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NDSU Extension Personnel Honored Nationally

NDSU Extension personnel are recognized for their work.

Three North Dakota State University Extension personnel were honored for their work during the recent National Association of County Agricultural Agents (NACAA) conference in West Palm Beach, Florida.

Those recognized were:

  • Karl Hoppe, Extension livestock systems specialist, Carrington Research Extension Center – named to national Hall of Fame.
  • Penny Nester, agriculture and natural resources agent, Kidder County – awarded national Distinguished Service Award for long-term excellence in Extension. The award recognizes the top 2% of NACAA members with 10 or more years of experience as chosen by their peers and the directors of Extension of various states.
  • Angie Johnson, Extension farm and ranch safety program coordinator – awarded national Achievement Award for excellence and professionalism demonstrated in an Extension career of fewer than 10 years.

The NACAA Hall of Fame Award recognizes four members across the nation for their Extension programming, state and national association activities and humanitarian efforts beyond the normal call of duty. Hoppe is only the second North Dakotan to be selected for the NACAA Hall of Fame.

“It is humbling to be honored for doing what I enjoy – helping people,” says Hoppe.

Hoppe joined NDSU Extension in 1990 as an Extension associate at the Carrington Research Extension Center. In 1992 he became an Extension specialist focusing on beef cattle nutrition and management for cow-calf and feedlot. He has conducted cattle feedout projects for more than 28 years and has worked with ranchers to develop a cattle finance cooperative, cattle feeding partnerships, and cattle slaughter and processing businesses.

In addition to his outreach work, Hoppe has taken leadership roles within NDSU Extension and across the state. His outreach work and NACAA leadership at the state and national level has earned him numerous awards and recognition. Additionally, his involvement in farming, conservation and sustainability led to an appointment as the Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) state coordinator for North Dakota.

“During his career, Karl has demonstrated tremendous commitment, not only to agricultural producers, but also to fellow Extension agents and specialists,” says Jeff Gale, Extension agent in Foster County. “As a new agent, I consider him an outstanding role model and mentor.”

A cattle and sheep rancher himself, Hoppe is a 31-year member of the North Dakota Stockmen Association, through which he has served as director on the Feeder Council. He also has served as director for the North Dakota Lamb and Wool Growers Association and as supervisor for the Foster County Soil Conservation District for 16 year.

“Karl’s lifetime of dedication to the livestock producers of North Dakota and his willingness to assist the next generation of Extension agents and livestock producers speaks volumes of his value to the state of North Dakota and Extension,” says Brad Brummond, Extension agent in Walsh County.

Nester joined NDSU Extension as an agriculture and natural resources agent in Kidder County in 2011. She became the agriculture and natural resources agent in Bowman County in May 2022. She provides a variety of programming in livestock management, agronomy, horticulture and farm business management. She also is a co-chair of the state’s natural resource management program team, treasurer of North Dakota’s NACAA chapter and coordinates 4-H programming in Bowman County.

Johnson started at NDSU Extension as an agriculture and natural resources agent in Steele County in 2015. She provided programming on beef and sheep production and soybean cyst nematode sampling. She also co-created a nationally recognized biosecurity in agronomic equipment curriculum and implemented a 4-H shooting sports program. She now serves as the statewide Extension farm and ranch safety program coordinator.


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