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Recently in the Achievements Category

Karen Oberhauser, professor in the Department of Fisheries, Wildlife and Conservation Biology and Extension specialist, received a 2014 Wings Across the Americas Conservation Award in the communities in conservation category. For more than 20 years, Karen and the graduate students and staff members at the University of Minnesota Monarch Lab have served to link academic research with community outreach programs associated with monarch conservation. The migration is being threatened by habitat loss throughout the butterfly's range.

-Nate Meyer, program leader

Congratulations are in order

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Congratulations to Bill Lazarus, Extension economist, for his role in the master's thesis of veterinary medicine student Carmen Alonso, who was named the recipient of the U of M's 2013 Distinguished Master's Thesis Award. Bill served on Carmen's thesis committee, and worked with her on economic analysis. The thesis, "Epidemiological and Economic Implications of Air Filtration Systems to Prevent Porcine Reproductive Respiratory Syndrome Virus (PRRSV) in Large Sow Herds" will go on to compete for the Distinguished Master's Thesis Award of the Midwestern Association of Graduate Schools. He is also listed as a co-author on one of the journal articles from the thesis.

The Minnesota Association of Natural Resource Extension Professionals (MN ANREP) is pleased to announce the following three awards for 2013 given during its annual fall meeting at the Extension Program Summit:

  • The 2013 MN ANREP Individual Leadership award went to Angie Gupta for her superior efforts related to leading components of the Extension Forestry Program including the Forest Pest First Detector Program.
  • The 2013 MN ANREP Scholarship and Educational Materials Award went to Eli Sagor, Angie Gupta, Jana Albers (MN DNR) and the team for the Forest Health and Resilience webinar series.
  • The 2013 Excellence in Programming: Innovation in Evaluation went to John Bilotta, Jenny Winkelman (Mississippi Water Management Organization), and Karlyn Eckman (UMN Researcher) for the MN NEMO Program: A View from the Big River.

Please congratulate these individuals for their continued excellence in natural resource Extension for Minnesota!


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This month we have many awards to share. I am impressed though not surprised. Thank you for your hard work and dedication--and congratulations.
-Mike Schmitt

Jeff Reneau received the Dean's Award for Outstanding Leadership during Program Conference. Jeff leads by example, while at the same time advocating for his Extension team first. Jeff is an Extension animal scientist in dairy and also serves as program leader for the regional livestock Extension educators. This has led to first-rate Extension dairy programming for U of M Extension for more than three decades as well as greater exposure and impact for all livestock programming in the past eight years that he has been the livestock area program leader.
-Mike Schmitt

Marla Spivak
is the 2013 recipient of the Campus Based Faculty Dean's Award, which recognizes excellence of an Extension faculty member in performing the work of Extension education. Marla truly embodies the mission of Extension; her combined research career and Extension programming have significant impact on food and agriculture. She has taken a multi-pronged approach to Extension outreach by working with commercial bee breeders and backyard beekeepers with hands-on mentoring, e-learning, short courses, and beyond.
-Mike Schmitt


Patrick Huelman, Extension specialist in building and energy systems, won the Excellence in Building Science Education AWARD at the Department of Energy's Solar Decathlon in Irvine, CA. Pat was recognized for his work teaching students how to produce buildings that are energy-efficient, healthy, comfortable, and durable. In addition to this personal award, Pat's NorthernSTAR Building America Partnership picked up two Building America Top Innovation awards for exterior insulation, and builder and market support for Zero Net Energy Ready Homes.
-Nate Meyer, program leader

Kevin Janni, Extension engineer, received the 2013 American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers Henry Giese Structures and Environment Award for his leadership contributions and research on emissions from animal facilities. Kevin was honored during the awards program at the ASABE Annual International Meeting in Kansas City, MO. Click here to find out more about Kevin's work and the ASABE award.

Extension integrated pest management specialist Bruce Potter has been named Educator of the Year by the Mid America CropLife Association (MACA). Each year Potter, who works with the Southwest Research and Outreach Center in Lamberton, attends no fewer than 40 to 50 meetings, publishes multiple Extension articles and articles in peer-reviewed journals, and publishes a very popular weekly newsletter. Bruce is known for his gift of interpreting and presenting complex issues in his talks and newsletters with clarity, logic, wit, and humor, and he is currently one of our most requested speakers.
-Ian Mac Rae, state IPM coordinator

Several Extension employees received awards from the National Extension Associate of Family and Consumer Sciences (NEAFCS). Mike Reichenbach, Eli Sagor, and Angela Gupta, Extension educators of natural resource management and utilization received the Environmental Education Award for Intergenerational Land Transfer Collaborative Education along with Rebecca Hagen-Jokela and Cindy Petersen, Extension educators of family resource management.

Extension's Water Resource Team was recognized by the Association of Natural Resource Extension Professionals at the Joint Council of Extension Professional's Galaxy IV conference in Pittsburgh, PA in September. Extension Educators Karen Terry, John Bilotta, Doug Malchow, Shane Missaghi, Mary Blickenderfer and Eleanor Burkett earned the Gold Award for newsletters (series of articles) for their From Shore to Shore newsletter, which educates Minnesota citizens about shoreland management to improve water quality, habitat, and aesthetics for lakes and rivers. Click here to read the current issue of From Shore to Shore.

NACAA awards
The National Association of County Agricultural Agents presented their annual awards at the 2013 Galaxy Conference in Pittsburgh, PA in September. Other individuals and teams were recognized as well. Congratulations to all.
-Tim Arlt, program leader


Extension beef and small farms educator Mike Boersma received the Achievement Award for his work with livestock education for youth in Pipestone and Murray counties and the two computerized ration analysis programs he developed for beef producers.


Diane DeWitte, an Extension educator serving Blue Earth and Le Sueur counties, received the Distinguished Service Award for her 22 years of service as an educator in Indiana and Minnesota. Diane specializes in swine production, crops, dairy, and the Master Gardener education program. Also, Diane and Laura Kieser's poster, "Local Extension Dairy Series Meets 21st Century Needs" was selected for presentation from 1100 applications.



Congratulations to Lizabeth Stahl, Jeff Coulter, Seth Naeve, Dale Hicks, Steve Quiring, and Tom Hoverstad as the National First Place Winner in the Applied-Research Poster Competition for "On-Farm Evaluation of Twin-Row Corn and Soybean in Southern Minnesota."

Other awards


Congratulations to Rob Holcomb and the labor management team for achieving a National Finalist Search for Excellence in Farm and Ranch Management award for the Employment Skills for Today: Planning for Success program and curricula. Rob gave a presentation at Galaxy and was presented with a plaque. Other Team members were Chuck Schwartau, David Bau, Gary Hachfeld, Antonio Alba Meraz, and Don Nitchie.


Chuck Schwartau was a National Communications Award Winner in the Radio Program Category for his entry "Farm Safety."


Brad Carlson was selected for a National Finalist Award in the video communications category for "Introduction to Selecting a Farm Tractor."

A special thanks goes out to current NACAA member Chuck Schwartau, Galaxy Chair and Life member Neil Broadwater for their efforts on the Galaxy Steering Committee. Along with being chair, Chuck was also representing NACAA and Neil represented ESP.

The University of Minnesota Extension manure management and air quality website received an Educational Materials Award of Excellence by the 2013 Agronomy Society of America. The team will be recognized at the annual meeting this fall in Tampa. The award acknowledges sites that demonstrate overall superior quality.

Congratulations, Mike Reichenbach

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University of Minnesota Extension was noted in the State of the Birds Report that covers the U.S. This is a result of the work Mike Reichenbach has done over the past 10 to 12 years with Sugarloaf: The North Shore Stewardship Association. The work at Sugarloaf is one example of work that enhances Forest Health (Forest Health Program) for all Minnesotans.

From the publication: "The Sugarloaf North Shore Stewardship Association has partnered with the University of Minnesota Extension to provide 30 private landowners with forest stewardship plans and technical assistance on invasive plant control and reforestation." View the full publication.

-Nathan Meyer, program leader


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Karen Oberhauser was selected as a White House Champion of Change for Citizen Science. She was recognized at an awards ceremony at the White House on Tuesday, June 25 for her "exemplary leadership in engaging the broader, non-expert community in science, technology, engineering, or mathematics (STEM) research." This is an extremely rare and notable honor.

-Nathan Meyer, program leader

Awards and speeches by Champions of Change. Karen's speech begins at 44:50. Q & A begins at 104:19.

Michelle Grabowski

Michelle Grabowski

Michelle Grabowski was recently awarded the Fred I. Frosheiser Graduate Student Award of Merit by the UMN Department of Plant Pathology for outstanding research and scholarship. The annual E.C. Stakman and Department of Plant Pathology awards were held on May 30, 2013 to recognize and celebrate the contributions to the science of plant pathology made by members and friends of the department.

Promotion process success

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Kudos are in order for the numerous educators who successfully went through Extension's promotion process this past year. I was very proud of the breadth and depth of documentation these folks put forth. In the Center for Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences, our programming is conducive to meeting many of the requirements for promotion.

-Mike Schmitt, associate dean

Congratulations are in order!

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CFANS Alumni Society and CFANS Student Board awards recognize student, alumni, faculty, and staff leaders for their accomplishments. Sarah Dornink, center program manager, received the 2013 CFANS Student Board Award for Outstanding Club/Student Organization Advisor.

Vince Fritz, professor in the Department of Horticultural Science, has won the 2013 American Society for Horticultural Science Outstanding Extension Educator award, which recognizes contributions for 10 or more years in horticulture science.

Jeff Gunsolus, crops program leader and professor of agronomy and plant genetics, received the 2012-2013 CFANS Distinguished Extension/Outreach Award. This award recognizes significant contributions that link the University to the citizens of Minnesota.

The President's Award for Outstanding Service recognizes exceptional service to the University by any active or retired faculty or staff member. Award recipients have gone above and beyond in their commitment to the University. Congratulations to Emily Hoover, professor and head, Department of Horticultural Science.

Congratulations, Eli Sagor

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eli-sagor.jpgCongratulations to Eli Sagor, Extension educator in forestry, for successful completion of his Ph.D. Three studies comprise his doctoral dissertation: An analysis of where Minnesota family forest owners get information about their land and how that relates to management action; a discussion of different methods to collect landowner network data; and a national review of peer learning in Extension forestry programs.

Honors and awards

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Fritz Breitenbach (crops) received the Distinguished Achievement Award for Professional Staff from the North Central Weed Science Society (NCWSS). He will be presented with the award at the NCWSS Annual Meeting being held December 10-13 in St. Louis, Missouri.

Mary Meyer (horticulture) received the 6th Annual Terrace Award from Terrace Horticultural Books. The award recognizes outstanding achievement and service to horticulture in Minnesota. Read more.

The Forest Pest First Detector Program was honored with the Carol Mortensen Invasive Species Award for Team Achievement, presented at the Upper Midwest Invasive Species Conference in La Crosse, Wisconsin, on October 30. Team members include representatives from the University of Minnesota, the Minnesota Department of Agriculture, and the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. U of M Extension members are: Mary Kay Ferguson, Angela Gupta, Jeffrey Hahn, Dean Herzfeld, Gary Johnson, Mike Reichenbach, and Gary Wyatt. Read more.

Honors and awards

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Bill Angell (housing technology) received the Housing Education and Research Association's Housing Impact Award for his research and outreach in radon and other aspects of indoor air quality.

The following CFANS Extension members were honored at the recent Extension Program Conference:

  • Larry Jacobson, Extension engineer, Distinguished Campus-based Faculty

  • Private Applicator Recertification Team, Distinguished Team (Team members: Dean Herzfeld, Tana Haugen-Brown, Mary Kay Ferguson, Fritz Breitenbach, Lisa Behnken, Diane DeWitte, Michael Donnelly, Phil Glogoza, Dan Martens, Ryan Miller, Dave Nicolai, Brenda Postels, Liz Stahl, Jerry Tesmer, Nathan Winter, and Kay Sargent)

See the complete list of award recipients.

Honors and awards

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Mary Meyer (horticulture) was elected President of the American Society for Horticultural Science.

The Minnesota Master Naturalist program was selected as Program of the Year by the Alliance of Natural Resource and Outreach Programs at their 2012 annual national conference in Philadelphia.

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