NDSU Extension initiates Citizen Advisory Council

NDSU Extension
Farm Forum

North Dakota State University Extension has initiated a state Citizen Advisory Council to gather input on state-level issues and increase key stakeholders’ understanding of Extension.

“For Extension to best serve the needs of North Dakota, we have always sought input at the county level,” said Chris Boerboom, NDSU Extension director. “Extension recently invited 15 citizens to a formal Citizen Advisory Council to provide in-depth guidance at the state level.

“The individuals who have committed to this advisory role are exceptional leaders and represent the various interests that are important to maintaining North Dakota’s prosperity and high quality of life,” he added. “I am extremely grateful to their passion and commitment to help Extension be the best for the people of North Dakota.”

Members are:

• Josh Askvig, state director, AARP North Dakota, Bismarck.

• Sarah Bedgar Wilson, co-owner and director of outreach, Wilson Farm, Jamestown.

• Jace Beehler, policy adviser, North Dakota governor’s office, Bismarck.

• Lee Briese, agronomist, Centrol, Edgeley.

• Joel Hamar, Dickey County commissioner, Ellendale.

• Debbie Hansen, elementary principal, Surrey Public School, Berthold.

• Lance Hill, financial literacy manager, Bank of North Dakota, Bismarck.

• Dale Ihry, executive director, North Dakota Corn Utilization Council and North Dakota Corn Growers Association, Fargo.

• Kim Mertz, community health section chief, North Dakota Department of Health, Bismarck.

• Dave Miller, farmer and businessman, Donnybrook.

• Lynn Moser, president, Inland Oil and Gas Corp., Bismarck.

• JoAnn Rodenbiker, co-owner, Lil’ Prairie Greenhouse, Rock Lake.

• Dawson Schefter, NDSU student and North Dakota Young Republicans chair, Langdon and Fargo.

• Taya Spelhaug, Microsoft TechSpark manager for North Dakota, West Fargo.

• Joni Tillich, head of operations, BlueChip Financial, Belcourt.

At its inaugural meeting this spring, the council provided input on how NDSU Extension might move forward with some of the recommendations of the State Board of Agricultural Research and Education (SBARE) review, Boerboom said. The council will meet in person twice a year to provide guidance to Extension and will be kept up to date about Extension impacts, programs and budgets.

The council members were selected to represent a broad spectrum of Extension’s current and potential audiences, and they will serve staggered terms, Boerboom said.