota ever to serve as president.

The National Extension Association of Family and Consumer Sciences, with 1,800 active members, educates and recognizes Extension professionals who impact the quality of life for individuals, families and communities.

Visit www.ndsu.edu/agriculture/extension for information about NDSU Extension's family and community wellness programs.