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Extension > Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences Intranet > Archives > Employee Transitions Archive

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Welcome!

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Please welcome Ashok Chanda who started his position as assistant professor on August 30. Ashok is located at the Northwest Research and Outreach Center in Crookston with a tenure home in the Department of Plant Pathology. Ashok earned his BSc and MS from ANGR Agricultural University in Hyberabad, India and his PhD from Louisiana State University (LSU) in Baton Rouge, where he held a post-doctoral position for the last couple of years. Ashok is developing an extension and research program focused on diseases and disease management that affect sugarbeet production.

- Albert Sims, director of operations, Northwest Research and Outreach Center


Please welcome Britt Forsberg as the Minnesota Master Naturalist Explorers coordinator. She starts on September 8. Britt comes to us from the Bell Museum where she spent over six years coordinating and facilitating urban after-school science programming. She has developed and managed novel inquiry-based learning with an emphasis on education technology. In her new role, Britt will be responsible for working with her FWCE team members and MN DNR partners to design and implement statewide the Explorers after-school program. She will be based on the St. Paul campus.

- Nathan Meyer, program leader


We extend a warm welcome to Axel Garcia y Garcia. Axel joined the University of Minnesota on August 25 in sustainable cropping systems located at the Southwest Research and Outreach Center in Lamberton. He is an assistant professor in the Department of Agronomy and Plant Genetics with a research and extension appointment. Axel received his BSc in agronomy from the University of San Carlos in Guatemala and his MSc and PhD in agronomy from the University of São Paulo, Brazil. After receiving his PhD, Axel spent ten years as a researcher at the Guatemalan Institute of Science and Agricultural Technologies. He then became a visiting scientist and postdoctoral research associate at the University of Georgia before moving to the University of Wyoming as an assistant professor in 2009 in the Department of Plant Sciences. Axel will provide leadership for research and extension education programs in cropping systems including the corn-soybean rotation.

- Nancy Jo Ehlke, head of Department of Agronomy and Plant Genetics and Pauline Nickel, head of Southwest Research and Outreach Center


Extension welcomes Becky Masterman as the director of the Bee Squad program within the Bee Lab on the St. Paul campus. The Bee Squad is an Extension and business program that helps beekeepers and the community in the Twin Cities area foster healthy bee populations and pollinator landscapes. Becky develops Bee Squad programming for beekeepers and bee supporters and a growing group of people and businesses interested in us managing bee colonies for them or interested in learning more about native bees. She also communicates with these audiences via social media and a newsletter.

- Marla Spivak, Extension entomologist, professor in Department of Entomology

Enjoy retirement, Dick!

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Richard (Dick) Stone will retire from Extension on June 30. Dick joined the Extension Housing Technology team in 2006, and worked closely with Patrick Huelman and William Angell on programming to improve home safety and durability. Dick is well regarded for his presentations and trade articles for professionals on home energy, thermal and moisture control, basements and foundations. Dick has also responded annually to a slew of questions about ice dams, and other challenges for cold-climate housing. We deeply appreciate Dick's consistently positive and conscientious contributions to teamwork. We congratulate him on achieving another career milestone and wish him all the best. You're invited to celebrate Dick's retirement on Monday, June 30, 2:30-4:00 p.m. in Kauf Lab 225. RSVP to Nate Meyer.

-Nate Meyer, program leader

Welcome to Patti Combs

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Patricia (Patti) Combs has been hired as the new Center accountant effective Monday, June 16, 2014. She received a degree in accounting from the University of Minnesota - Carlson School of Management. Patti comes to Extension with more than 25 years of University of Minnesota experience having worked both in the accounting and human resource functions. Her certified approver status and extensive knowledge of the University systems and both sponsored and non-sponsored processes will be a great asset for the Center and Extension Finance & Planning. Patti's current position is with the Department of Chemistry. Please help welcome Patti to the Center and Extension Finance & Planning teams.

-Rick Konkol, finance manager

Please join me in welcoming Diane Greiwe to the Arboretum and Extension. Diane started as Extension Master Gardener Volunteer Coordinator on April 8 and is located at the Arboretum.

Diane's background includes a degree in business marketing, a strong agency-based advertising and marketing work background, and a recent five-year position at Binghamton University in volunteer management and communications. What a great fit for this position! Welcome, Diane.
-Tim Kenny, Master Gardener director


Welcome to Leslie Yetka to the Arboretum and Extension! Her main focus will be managing the new Horticulture Continuum of Learning program area and developing and implementing education opportunities for four main audiences: Extension Master Gardeners, Arboretum members, the urban agriculture community, and the public. She started on April 29, and her office is located at the Arboretum Learning Center.

Leslie has a bachelor's degree in biology from Macalester College and a master's degree in horticulture from the University of Minnesota. Most recently, Leslie has been managing education programming for the Minnehaha Creek Watershed District. We are excited Leslie joined the education team.
-Tim Kenny, Master Gardener director


Welcome to Neith Little, Extension educator, agricultural water quality in Dakota County. Neith began in her position on April 21 and will be working in conjunction with the Dakota County Water Resources Department to educate farmers on the issues of nitrogen management to prevent nitrate movement into ground and surface waters.

Neith is a graduate of Cornell University with a master's degree in soil and crop sciences. She was previously a food, farm and sustainability specialist at Hampshire College in Amherst, MA. We are pleased to have Neith as a member of our local educator team.
-Tim Arlt, program leader



Thomas Peters
joined NDSU and U of M Extension as an Extension sugarbeet agronomist and assistant professor. The position, which is located at NDSU, supports sugarbeet growers in North Dakota and Minnesota. He will be collaborating with faculty and staff, sugarbeet cooperatives and allied industries on a systems approach for controlling sugarbeet weeds.

Thomas was raised on a dairy farm in Stearns County. He received his bachelor's degree in agronomy and soil science from the University of Minnesota. He earned his master's degree in agronomy from the University of Nebraska and his doctorate in agronomy from NDSU. Thomas worked for Monsanto for almost 24 years.

Brenda Postels departs

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Brenda Postels has resigned from her county educator position in Wright County. Her last day was April 11. Extension benefited greatly from her expertise in the area of meat goat production and her ability to integrate different disciplines. Her efforts, particularly working on the Farm Information Line, made her well known in the agriculture community. We wish her well!
-Nathan Johnson, program leader

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