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NDSU Extension Agriculture Personnel Honored

By Elizabeth Cronin

Several North Dakota State University Extension agents and specialists were honored for their work during the National Association of County Agricultural Agents conference in Ames, Iowa.

Those receiving national awards were:

  • Rick Schmidt, Extension agent in Oliver County – National Distinguished Service Award, which recognizes the recipient with a 10-plus-year Extension career for long-term effectiveness of Extension programming. Schmidt started his Extension career as an agent in 1993. His passion for agriculture and youth guided his mission, resulting in many successful programs and competitive youth teams. He enjoys partnering with colleagues to conduct livestock and farm safety camps. His own crop and livestock operation gives him credibility as he implements many new technology practices that he makes available to his Extension clientele.
  • Anitha Chirumamilla, Extension cropping systems specialist at the NDSU Langdon Research Extension Center – National Achievement Award, which recognizes outstanding educational efforts by a person with less than 10 years of experience with Extension. Chirumamilla is an entomologist by education, with expertise in field crop entomology, but provides educational programming on a wide range of agriculture production issues ranging from weeds, crop production and fertility, disease management, and youth programs. She leads the integrated pest management survey project for the northeast district of North Dakota, surveying for important insects and diseases in major field crops.

Others earned awards at the state or regional level or were national finalists:

  • Gregory Endres, Extension cropping systems specialist at the NDSU Carrington Research Extension Center – national finalist for his applied research poster titled “Winter Rye as a Preceding Cover Crop for Pinto Bean Production at North Dakota State University.”
  • Renae Gress, Extension agent in Morton County – state winner in the Event Promotional Package category for her educational program Beef and Brews, through which she strived to increase knowledge about beef safety and nutrition, improve understanding of beef labeling, and expand awareness about pairing beef with alcohol. Her promotional package included a video, flyer and social media.
  • Travis Hoffman, Extension sheep specialist – state winner in the Fact Sheet category for his publication titled “Accelerated Breeding Program for Fall Lambing” for sheep producers interested in developing a breeding program with two lamb crops.
  • Angie Johnson, farm and ranch safety coordinator – national finalist in the category of Search for Excellence in 4-H and Youth Programming for her tractor and machine certification program. Additionally, Johnson was a national finalist for her Extension education poster titled “Can You Hear Me Now? Understanding Hearing Loss and Prevention Strategies for Farmers and Ranchers” and a state winner in the Personal Column category for her articles about haying season safety.
  • Mohamed Khan, Extension assistant director, agriculture and natural resources – state winner in the category of Search for Excellence in Crop Production for his work promoting the rapid adoption of CR+ cultivars on 96% of sugarbeet acreage in North Dakota to manage Cercospora leaf spot.
  • Jeff Stachler, Extension agent in Griggs County – regional winner in the Newsletter category for his Griggs County agriculture newsletter, which provides the latest information for Griggs County and surrounding area farmers, ranchers, agronomists, agency personnel, Extension colleagues and friends.
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