NDSU Extension specialists, agents receive national recognition

Farm Forum

Four North Dakota State University Extension Service educators have received honors from the National Association of Community Development Extension Professionals.

Glenn Muske, rural and agribusiness enterprise development specialist, received the 2014 Distinguished Service Award for his service to the organization and community development as a profession.

Kathy Tweeten, a community economic development specialist and director of the Center for Community Vitality; Jodi Bruns, an Extension agent in Dickey County and Center for Community Vitality community coach; and Helen Volk-Schill, an Extension agent in Pembina County, are part of a three-state team that received the first-place award in the Excellence in Teamwork category for the Marketing Hometown America program.

Muske, who joined NDSU Extension in 2010, helps small businesses, especially those in rural areas, develop and grow. He provides education and support in a number of ways, including one-on-one education on getting a business started and how to keep it operating successfully, support material in online magazine forms he helped develop, speaking at meetings, writing blogs and news releases, and developing online chats that feature business owners sharing their experiences and tips for making small businesses successful.

Bruns, Tweeten and Volk-Schill have worked on the Marketing Hometown America program for three years with Extension colleagues in Nebraska and South Dakota.

Marketing Hometown America promotes dialogue among residents to help communities create a vision to grow and move toward action. For example, under this program, Edmore is making plans to reopen a community cafe and Ellendale is working with a college to engage its students in community life and business.

The four received their awards at the National Association of Community Development Extension Professionals’ recent annual conference in Grand Rapids, Mich.