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Mohamed Khan, a sugarbeet specialist for both the U of M and NDSU, has received the Excellence in Extension Award from the American Phytopathological Society. The award recognizes individuals who have made contributions to extension plant pathology programs and have shown significant leadership in the field.

Sally Noll, Extension poultry specialist and professor in the Department of Animal Science, has been named a fellow of the Poultry Science Association for her lifetime of contributions to the field of poultry science. The fellow title is the highest honor awarded for professional distinction and contributions to the field by the Poultry Science Association.

Bob Craven, Kevin Klair, Dale Nordquist, and Jeff Reisdorfer of Center for Farm Financial Management were awarded the Extension Outstanding Electronic Media Education Award for AgPlan at the annual meeting of the Agricultural and Applied Economics Association. More than 35,000 business plans have been developed using AgPlan. You may recall AgPlan was the online tool used for program business plans.

Congratulations, Jerry

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Jerry Shurson, Extension specialist and professor in the Department of Animal Science, was awarded the American Feed Industry Association Award in Non-ruminant Nutrition Research at the American Society of Animal Science Meeting. The award was sponsored by the American Feed Industry Association.

Promotion process success

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Congratulations to the specialists and educators who successfully went through the promotion process this past year in CFANS and Extension. I am impressed by the breadth and depth of documentation these individuals provided. In CFANS and the Center for Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences, our work is conducive to meeting many of the requirements for promotion.

-Mike Schmitt


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Congratulations to our Extension educators who were honored by extension professional organizations including Association of Natural Resource Extension Professionals (ANREP), Minnesota Association of Extension Agricultural Professionals (MAEAP), National Association of County Agricultural Agents (NACAA), and National Extension Association of Family and Consumer Sciences (NEAFCS).

Honoree Organization Award/honor
David Bau MAEAP/NACAA First place - state and regional finalist, learning module/notebook, "2013 What is a Fair and Profitable Rental Agreement Master Handbook" / second place - state, publication, "2014 Farm Resource Guide" / third place - state, computer-generated graphics presentation with script, "2014 Winter Crops Days: Outlook for Corn, Soybeans and Rent"
Debra Botzek Linn NEAFCS Second place central region and third place national winner: Community Partnership Award / Continued Excellence honor
Kathy Brandt NEAFCS Food Safety Award - first place central region and second place national (along with Suzanne Driessen and Katherine Waters)
Suzanne Driessen NEAFCS Food Safety Award - first place central region and second place national (along with Kathy Brandt and Katherine Waters)
Angela Gupta ANREP Early Career Leadership Award
Emily Wilmes MAEAP/NACAA First place - state, audio recordings, "Fly Management for Dairy Cows"
Andrea Lorek Strauss ANREP Honorable Mention, Engaging Natural Resource Volunteers: From Education to Action poster
Julie Miedtke ANREP Long Publication Silver Award, Minnesota Harvester Handbook, along with David Wilsey
David Nicolai MAEAP/NACAA First place - state and regional finalist, video recording, "Herbicide Spray Drift"
Jill Sackett MAEAP/NACAA First place - state and regional finalist, program promotional piece, "Fall Cover Crop Field Day Flyer" / first place - state and regional finalist, fact sheet, "Prevented Plant Cover Crop Options"
Eli Sagor ANREP Long Publication Bronze Award for the Growing your Peer Learning Network: Tools and Tips for the Women Owning Woodlands Network (with four colleagues from other states)
Chuck Schwartau MAEAP/NACAA First place - state plus regional and national finalist, feature story, "How Healthy is the Employment Situation on Your Farm?" / Second place - state, computer-generated graphics presentation with script, "Would You Work for Yourself" / second place - state, program promotional piece, "Dairy Systems That Work - Summer Field Day" / first place - state and regional finalist, personal column, "It's Still Up To You To Get It Done" and "What Keeps Employees"
Liz Stahl MAEAP/NACAA First place - state plus regional and national finalist, computer-generated graphics presentation with script, "Pesticide Resistance in Crop Production" / first place - state and regional finalist, publication, "Control Volunteer Corn for Yield Protection and Corn Rootworm Management"


Pat Huelman, associate Extension professor in the Department of Bioproducts and Biosystems Engineering, won the Distinguished Extension/Outreach Award for his contributions to outreach education.

Cindy Tong, Extension specialist and associate professor, received the Distinguished Diversity and Inclusion Award for her work in the Department of Horticultural Science.


Extension specialist Krishona Martinson was awarded the 2014 British Equine Veterinary Association's Richard Hartley Clinical Award along with U of M colleagues Stephanie Valberg, Adrian Hegeman and Jeff Bender. They were awarded for their Equine Veterinary Journal piece "Seasonal Pasture Myopathy/Atypical Myopathy in North America Associated with Ingestion of Hypoglycin A within Seeds of the Box Elder Tree." A grant from the Rapid Response Fund was used to conduct the research.

Mark Seeley awarded Siehl Prize

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Congratulations to Extension Climatologist Mark Seeley who was awarded the Siehl Prize for Excellence in Agriculture in the knowledge category. Mark and two other recipients will be honored at an awards ceremony at McNamara Alumni Center on May 22. This annual CFANS award honors those who make significant contributions in feeding the world.

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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