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Recently in the Employee Updates Category

New employees

Shawna Faith Thompson will join the Extension Family Development team on June 2 as the Carver-Scott County Extension financial capability educator. She earned her bachelor's degree in economic development from Metropolitan State University, and has certifications as a personal finance coach, home buyers' counselor and IRS advanced level volunteer tax preparer. Her career includes 10 years of providing financial and asset building education with low- to moderate-income audiences for two Twin Cities non-profits, EMERGE Community Development and WomenVenture. Shawna is passionate about credit building and asset development in moving her audience toward financial stability.

Rosemary Heins
Interim Program Leader
Family Development

Jackie Billhymer joined Extension as the health and nutrition project coordinator who will manage the SNAP-Ed Opportunity Identification Initiative (soon to be known as SNAP-Ed Community Partnership Funding).

Jackie earned a bachelor's degree at the University of Minnesota, where she also received her master's in public health-nutrition. She is also a registered dietitian. Before graduate school, she was a FoodCorps service member in rural Arkansas, where she worked with teachers and staff to educate youth on healthy eating and gardening. Through her dietetic internship rotations, she has experience working with the Bloomington Woman, Infants and Children clinic, Burnsville elementary and high school food service, Abbott Northwestern Hospital, Smiley's Family Medicine Clinic, American Institute for Cancer Research and Minnesota Department of Health.

Ryan Johnson
Associate Program Director
SNAP-Ed

New employees

Pauline Van Nurden joined the Agricultural Business Management (ABM) team as a regional Extension educator on April 9 in the Morris Regional Extension Office. Pauline earned a bachelor's degree in applied economics from the University of Minnesota in 2000 and received a master's degree in agricultural education, also from the University, in 2005.

For the past four years, she worked as a business banker and assistant vice president with United Prairie Bank in Waseca. She also has extensive educational experience, working as a farm business management instructor for Minnesota State Colleges and Universities in Mankato and Owatonna for six years and as an agricultural education instructor for New Ulm High School before that. Pauline brings an outstanding reputation and a wealth of experience to Extension and the ABM team.

Bob Craven, Kevin Klair and Dale Nordquist
Program leaders, Agricultural Business Management

Natalie Johnson will begin her position as Goodhue County 4-H program coordinator on May 19. She graduates this month from the University of Minnesota in May with an animal science degree. Natalie grew up in Stevens County 4-H and has actively helped as a 4-H volunteer. She comes to us with a strong knowledge in agricultural industry, public speaking, promotion and Extension.

Nicole Pokorney
Educator, Youth Development

Emily Conroy, County 4-H Program Coordinator,Traverse County, April 6

Jacalyn Kokett, County 4-H Program Coordinator, Douglas County, April 13

Charles Caines, County 4-H Program Coordinator St. Louis - Southern (Duluth) County, April 21

Employee transitions

Mary Ann Hennen began in her new role as director of professional development on May 1. Mary Ann comes to this position with a wealth of knowledge and experience. Since 1994, Mary Ann's work in Extension has included three roles over a 16-year span: campus-based leadership specialist, Hennepin County leadership and civic engagement (LCE) educator and most recently as LCE program leader.

She returned to Extension in January 2005 after leading community leadership initiatives for the Wilder Center for Communities for six years. As program leader for LCE, Mary Ann provided direction to regional educators and alumni outreach programs, helping staff develop, design, deliver and evaluate educational programs. Mary Ann has a bachelor's degree in personnel services from Moorhead State University and a masters' degree in educational psychology and social foundations from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

Brent Hales
Senior Associate Dean


Faye Sleeper will transition to program leader for the Extension water team over the spring and summer months in addition to continuing her work as interim director of the Water Resources Center. Faye brings valuable experience to this role, and our educators working in water will gain opportunities by working more closely with the Water Resources Center. Please join me in recognizing Gary Sands for his dedication as program leader. He will continue his work as an Extension engineer and professor in the Department of Bioproducts and Biosystems Engineering.

Mike Schmitt
Assistant Dean, AFNR

New employees

Ashraf Ashkar, SNAP-Ed educator, Stevens County, April 1

Frederick Ebinger, rural energy development program manager, Regional Sustainable Development Partnerships, April 6

Stacy Johnson, 4-H program coordinator, Redwood County, April 7

Pauline Van Nurden, ag business management educator, regional office, Morris, April 9

Employee transitions

After 30 years of service, Terry Nennich is retiring from Extension on April 30. Terry is a regional Extension educator, based in Crookston, specializing in commercial horticulture. Terry has been a leading resource for many specialty crops during his career. Terry brought high tunnels to Minnesota in 1999. Through his research and education program, he has been instrumental in leading the season-extension movement in Minnesota. In addition, Terry is a widely known resource regarding farmers markets throughout the state. Please join me in congratulating Terry on his retirement.

Brian Horgan
Program Leader - Horticulture

Educator Julie Sievert left her position in Sibley County; her last day was April 3. Since 2012, Julie served as a local educator focusing on issues facing livestock and crop producers in her county. She built successful collaborations with local agencies and organizations to educate county producers. Julie also worked the Farm Information Line providing helpful answers to callers. We wish Julie all the best as she moves into her new position and will miss her positive outlook and "we can do it" attitude.


Tim Arlt
Program Leader - AFNR


Sarah Schieck, regional educator, is relocating from the regional office in Morris to the one in Willmar. Sarah will continue working with the Extension livestock/swine team.

Krishona Martinson
Program Leader - Livestock


Jerry Tesmer, former Extension educator in Fillmore and Houston counties, passed away on Monday, April 13. He retired from Extension in February. On March 12, state Rep. Greg Davids presented a resolution letter to Jerry Tesmer at an Agriculture Finance Committee meeting.

The House resolution honored Jerry for his contributions to agriculture: "Be it resolved by the Committee on Rules and Legislative Administration of the House of Representatives of the State of Minnesota that it congratulates Jerrold Tesmer for his contributions to agriculture over the past 27 years, and wishes him well in his retirement."

Visitation will be from 4 to 7 p.m., today (Thursday, April 16), with his funeral at 11 a.m., Friday at St. Matthew's Lutheran Church, Granger, with visitation one hour before the service.


Tim Arlt
Program Leader - AFNR

New employees

Ana Voorhees joined Extension as the brand and employee communications manager on March 25. She will be responsible for Extension brand management, including managing Extension's brand identity system, providing brand identity resources and training for Extension staff, and managing production of organizational marketing materials. She is also responsible for Extension-wide employee communications, including developing and managing the employee communication strategy, managing the Extension intranet, and serving as the editor of the employee and retiree e-newsletters.

Ana brings a variety of marketing, branding, public relations and communications experience from her previous positions at The Toro Company and Gander Mountain, as well as her volunteer work with the Battered Women's Legal Advocacy Project.

Please join us in welcoming Ana to Extension. Her office is in Coffey Hall, St. Paul Campus.

Aimee Viniard-Weideman
Assistant Dean and Communications Director

The Extension Center for Family Development was selected to help implement the work of the Military Families Learning Network (MFLN) via a U.S. Department of Defense and U.S. Department of Agriculture agreement. Two staff joined the team March 16:

Anita Harries Hering, formerly of the Extension Center for Youth Development, is an Extension educator and will continue to work out of the St. Cloud regional office. She brings a wealth of experience as a volunteer and chair of one of Minnesota's largest Beyond the Yellow Ribbon regional initiatives and as a volunteer with Operation Military Kids.

Amy Majerle will work part-time with the project and continue her graduate studies in the Department of Family Social Science. She is a Minnesota Air National Guard retiree with 22 years of service, including overseas deployment.

Rosemarie Heins
Interim Program Leader, Family Resilience

New employees

Danielle Quist joined the Fish, Wildlife and Conservation Education team on Feb. 26 as an Extension educator focused on aquatic invasive species. Her six years of scientific research and monitoring experience include sampling aquatic species, digitizing 900 miles of the Missouri River floodplain and developing an educational website on this work. She also developed outreach programs, most recently as a park ranger with the Mississippi National River and Recreation Area. Danielle earned a master's degree in biology from the University of South Dakota and a bachelor of science in environmental science from Winona State University. Danielle is based in Andover and also shares an office in the North Central Research Station on the St. Paul Campus.

Nate Meyer
Program leader
Fish, Wildlife & Conservation Education & Housing Tech, Forestry

Jan Jackola, support staff, Hubbard County, March 3

Kelly Hulke, clerical specialist, Blue Earth County, March 9

Kimberly Luschen, SNAP-Ed educator, Mower County, March 11

Jy Xiong, 4-H program coordinator, Anoka County, March 16

Brandy Buro, SNAP-Ed educator, Andover Regional Office, March 16

Employee transitions

Jerry Tesmer, Extension educator in Fillmore and Houston counties, retired at the end of February. Jerry started in Fillmore County in 1987. During his career, Jerry focused his programs around agricultural business management and crop systems, although he offered programming in every topic area in Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources (AFNR.) He conducted one of the longest continual annual land rent surveys in his counties and was the last Extension educator in Minnesota to offer tractor safety training for teenagers. Jerry has been active in Fillmore County through his work with service organizations, county committees and his church. One of Jerry's greatest attributes is his positive attitude. He will carry this into retirement, and all who worked with Jerry will miss this.


Tim Arlt
AFNR Program leader

New employees

Gerri Swiers, county 4-H program coordinator, Mahnomen County, Feb. 4
Darlene Collins, SNAP-Ed regional coordinator, regional office, Grand Rapids, Feb. 23
Danielle Quist, educator, aquatic invasive species, regional office, Andover, Feb. 26
Karen Korslund, assistant program director, sustainable ag and food systems, Regional Sustainable Development Partnerships, St. Paul, Feb. 27
Lisa Wong, SNAP-Ed educator, regional office, Andover, Feb. 27

New employees

Phalla Keo has accepted the 4-H program coordinator position in Hennepin County. Phalla has dedicated more than 28 years to youth and adult education; she has a rich history and understanding of working with diverse audiences. She earned a master's degree from the University of Minnesota. Most recently, she worked as an Extension nutrition educator, cultivating learning and partnerships in community settings and developing and leading volunteer systems to support her work.

Jessica Pierson Russo
Director, Urban Youth Development Office


Pritika Egemo, principal office and administrative specialist, Dean's office, Feb. 2

Maggie Yutrzenka, SNAP-Ed educator, Douglas County, Feb. 2

Heather Weber, support staff, Clay County, Feb. 5

Donald Warneke, SNAP-Ed educator, Hennepin County, Feb. 11

Andrew Doherty, SNAP-Ed educator, Wright County, Feb. 11

Hibaq Dualeh, SNAP-Ed educator, Ramsey County, Feb. 11

New employees

Sarah Butler joined Family Development as a Dakota County Extension educator on Nov. 24. Sarah will work with the Dakota County Financial Empowerment Initiative. She has offices at the Dakota County Extension Office in Farmington and at the Dakota County Northern Service Center in West St. Paul.

Sarah earned her bachelor's degree at Bemidji State University and for more than five years has been active in financial education with non-profits, focusing on low-to-moderate income communities. She has experience in financial coaching, foreclosure prevention, asset building and credit improvement. Sarah worked most recently as a lead financial coach with EMERGE Community Development in North Minneapolis.

Rosemary K. Heins
Family Resilience Interim Program Leader


We welcome Brittany Kinney to the Minnesota Master Naturalist Program team. She is joining the program in 2015 as a Minnesota Conservation Corps volunteer to assist with delivering the program in northeastern Minnesota, engaging new audiences and developing new events and resources. We are happy to have her with the team and look forward to introducing her to AFNR.
Nate Meyer
Program leader


Brandi Raatz joined Extension as a 4-H Program Coordinator in Pipestone County and the Southwest region on January 26. Brandi earned her Bachelor's of Science in Animal Science from South Dakota State University in Dec. 2014. She is a Pipestone County 4-H alumna and worked as a summer intern in Brookings County, S.D.

Karen Beranek 4-H Youth Development Educator

Donna Rae Carlson, principal office and administrative specialist, Polk County, Jan. 2

Kristina Kaml, SNAP-Ed educator, Roseau County, Jan. 5

Deborah O'Connor, principal office and administrative specialist, regional office, Rochester, Jan. 5

Sarah Jacobs, 4-H program coordinator, Jackson County, Jan. 12


Employee transitions

Please join me in welcoming Kent Olson to his new leadership role as interim Associate Dean for the Extension Center for Community Vitality. Kent began his new role on Feb. 1.

Kent has been an Extension economist with Extension since 1985, working in applied research, on-campus teaching and Extension education. He served as an Extension program leader from 2004 to 2011.

After receiving his bachelor's, master's and doctorate from Iowa State University, Kent was an Extension economist at University of California, Davis before coming to Minnesota. His research has emphasized farm level management issues such as production efficiency, the interaction between farming and the environment, decision-making, and the impact of government policies. He published two books on farm management and numerous publications. He has worked in Sweden, Uganda, Zimbabwe, Tanzania, Ethiopia, India, Poland and Italy.

I want to thank Mary Ann Hennen and Matt Kane for serving as joint interim associate dean since November, when Brent Hales became senior associate dean for Extension.

Bev Durgan Dean

Bill Hutchison, Extension specialist and head of the Department of Entomology, has assumed the role of director for the University of Minnesota Integrated Pest Management (IPM) program. This IPM program is a long-standing USDA-NIFA program, which a few years ago transitioned from an allocated line item in Extension's budget to a competitive grant program. In addition to managing the grant, Bill will supervise personnel hired from this grant.

New Employees

Betty Berning joined the agricultural business management team as a regional Extension educator on Dec. 15. She is located at the St. Cloud Regional Extension Office. Betty earned a bachelor's degree in agriculture and food business management from the University of Minnesota and a master's degree in agricultural, environmental and regional economics from Pennsylvania State University. For the past six years, she worked for General Mills as a commodity analyst and senior buyer for dairy products. She previously worked at AgStar.

Bob Craven, Kevin Klair and Dale Nordquist
Program Leaders
Agricultural Business Management

Melissa Runck started as the new Extension educator in Murray and Pipestone counties on Dec. 15. She was previously a 4-H program coordinator in Nobles County. Melissa earned a bachelor's degree from South Dakota State University in animal science with an emphasis in business and production and a minor in business. Before joining the 4-H program, Melissa worked as an artificial insemination technician and as a cattle buyer. She will be responsible for livestock educational programs for youth and for general agricultural production educational programs for the two counties.

Tim Arlt
Program Leader
Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources


Tammy Lorch rejoined Extension as an educator in youth development on Jan. 5, a role she fulfilled from 2005 to 2007. She'll serve the southeast region, with an office in Mankato. Tammy has experience working in youth and family ministries and was most recently ready-to-learn specialist for Iowa Public Television. She has a bachelor's degree in elementary education from Wartburg College and a master's degree in family education from the University of Minnesota. Tammy has a strong interest in engagement and working with others to provide opportunities for youth and adults to grow. She'll focus on quality in programming and regional planning with an evaluative lens.

Nancy Hagland
Program Leader
Youth Development


Transitions

Ying Iverson, professional and organization development director, has accepted a new position as organization development and learning strategist for Fairview Health Service serving the University of Minnesota Medical Center and University of Minnesota Masonic Children's Hospital. In her new position, Ying will partner with human resources and hospital leadership to design, develop and implement proactive solutions to meet business and organizational needs.

Her last day with Extension will be February 6. Please join us in wishing Ying all the best during a farewell party at 2 p.m., Feb. 2 in 401 Coffey Hall

Ying has been with Extension for two and a half years. During that time, she created a professional development framework and works on a variety of programs, such as the monthly webinars, staff and program conferences, the promotion action group, Foundations for Success, and a new employee welcoming course.

Ying sees her role as a facilitator who encourages dialogue and participation for development on the organizational, team and individual levels. She appreciates the friendship from Extension and is grateful for the experience working with people who make an impact on Minnesotans every day.


Bev Durgan
Dean

Dave Moen has worked for Extension in various capacities for 25 years, most recently as program manager for the Extension Master Gardener Volunteer program. He retired Jan. 9. Dave describes his career as one of "growing plants and growing people."

During this past year, we witnessed the part about "growing people" first-hand as Dave's experience and sage advice helped the newly formed Master Gardener state office team learn the ropes. Dave prefers to not have a traditional retirement party. Please join me in congratulating Dave on his retirement and wishing him well.

Tim Kenny
Master Gardener program state director


Alison Link has been an invaluable member of the Extension Technology team for almost two years. She is moving to an academic technology position the the College of Liberal Arts. As an Extension academic technologist, Alison worked with Extension programs to consult, advocate, and produce online learning and other learning technologies. Her work in Extension revolutionized our team's offerings in the areas of video creation, Moodle support and general accessibility of online materials. Her last day in Extension is Jan. 16. We will miss Alison and her energy and knowledge.

Amy Baker
Chief Technology Officer


Whitney Meredith's last day with Extension's Center for Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources (AFNR) was Dec. 17. Whitney transitioned to Community Vitality, where she will remain through June. Whitney has been an evaluator with AFNR since 2010, and we wish her all the best.

Betsy Wieland
Program Manager Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources

Rebecca Paulson, 4-H program coordinator, Houston County

New Employees

Kaitlin Barbosa has returned to northwest Minnesota as the 4-H program coordinator in Kittson County. Kaitlin was a 4-H member in Marshall County. After receiving her bachelor's degree from Concordia College in Moorhead, Kaitlin worked in outreach coordination and youth work in the Seattle area. She has experience in coordinating events and programming for youth, including trips to Guatemala. She brings an enthusiasm for the skills gained in 4-H with a strong desire to see that youth are prepared for the future. Kittson County 4-H is thrilled to welcome Kaitlin to their community. Teen ambassadors, who were involved in the search committee, hosted an open house for her earlier this week.

Margo A. Bowerman
Extension Educator, Youth Development


Becky Kunz has accepted the Isanti County 4-H program coordinator position. She has more than 20 years of experience in youth development and program management. She recently finished a master's degree in organizational leadership, with a special focus on generational diversity issues. She has a deep passion for partnering with youth and volunteers to facilitate the best strategies for success. Originally from California, she and her husband live in the north metro area with their two children.

Jessica Pierson Russo
Extension Educator, Youth Development

Other new hires

Adam Dorrance, executive office and administrative specialist, regional office, Grand Rapids
Cassandra Silveira, interim Extension educator, health and nutrition, Ramsey County

New employees

Erinn Barclay started as the new accountant in the Extension Center for Community Vitality on September 22. She recently moved to Minneapolis from Chicago with her husband. Erinn has more than seven years' experience in University finance and grants management. Previously, she worked in research administration at the medical school at Northwestern. Erinn's educational background includes a degree in public relations and psychology from Coe College.

In her role, Erinn will provide serve as a resource for Center staff, providing financial reports, projections, and budgets for program leaders. She is looking forward to using existing solutions to implement the best financial practices. In her free time, Erinn enjoys hanging out with her husband and their beagle. She is excited to be in Minnesota and is looking forward to exploring the Twin Cities.

Joyce Hoelting

Brian Fredrickson joined the Extension Center for Community Vitality on September 29 as the Leadership and Civic Engagement educator serving the West Central area of Minnesota. He is housed at the Moorhead Regional Extension Office, serving the counties of Clay, Becker, Wilkin, Otter Tail, Grant, Douglas, Traverse, Big Stone, Stevens, Pope and Swift.

Brian graduated from the University of Minnesota Twin Cities Campus with a B.A. in Political Science in 2006, and received his M.A. in the teaching of social studies from Columbia. While in New York, he taught social studies at the Bronx Leadership Academy II. He returned to the University in 2008 and has since served as instructor, using both face-to-face and online technologies, at the University's leadership minor program, and with the Bridge to Academic Excellence program.

Brian has organized workshops with faculty from the Center for Democracy and Citizenship. In 2009-10, he co-directed the launch of the Warroad Area Leadership Program for Girls for high school students. His other educational work focused on instruction and research with the former General College and the Department of Postsecondary Teaching and Learning. He also coordinated a team of instructors, advisors, teaching assistants, facilitators and librarians who developed learning opportunities on topics such as understanding cross-cultural leadership and supporting students' development around civic life and ethics.

Mary Ann Hennen
Program Leader, Leadership and Civic Engagement

 

New graduate students join the Center for Community Vitality

Felipe Boroso was born and raised in Sao Paulo, Brazil. After turning 22 in 2011 and studying economics for three years in Sao Paulo, he transferred to a private university in San Antonio, Texas, where he received a degree in International Affairs. Currently, Felipe is a graduate student of development practice at the Humphrey School of Public Affairs. His work in Community Vitality will provide research assistance to Matt Kane and Brigid Tuck on a project that explores the different organizational frameworks adopted by counties to carry out economic development efforts.

Jeffrey Ims will work in Leadership and Civic Engagement under the direction of Dee Trudeau, with a primary focus of leadership curriculum development. He is currently in the master's program in human resource development in the Organizational, Leadership and Professional Development (OLPD) department, where he also earned his bachelor's in human resource development. Jeff has a passion for developing individuals to ensure they effectively maximize their potential. Most recently, Jeff worked at the Mayo Clinic as the leadership and learning development intern developing a three-day leadership development workshop, and an action-learning program for physicians and scientists who were emerging leaders within their departments.

Atticus Jaramillo is pursuing a master's degree in urban and regional planning at the Humphrey School, with a concentration in housing and community development. He received his bachelor's degree from the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse with a double major in history and political science. While attending school, Atticus served as an intern for the City of La Crosse Neighborhood Revitalization Commission and as a GIS intern for the City of La Crosse Department of Planning & Development. As an Extension graduate research assistant, he will work on civic engagement curriculum development.

Mary Ann Hennen
Program Leader, Leadership and Civic Engagement

Deb Braulick, SNAP-Ed Educator, Redwood County, 11/24/2014
Sarah Butler, Extension Educator, Financial Empowerment, Dakota County, 11/24/2014


Employee transitions

Sarah Bjorkman, internal communications and brand manager, has accepted a new position as marketing manager for the U of M School of Public Health. Sarah will be working on brand development and marketing strategy within the school, working closely with student admissions and development staff, faculty and public partners.

Her last day with Extension will be Dec. 9. Please join us in wishing Sarah all the best during a farewell party on Tuesday, Dec. 9, from 2:30-3:30 p.m., in 120 Coffey Hall.  

For the past seven years, Sarah has been part of the Extension Communications and Public Relations team, strengthening Extension's brand by creating systems and resources for staff to communicate consistently, clearly and effectively to internal and external stakeholders. A few of Sarah's accomplishments include developing and implementing the system-wide brand identity templates, trainings and guidelines; creating the comprehensive photo image gallery; and improving employee communications through the intranet, e-newsletters and listservs.

In her words, "The most important and rewarding part of my work in Extension has been creating opportunities for people throughout Minnesota to understand all of the ways Extension touches their lives. The work our educators, faculty and staff do in Extension truly does make a difference in people's lives, and I'm grateful to be part of that."

Aimee Viniard-Weideman
Assistant Dean and Communications Director

Cassandra Silveira will be joining Extension on December 3 as an Extension health and nutrition educator. Cassandra comes to Extension with a wealth of knowledge and experience developing, coordinating and evaluating health and nutrition initiatives and providing technical assistance for chronic disease prevention and management. She is currently a Humphrey Policy Fellow.  

Cassandra will start her Extension career providing intensive program leadership and development to grow and enhance the EFNEP program, and from there will lend her broad expertise to food literacy, food access and physical activity initiatives in the central region and throughout the state.

Trina Adler Barno
Program Leader, Health & Nutrition

Tammy Lorch will rejoin Extension as an Extension educator, youth development, on January 5 in the Mankato Regional Office. Tammy has experience working in the field of Youth and Family ministry in several churches, and as an Extension educator in 4-H Youth Development from 2005-2007. Currently, Tammy is the Ready to Learn specialist for Iowa Public Television.

Tammy has a B.S. degree in elementary education from Wartburg College, in Waverly, Iowa and an M.Ed. in family education from the University of Minnesota.

The search committee highlighted Tammy's enthusiasm and passion for working in the field of youth development. She brings skills in working with a variety of youth programs and volunteers, in which they are engaged and have opportunities to grow as individuals.

Her references shared that Tammy is highly organized and can develop systems to work more efficiently. She loves being with people and working in a team environment. Tammy is a strong programmer and a true professional.

Brenda Shafer and Nancy Hegland
Extension Program Leaders, Youth Development

David Foley has accepted the program coordinator position in Le Sueur County. David comes to Extension with a wealth of experience, as he was the 4-H program coordinator in Houston County. Before that he was the interim 4-H program coordinator in Goodhue County and the summer intern for Steele, Goodhue and Dakota counties.

David has a passion for 4-H, having grown up in the program. He feels this opportunity for youth is one in which they have fun, build friendships, learn responsibility, and express themselves. One project that he has carried forward from his 4-H years is his goat project. He lives in his hometown of Dundas, where he has a small herd of Nubian and Saanen dairy goats he refers to as his 4-H project gone wild.

David's knowledge, combined with a great attitude, authenticity, and love for the program make him a perfect fit for Le Sueur County.

Deb Hadley
Extension Educator, Youth Development

Please welcome Linnea White to Extension. Linnea is the new communications associate working with the communications team in Coffey Hall on the St. Paul campus. She will be writing and editing for various internal and external publications and working on communications projects such as county web pages, brand identity materials, regional stakeholder communications and Google Analytics.

Linnea graduated in May 2013 from Bethel College with a B.A. in English literature and writing. She recently completed a year as an AmeriCorps employment navigator at the Resource Employment Action Center in St. Paul.

​Aimee​ Viniard-Weideman
Assistant Dean and Communications Director

Katie Becker, 4-H program coordinator, Clearwater County, 11/10/2014

New employees

Peter Lindstrom, Clean Energy Resource Teams local government outreach coordinator, Regional Sustainable Development Partnerships, 10/29/2014

Employee transitions

On November 3, Karen Beranek transitioned into her new role as an Extension educator in youth development after serving as the 4-H program coordinator in Redwood County. Karen brings experience working as a county Extension educator in 4-H youth development in South Dakota, and was the library director for the City of Lamberton. She holds B.S. and M.S. degrees in family and consumer sciences from South Dakota State University.

Karen has a strong interest in positive youth development and program development. She is a skilled facilitator and communicator, and enjoys building collaborations with partners that impact youth and adults through a variety of delivery methods.

Karen will work from the Extension Regional Office in Marshall, with colleagues in the southwest region, to design and deliver quality programs to both youth and adults. She will focus her efforts in youth program quality, supervision and science of agriculture.

Nancy Hegland
Program Leader, 4-H Youth Development

Please welcome Jennifer Schultz, who was hired this summer as the Wasp Watchers program coordinator. Jennifer previously worked at the Minnesota Zoo as the Zoo Investigators program coordinator.

Wasp Watchers is a biosurveillance program that monitors the presence of emerald ash borer by observing the activity of a native wasp species (smoky winged beetle bandit wasp). Jen is responsible for establishing baseline information on this wasp species, as well as organizing volunteers to watch the wasp nests and collect beetles. This program is a three-year project. Jennifer is based on the St. Paul campus in the Department of Entomology.

Jeffrey Hahn
Extension Entomologist

Amy Peterson, 4-H program coordinator, Washington County, 9/15/2014          

Abdulahi Dohe, SNAP-Ed educator, Somali, Kandiyohi County, 9/19/2014

Suzanne Root, administrative clerk, Waseca County, 9/22/2014

Erinn Odell, accountant II, Extension Center for Community Vitality, 9/22/2014  

Brian Fredrickson, Extension educator, leadership & civic engagement, Extension Regional Office, Moorhead, 9/29/2014

Brittany Eich, 4-H program coordinator, Wright County, 9/8/2014

Christopher Strand, SNAP-Ed educator, St. Louis - Northern (Virginia) County, 9/16/2014

New employees

Elyse Paxton joined Extension on July 29 as the senior editor in the Extension Center for Community Vitality.  Elyse was previously a communications coordinator for the University's Academic Support Resources department within the Office of Undergraduate Education. Prior to working at the University, Elyse was an editor for Gardening How-To and FenderBender magazines. She graduated from Iowa State University with a degree in speech communication and is currently pursuing a master's degree in strategic communication from the University of Minnesota.

In her new role, Elyse will work collaboratively with Community Vitality educators and specialists to oversee production of educational materials, including print and online publications, curricula, guides, reports, fact sheets, and multimedia products. She is very excited to become part of the Community Vitality team and is especially interested in learning how social media can be an effective communication tool to help advance and promote the center's work.

Joyce Hoelting
Assistant Director, Center for Community Vitality

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 B.S. and M.S. from ANGR Agricultural University in Hyberabad, India and his Ph.D. 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 fish, wildlife and conservation education team members and Minnesota Department of Natural Resource partners to design and implement the Explorers after-school program statewide. She will be based on the St. Paul campus.

Nathan Meyer
Program Leader, Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources

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, as well as for a growing group of people and businesses interested in having us manage bee colonies for them, or who are interested in learning more about native bees. She also communicates with these audiences via social media and a newsletter.

Marla Spivak
Extension Entomologist

Employee transitions

Bill Craig, Extension educator, agricultural business management, Crookston, retired on July 31. Bill came to Extension with a background in crop insurance and agricultural lending and put that knowledge to work in educational programs in risk management and marketing. He was instrumental in creating the Northwest Minnesota Ag Lenders Conference and was active on many leadership teams and boards including the Minnesota Crop Insurance Conference Planning Committee, the Small Grains Institute, the International Crops Expo, and the Crops College Planning Committee.

Kevin Klair Dale Nordquist, and Robert Craven
Program Leaders, Agricultural Business Management

Bret Oelke, Extension educator, agricultural business management, Morris, retired onJune 30. Bret specialized in risk management and commodity marketing education and worked closely with several marketing and management groups in Central and Northwestern Minnesota. He loved working with young farmer groups and conducted several workshops for the Minnesota Farm Bureau Young Farmer Group and several 4-H activities. He was a featured speaker at the annual Top Producer Seminar in Chicago. Bret is a past recipient of the Minnesota Farm Bureau Educator of the Year award.

Kevin Klair Dale Nordquist, and Robert Craven
Program Leaders, Agricultural Business Management

New Employees (August 21, 2014)

Milena Nunez Garcia, SNAP-Ed educator, Spanish, Olmsted County, 8/4/2014 Yeng Moua, SNAP-Ed educator, Hmong, Hennepin County, 8/11/2014 Laura Bohen, SNAP-Ed regional coordinator, Ramsey County, 8/11/2014

New Employees

Heidi Anderson joined Extension as the 4-H program coordinator in Benton County on July 22.

Heidi has been involved with 4-H as a youth member, a 4-H summer assistant and an adult volunteer. Her hands-on experience, community connections and work ethic will continue to positively impact the 4-H community in Benton County.

Heidi has strong academic training and professional leadership experience that will enable her to be an effective manager and leader in her new role. She is an honors graduate of St. Cloud State University with extensive coursework in marketing and Spanish. Most recently, Heidi provided leadership to the Minnesota Holstein Association where she managed the organization's operations, sales, membership and finances. She also collaborated with and led volunteers to coordinate major events, conventions and sales, while also directly leading the youth educational program.

Please join me in welcoming Heidi to Extension.

Mark Haugen
Extension Educator, Youth Development

 

On August 4, Rod Greder joined Extension as the new Extension consumer horticulture and agriculture educator in Wright County. Rod comes to us from the private sector with previous experience working for Cargill and Dow AgroSciences as a leader in their R&D, new business development and marketing divisions. He has started his own local foods operation including grass-fed beef, free-range chickens, and a variety of garden vegetables. Rod holds a master's and Ph.D. degree in plant genetics from the U of M and U of Illinois respectively. Rod's efforts in Wright County will be varied, focusing on consumer horticulture, agriculture and the Master Gardener program. Welcome, Rod!

Nathan Johnson
Program Leader, Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources

 

Letica Rodriguez, SNAP-Ed educator, Nobles County, 7/11/2014

Heidi Anderson, 4-H program coordinator, Benton County, 7/21/2014

Jamie Pikus, executive accounts specialist, Extension Regional Office, Grand Rapids, 7/28/2014

Jeremy Freeman, 4-H program coordinator, Chisago County, 7/28/2014

Michelle Klinkner, 4-H program coordinator, Faribault County, 7/29/2014

Elyse Paxton, senior editor, Extension Center for Community Vitality, 7/29/2014

Employee Transitions

Eli Sagor transitioned to a new appointment on July 14 managing the University of Minnesota Sustainable Forests Education Cooperative (SFEC). This role represents a unique collaboration in which CFANS Extension is partnering with the Cloquet Forestry Center. The SFEC is a long-standing educational program that develops and delivers education programs focused on forest ecology and management targeting natural resource professionals and related audiences. Eli will be officed at the Cloquet Forestry Center and will still spend some time on the St. Paul campus.

Linda Nagel
Director, Cloquet Forestry Center

Employee Departures

It is with sadness that the 4-H Foundation says goodbye to Brad Starbuck. Brad has served on the 4-H Foundation staff as a development officer in the Southwest region and for agriculture programs for nearly two years. His last day with the 4-H Foundation was Friday, August 1. Brad is not going far though; he is taking a job as director of corporate and foundation relations with the Carlson School of Management at the University Foundation. We wish Brad the best in his new role and thank him for his collaborative and positive work with the 4-H Foundation and the 4-H program.

Cara Miller
Executive Director, MN 4-H Foundation

 

With regrets we said goodbye to Darren Lochner, program coordinator for the Minnesota Master Naturalist Explorers Program. Darren's last day with the program was July 25. Darren was instrumental in developing sites, resources and training to pair current adult Master Naturalist volunteers with staff in existing after-school programs to offer fun, outdoor, science-based educational opportunities for 4th and 5th graders. The kids learn about the ecology and natural history of their schoolyard, neighborhood, nearby natural areas and entire state. We wish Darren the best of luck in his new position with the Minnehaha Creek Watershed District.

Nathan Meyer
Program Leader
Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources

 

Mike Boersma joined Extension in January 2006 as Extension educator, livestock and 4-H program director, in Pipestone and Murray Counties. Mike's last day is August 4. He has been a valued member of the Beef Team and the 4-H team in SW Minnesota. Mike developed two computerized Ration Balancer programs for beef producers that are used by producers across the U.S. and internationally. Mike has received numerous awards including the Dean's Distinguished Team Award for his work with the Beef Team in 2009 and with the Private Pesticide Applicator Education Team in 2012. We wish Mike all the best in his new position with the Minnesota West Community and Technical College Farm Business Management program.

Tim Arlt
Program Leader
Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources
New Employees

Please join me in welcoming Andrea Rice to the Master Gardener volunteer program leadership team. Her main focus will be teaching technology expertise to the development of Horticulture Continuum of Learning education experiences. Andrea brings experience from her most recent job as coordinator for the Maryland Beginning Farmer Success program at the University of Maryland. Her office will be at the Arboretum; and she started July 15.

Tim Kenny 
State Director, Master Gardener Program

Dr. Joshua Rice, youth development Extension specialist in the science of agriculture, started his position on July 1. Josh earned his B.S. in animal and veterinary science, M.S. in agriculture, and Ph.D. in human and community development from West Virginia University. Before joining Extension, Josh taught agricultural sciences and acted as FFA adviser at Southern High School in Annapolis, Maryland. Josh is located in 405 Coffey Hall.

Jennifer Skuza
Assistant Dean, Extension Center for Youth Development


Debra Hawthorne, SNAP-Ed educator, Beltrami County, began July 10.
Departing employees

Ann Walter joined Extension in Mower County in 1992, serving as the 4-H youth development educator, after working with the 4-H program in Worth County, Iowa. She was a key player in the Heartland Cluster, working with teams to deliver programs that reached new audiences. In the regional system, she worked with community youth development programs, regional 4-H youth development programs and most recently as a member of the southeast regional team.

Ann's focus has been to provide training on cultural competency and youth program quality. She co-led the statewide Quality team, which developed resources to ensure that quality is integrated in all aspects of 4-H.

Ann has received numerous MAE4-HYDP Communicator awards during her career. As a team member with Operation Military Kids (OMK), she received the National Association of Extension 4-H Agents Outstanding Educational Package award in 2010, and the Extension Dean's Award for Distinguished Team in 2008. She also received the Epsilon Sigma Phi Early Career Award and the NAE4-HA Distinguished Service Award.

Ann celebrated her retirement with colleagues and family on her last day, June 30. She is looking forward to spending more time with family, in her garden, and exploring part-time employment working with youth in her community.

Nancy Hegland
Program Leader, Youth Development
New employees

LeeAnn Palmer joined Extension on June 5 as a 4-H program coordinator in Clay County. LeeAnn has an elementary education degree, with an emphasis in mathematics from Minnesota State University Moorhead. She brings experience as a classroom teacher and tutor along with an appreciation for inquiry-based and experiential learning.

LeeAnn is currently pursuing a master's degree in curriculum & instruction through Concordia University. She will join Lisa Kasson-Bauer in providing leadership to the 4-H program in Clay County, with specific responsibilities in science, 4-H afterschool and Summer Survivor.    

Becky Harrington
Extension Educator, Youth Development   

Maryann Woeste has been hired as the new part-time Extension administrative assistant in Todd County. Maryann previously served and retired from her role as the full-time office manager for Extension/Human Resources in Todd County. In her new role she is solely working for Extension, and she is happy to be back!

Susanne Hinrichs 
Regional Director, Northeast Region

Courtney Johnson began her 4-H program coordinator position in Crow Wing County on June 3. Courtney has served as a 4-H intern in Itasca County for the past two years. During this internship, she gained experience in volunteer management, youth development programming, organizing events and developing her leadership skills.

Courtney finished her degree in agricultural communications and animal science at North Dakota State University in May and traveled and studied agricultural practices in Denmark and China. She has been a leader in the Saddle and Sirloin organization, currently serving as the fundraising chair for events, and was chosen as emcee of Little International, the largest two-day agricultural exposition in the world. 

Marcia Woeste
Extension Educator, Youth Development

Jana Sampers has been hired as the new 4-H program coordinator in Cass County. She began her new position on Tuesday, June 10, at the Cass County Extension Office in Pine River. 

Jana is a graduate of Eagan High School and was an active Dakota County 4-H member. While in 4-H, she was instrumental in developing the Dakota Drill Bits horse drill team and served as a mentor for the Youth Teaching Youth program. Recently, Jana earned a B.S. degree in agricultural economics from North Dakota State University. While at college, Jana participated in the Saddle and Sirloin Club by serving as the Little International horse superintendent and coordinated events through the Collegiate Cattlewomen's group and the National Agri-Marketing Association. 

Jana's previous work experience includes employment at the American Federal Bank at Moorhead; VisionBank at Fargo; HopeKids Childcare at Fargo; and Fluegel's Farm, Garden and Pet Supply at Rosemount.

Marcia Woeste
Extension Educator, Youth Development

Jody Rosina Friton, clerical specialist I, Blue Earth County, 6/3/2014

Andrea Marie Kronbach, SNAP-Ed educator, Steele County, 6/9/2014

Anne Ulrich, SNAP-Ed educator, American Indian, Mahnomen County, 6/9/2014

Frank Mumford, director of annual giving, 4-H Foundation, 6/11/2014


Employee transitions

Cathy Jordan will be stepping down as director of the Children, Youth and Family Consortium (CYFC) on June 30 to take a joint position between her academic faculty appointment in the Department of Pediatrics and the Extension Center for Community Vitality. After 10 years as director, Cathy will invest her energies in two primary areas: community-engaged scholarship and a developing interest in nature-based education for youth at risk for academic failure or disengagement. In her new role, Cathy will continue to co-lead the Educational Disparities Initiative Area with Jennifer Skuza, assistant dean, Extension Center for Youth Development. On July 1, Trish Olson, assistant director for the Extension Center for Family Development, will serve as interim director for CYFC as we develop plans for Cathy's replacement.

Karen Shirer
Associate Dean, Extension Center for Family Development

New Employees

Patricia (Patti) Combs has been hired as the new accountant for the Center for Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources, effective Monday, June 16. Patti received a degree in accounting from the University of Minnesota. She comes to Extension with more than 25 years of University of Minnesota experience having worked both in the accounting and human resource functions, currently in the Department of Chemistry. 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.

Rick Konkol
Finance Manager

Abdikadir Ibrahim, SNAP-Ed educator, Somali, Hennepin County, 5/5/2014

JoDee Christianson, SNAP-Ed educator, Stearns County, 5/12/2014

Deanna Beaulieu, SNAP-Ed educator, American Indian, Hennepin County, 5/12/2014

Shirley Vang, SNAP-Ed educator, Hmong, Ramsey County, 5/12/2014

Melonie Vancura, administrative assistant, Jackson County, 5/12/2014

Thomas Peters, Extension sugarbeet agronomist, Plant Pathology, St. Paul, 5/15/2014

Megan Janssen, SNAP-Ed educator, Polk County, 5/19/2014

Samantha Stewart, SNAP-Ed educator, Cass County, 5/27/2014

Nancy Brewster, SNAP-Ed educator, Spanish, Hennepin County, 6/2/2014

Departing Employees

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. Dick's retirement celebration will be held on Monday, June 30, 2:30-4 p.m. in Kauf Lab 225. RSVP to Nate Meyer.

Nate Meyer
Program Leader
Center for Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources

It is with heartfelt sadness that we inform the Extension community that Roxy McCann passed away on April 29. Roxy most recently worked as the accountant for the Extension Center for Youth Development and previously had been the accountant for the Center for Community Vitality since starting with Extension in August 2008. Prior to that she held an accountant position with the University Cancer Center.

Roxy brought much joy and spirit to our organization. Her energy was infectious and she had a great way of making staff feel at ease with the complexities of accounting. Roxy is greatly missed by all who knew her and the many lives she touched. Our heartfelt compassion and sympathies are extended to her family during this very difficult time.

Madonna Monette, Finance Director &
Dorothy Freeman, Associate Dean, Center for Youth Development 


New Employees

Lindsey Evenson, joined Extension on April 28 as a 4-H program coordinator in Kittson County. Lindsey was the development director and event coordinator at Willamette Valley Christian School in Brooks, Oregon prior to returning to Minnesota.


Lindsey received her B.S. degree from Minnesota State University, Moorhead. She has a passion for the outdoors and agriculture in addition to youth development, and has competed on two television shows: "Wanted: Adventure Host," and the "Rachel Ray Show."  She also hosts her own talk show, "The Scoop with Lindsey."

In her new role, Lindsey will lead the Kittson County 4-H program and will seek to develop partnerships to expand the scope of 4-H programming in Kittson County.

Margo Bowerman
Extension Educator, Youth Development

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 collaborate 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.


Leslie Anne Yetka, education manager & Extension landscape educator, MN Landscape Arboretum, Chanhassen, 4/29/2014

Abdikadir Ibrahim, SNAP-Ed educator, Somali, Hennepin County, 5/5/2014

Richard McAtee, principal accounts specialist, Regional Office, Grand Rapids, 5/8/2014

Deanna Beaulieu, SNAP-Ed educator, American Indian, Hennepin County, 5/12/2014

Shirley Vang, SNAP-Ed educator, Hmong, Ramsey County, 5/12/2014

Melonie Vancura, administrative assistant, Jackson County, 5/12/2014


Employee Transitions

Beverly Swenson
, retired from Extension on Apr 30.  Bev was the 4-H program coordinator in Kittson County for 16 years, although her 4-H career extends much further than that! Bev maintained a small but mighty 4-H club program, providing great attention to detail and was an early adopter of new programs and initiatives.


Margo Bowerman
Extension Educator, Youth Development

Brenda Postels left her local Extension educator position in Wright County on 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, Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences

New Employees

Hannah Jastram started as a communications associate for the Extension Center for Family Development on March 24. Hannah completed her training as a dietitian with the University of Minnesota and The Emily Program, and has worked with Family Development since 2012.

Heather Lee
Family Development Project 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 U of M Landscape 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!

Tim Kenny
State Director, Master Gardener Program

Welcome to Leslie Yetka to the Arboretum and Extension! As the education manager and Extension educator at the U of M Landscape Arboretum, Leslie's main focus will be managing the new Horticulture Continuum of Learning program area. She will also develop and implement education opportunities for four main audiences: Extension Master Gardeners, Arboretum members, the urban agriculture community, and the public. She started on April 29.

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 that Leslie has joined the education team.


Tim Kenny
State Director, Master Gardener Program

Welcome to Neith Little, Extension educator in agricultural water quality, 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, Mass. We are pleased to have Neith as a member of our local educator team.


Tim Arlt
Program Leader, Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources



Meg Clark, office support assistant, Hennepin County, 4/22/2014

Kirsten Pederson, 4-H program coordinator, Dakota County, 4/15/2014

Elizabeth Quillo, SNAP-Ed educator, Todd County, 4/22/2014

New employees

Joshua Stamper started as the new Extension irrigation specialist on March 26. This is a 100-percent Extension position and is joint with the Department of Bioproducts and Biosystems Engineering. Joshua received his M.S. in agronomy/soils from Kansas State University in 2009 and has been working at the Minnesota Department of Agriculture since 2011 as the state nutrient best management practices technical coordinator.

Carl Rosen
Department Head, Soil, Water and Climate

Diane Greiwe, volunteer center coordinator, Master Gardener program, Landscape Arboretum, 4/7/2014

Ashleigh Omlid, administrative assistant, Mahnomen County, 3/26/2014

Annette Graves, principal office & administrative specialist, Extension Regional Office, Moorhead, 3/10/2014

Departing Employees

Clint Schoeck, CFANS Extension accountant, left his position on April 11 to fill the accountant position in the College of Science & Engineering (School of Mathematics) on the East Bank. Clint came to Extension from the University of Minnesota, Duluth and has served as the CFANS Extension accountant since March 2012. Clint has been a great asset to Extension Finance & Planning and CFANS Extension teams and will be greatly missed. We wish him well in his new position and thank him for his contributions these past two years.

Rick Konkol
Finance Manager

Ahmad Al-Warraky began his new role in Extension as an accountant in the finance & planning department on the St. Paul campus on Monday, March 24. Ahmad has been with the University of Minnesota since 2007, working in central accounting services where he has served as a project accountant and capital asset accountant. Ahmad will take on the accountant roles previously held by Sunni Dunn for the following units: dean's office, communications & public relations, program administration, government relations, and finance & planning.

Rick Konkol
Finance Manager

New Employees
Mohamed Farah began his role as program coordinator in the urban youth development office in St. Paul on March 10. Mohamed comes to Extension through a unique partnership between Youthprise, Extension and a Somali youth development organization called KaJoog.

Mohamed has more than nine years experience in the youth development field, where he has provided direct service and has implemented and evaluated quality programs. He has a B.A. in manufacturing management from the University of Minnesota Crookston, and has working experience within the science, technology, engineering and math (STEM)  field.

Mohamed will focus on working with Somali youth at KaJoog through sites in Minneapolis and St. Paul, and will bring valuable connections and knowledge to Extension. Mohamed is bilingual in English and Somali and brings skills in volunteer development, grant writing and event planning.

Colleen Sanders
Program Leader, Youth Development

 
Kristie Gaalswyk began working as the 4-H program coordinator in Martin County on January 13. Kristie is a graduate of the University of Minnesota with degrees in theater arts and journalism. She has spent the last two years as the education coordinator for the Ordway Center for Performing Arts in St. Paul. Kristie has a passion for youth work and is excited to come back and make a difference in Martin County.

Kia Harries
Extension Educator


La Tasha Shevlin, Extension educator, financial empowerment, Dakota County, 3/3/2014

Michelle Knudson, administrative assistant, Watonwan County, 3/3/2014

Jacqueline Arndt, office manager, Traverse County, 3/3/2014

Kit Alviz, research & evaluation coordinator, Center for Family Development, 3/5/2014

Patti Laqua, SNAP-Ed regional coordinator, Ramsey County, 3/10/2014

Laura Perdue, Extension educator, Health & Nutrition, Extension Regional Office, St. Cloud, 3/14/2014


Departing Employees
After four and a half years with the Minnesota 4-H Foundation, Bill Welshons has resigned his position with us. His last day was March 17. Bill will be taking more time for his family and taking on a greater role with one of his other contract positions. We wish Bill a fond farewell and thank him for all he's done for us over the years. He has been a great asset to the 4-H Foundation and Extension 4-H. 


Cara Miller
Executive Director, Minnesota 4-H Foundation

New Employees

Pamela Hogan, office manager, Cottonwood County, 2/18/2014

Michaela Huhn, office manager, Meeker County, 2/24/2014

Molly Frendo began her new role with the Extension Center for Youth Development as the volunteer systems state program director on February 17.

Molly comes to us from Michigan where for the past six years she has served as associate program leader at Michigan State University Extension's Children and Youth Institute. In this capacity she has given statewide leadership to volunteer systems, overseeing and supporting a variety of volunteer-driven programming including the state's largest AmeriCorps program, the launch of the Michigan 4-H Tech Wizards group mentoring program, 4-H special interest (SPIN) clubs, as well as traditionally structured 4-H club and afterschool programs. Her responsibilities also included developing online and face-to-face education and communication tools to enhance the experience of volunteers, professionals and community partners of Michigan 4-H Youth Development and the Children and Youth Institute.

Molly is a fourth-year doctoral student at Michigan State University in the groundbreaking hybrid educational psychology educational technology program. Her doctoral work focuses on the ways in which computer-mediated communication and virtual communities can support the retention and motivation of volunteers. Molly plans to complete her Ph.D. while in Minnesota.

In her new role, Molly will be housed on the St. Paul Campus and give statewide leadership, working closely with state and regional Extension staff, to volunteer systems development and management. In the weeks and months ahead, watch for formal and informal opportunities to meet and talk with Molly, and learn more about her and her new role.

Brenda Shafer
Program Leader, 4-H Youth Development

Karen Rachel Anderson, Extension educator, ag production systems, Steele & Rice Counties, 2/3/2014
Brittany Lynch, community program specialist, Urban 4-H Youth Development Office, 2/1/2014
Scott Patrick Hengel, clerk I, Winona County, 2/6/2014

New Employees 

John Vreyens has joined Extension as the director of Global Initiatives. John will be working on the implementation of a global perspectives strategy. The strategy includes seeking out appropriate experiences for Extension faculty and staff to provide technical assistance in select countries. In addition, the global perspectives strategy includes developing cross-cultural skills within the organization to enhance programs adapted to diverse communities of recent immigrants and cultural groups that are changing the demographics of Minnesota. He will work with the program resources group to develop materials for global dynamics and cultural knowledge.

John received his Ph.D. in education from the University of Minnesota in 1996. He specialized in international vocational education and training, based on research in Senegal working with women growing rice. He has a master's degree in agricultural education and a bachelor's degree in animal science, both from the University of Minnesota. He served as a Peace Corps volunteer in the Democratic Republic of the Congo working with a cattlemen's cooperative, and in Senegal working with rice as an Extension volunteer. Previously, John served as the director of international programs in CFANS. Most recently, John was director of programming and training for Peace Corps in Kenya.

Please join me in welcoming John to Extension.

Bev Durgan
Dean

Welcome to Karl Hakanson, Hennepin County educator in ag production systems. Karl returns to Minnesota after many years working in Wisconsin. He is a former employee of the University of Wisconsin Cooperative Extension, UW-Madison College of Agriculture and Life Sciences; River Country and Golden Sands Resource Conservation & Development Councils; and the Minnesota Department of Agriculture. Karl's career has involved agriculture and the environment. He has worked successfully with large and small farms, nonprofit organizations and public agencies. Karl has a bachelor of science degree in agriculture from UW-River Falls and a master of science in land resources from the Gaylord Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies, UW-Madison.

Tim Arlt
Program Leader, Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources
 

Welcome to Karen Anderson, Rice and Steele counties educator in ag production systems. Karen is a 2011 graduate of the University of Minnesota College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences. Karen has a bachelor of science degree in animal science with an emphasis in dairy production. She has most recently been operating her own dairy herd at her home farm in Lester Prairie. Karen has worked for other dairy farms and breeding service companies. She also worked as an Extension intern with Nathan Winter in McLeod and Meeker counties.

Tim Arlt
Program Leader, Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources
Gerri Lynn Gieseke Swiers, 4-H program coordinator, Mahnomen County, 1/2/2014
Virginia Lee Hendrickx, 4-H program coordinator, Wadena County, 1/8/2014
Kristie Gaalswyk, 4-H program coordinator, Martin County, 1/13/2014
Lisa Mari Haro, administrative assistant, Stearns County, 1/21/2014


Employee Departures

January 31 brought to a close the combined tenure of 68 years with the Extension Center for Family Development for Rosemary Heins and Cindy Petersen, Extension educators in family resource management. Friends for 37 years and close work colleagues for well over 15 years, they will celebrate this milestone together.

Rosi's career includes work in Redwood, Nicollet and Anoka Counties, and at the Extension Regional Office in Andover. Cindy's 37 years of work have been in Renville and McLeod Counties, at the former Extension Regional Office in Hutchinson, and more recently at the Urban Research and Outreach/Engagement Center in Minneapolis.

All Extension faculty and staff are welcome to join Rosi and Cindy for their retirement celebration on March 7, 2:30 - 5 p.m., at the Extension Regional Office in Andover, 550 Bunker Hills Activities Center, 550 Bunker Lake Boulevard NW, Andover. Light refreshments will be served and a brief program will begin at 3:45 p.m.

Patricia Olson
Program Leader, Family Resource Management
 

Noah Litherland, Extension dairy nutrition specialist, left Extension to take a position in the dairy nutrition industry. During his time with Extension, Noah worked in dairy cattle nutrition, dry period nutrition for the transition dairy cow, lipid metabolism, dairy calf health and growth, use of by-products in ruminant diets, and regulation of feed intake. Noah developed a strong rapport with many stakeholders in our state's dairy industry, and he was instrumental in improving and overseeing our St. Paul campus dairy facility. He is a valued colleague, and he will be missed. We wish him all the best.

Mike White
Department Head, Animal Science

New Employees

M. Scott Wells recently began his appointment as an Extension specialist and assistant professor in the Department of Agronomy and Plant Genetics. Scotty will focus his efforts on incorporating forages, perennial crops and/or cover crops into existing Minnesota cropping systems to increase crop diversity, control pests, improve soil and water quality, and enhance nutrient cycling. He will lead a strong Extension and research program that enhances current cropping systems by adding environmental and economic value.

In 2013, Scotty received his Ph.D. from North Carolina State University, researching organic cropping systems. Prior to receiving his college degrees, he worked on the family farm as a dairyman and field hand before starting Wells Organics in 2000. Wells Organics was one of the largest organic certified poultry businesses in North Carolina. In 2008, Scotty received his B.A. in mathematics from the University of North Carolina and his M.S. and Ph.D. in crop science from North Carolina State University. Please extend a warm Minnesota welcome to Scotty.

Nancy Jo Ehlke
Head of Department of Agronomy and Plant Genetics
and
Jeff Gunsolus
Crops Program Leader

Employee Transitions

In addition to her duties as equine Extension specialist, Krishona Martinson will now be the new livestock program leader, following Jeff Reneau's retirement. Krishona began working with Extension in 2001 as a county educator in Wright County, and during this time she began developing the Extension horse program and team. She later became a regional Extension educator, and in 2008 became an Extension equine specialist. Her areas of research include equine forage utilization and management, forage-related health issues, and poisonous plants and weed control. Please welcome Krishona as the new livestock program leader.

In addition to her current duties as an Extension educator, Jill Sackett, Extension educator in ag production systems, now serves as Minnesota co-coordinator for North Central Region Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (NCR-SARE) program. Jill is based in the Regional Extension office in Mankato.

Mark Whitney has left Extension. In his eight years with Extension, he led the swine team and worked extensively with distance educational tools SowBridge and PorkBridge.

Jeff Reneau
Livestock Program Leader

I am pleased to welcome Gerri Swiers as the new 4-H program coordinator for Mahnomen County beginning January 2. Gerri brings with her 19 years of education experience and is a well-connected member of the community. In her previous role as Extension support staff in Mahnomen County, she has been part of a new energy in the 4-H program which has doubled membership in the past year. She is a skilled listener, a thoughtful worker, and extremely passionate about youth and her community. We are lucky to have her. When she has free time, Gerri enjoys volunteering and coaching volleyball. Please welcome Gerri.


Joshua Kukowski

Extension Educator, Youth Development


The Minnesota 4-H Foundation would like to announce that Liz Kliewer, director of annual giving, will be leaving her role with us to pursue her doctorate in education. Liz has been with the Minnesota 4-H Foundation for four years giving leadership to the Minnesota 4-H Foundation's annual direct mail and special events. She will be missed by our staff and team. Liz's last day will be Jan. 3. Please join me in wishing Liz well as she advances her education and career!

Cara Miller

Executive director, Minnesota 4-H Foundation


After a long stint as full-time administrator with the Grand Rapids Experiment Station, Dan Erkkila began a 40 percent appointment with the Center for Community Vitality this summer, focusing on tourism. Professional development opportunities are re-familiarizing him with state, national, and international tourism and travel issues. Currently, Dan is engaged in four projects: 1) He is on the team conducting Tourism Assessment Program projects in Warroad with the Destination Voyageurs National Park; 2) He is studying the economic impact of events held in the Grand Rapids Civic Center, and conducting visitor profiles; 3) He is examining research on new immigrant populations' consumption of tourism products and services in Northern Minnesota; and, 4) He is exploring an approach to updating community profiles regularly across the state to ensure valid data on visitor spending profiles and other information needed for economic impact assessments.


Brent Hales

Associate Dean, Center for Community Vitality

Nicole Swenson started her new position with Extension on December 9 as 4-H program coordinator in Swift County, and will work from the Extension office in Benson. Nicole holds a B.S. in elementary education, and has most recently worked as an outdoor and environmental educator and substitute teacher. Prior to that she has held various positions, including assistant director for youth camps the last 8 summers.
 

Brian McNeil
Extension Educator, Youth Development

New Employees

John Verly, 4-H program coordinator, Jackson County, 11/1/2013

Kate Welshons, community program specialist, Center for Family Development, St. Paul, 11/6/2013

David Foley, 4-H program coordinator, Houston County, 11/11/2013

Sharon Funk, office manager, Otter Tail County West, 11/1/2013

Debra Larsen, administrative assistant, Carver County, 11/4/2013

Sheila Steinhoff, office manager, Rock County, 11/20/2013

Employee Transitions

Chuck Schwartau has accepted the position of Extension regional director, southeast. In this role, Chuck will manage the Extension Regional Office in Rochester, and will work collaboratively with LuAnn Hiniker, Extension regional director, southeast in Mankato to support Extension operations in the 18-county region. Chuck and LuAnn will work closely with the county Extension committees, county commissioners and other stakeholders and program partners in the region to connect the needs of the region with Extension resources.

Chuck has a deep level of experience with Extension and southeast Minnesota. He  began his Extension career in Dakota County as Extension educator and later worked in Winona County as Extension educator and county Extension director. He left Extension to operate the family farm. After six years he rejoined Extension, training Hmong immigrants in commercial vegetable production. Following that position, he entered the private sector with agribusiness. Chuck then  rejoined Extension with positions in Wabasha and Goodhue County. Since 2004 he has been an  Extension educator in Livestock in the Extension Regional Office in Rochester.

Chuck will begin his position as regional director on December 9, 2013.

Bob Byrnes
Director of Field Operations

Departing Employees

Maryann Woeste will be retiring on December 30 from her position in Extension as office manager and payroll specialist in Todd County. Maryann recently was awarded the Dean's Award for Distinguished Field Support Staff at the staff conference in April.

Maryann says that she, "is retiring from Extension, currently working with the greatest of county Extension staff: 4-H program coordinator Larissa Brune, Extension educator in agriculture Brenda Miller and community nutrition educator Patricia Ervasti. I've seen many changes--from a manual typewriter, to an electric typewriter and then the computer--word processing programs from SuperWriter to WordPerfect to Microsoft Word. These 43 years have passed very quickly and have been GREAT!"

Thank you Maryann for all you've done for Todd County Extension.

To celebrate, we are honoring Maryann at an open house scheduled for Tuesday, December 10 from 1 to 3 p.m. at the Todd County Courthouse Board Room. All are welcome.

Susanne Hinrichs
Regional Director, Northeast

We are happy to announce that Katie Schneider will be joining Extension as the new 4-H program coordinator in Scott County, starting on December 12. Katie holds a B.S. in agribusiness and equine science. She brings experience in volunteer recruitment and community engagement with diverse audiences as a VISTA student at U of M Crookston, as well as five years of experience in conflict resolution through her role as a residence community advisor at UMC. In addition, she has 14 years of involvement in 4-H, with extensive experience in both livestock and the horse project. She possesses tremendous passion and energy, which she is excited to bring to Scott County 4-H.

Kathryn Sharpe
Extension Educator, Youth Development



Shipi Kankane has joined Extension's Center for Youth Development for the 2013/2014 academic year as the American Evaluation Association graduate equity and diversity intern. Please join the program evaluation team in welcoming her to Extension! Shipi recently earned her master's degree in educational policy and administration with a minor in computer studies and evaluation. She will lead statewide survey projects, assist with program evaluation and monitor efforts throughout our work. We are thrilled to have the opportunity to learn with Shipi this year!

Pamela Larson Nippolt
Evaluation and Research Specialist

Lauren Sorgaard is the new support staff in the Extension Office, Mille Lacs County. Lauren brings many skills to her new position and we are glad she is a part of the Extension team in Mille Lacs County!

Renee Kostick
Extension Educator, Youth Development

John Verly joined Extension on November 1 as a 4-H program coordinator in Jackson County.  John has an ag education degree from the University of Minnesota. He is a former Lyon County 4-H member and was actively involved with the 4-H Arts-In program and showing beef cattle.  

Kia Harries
Extension Educator, Youth Development

Sharon Funk, office manager, Otter Tail-West County, 11/1/2013

Debra Larsen, administrative assistant, Carver County, 11/4/2013

Alneida Madrigal joined Extension on October 23  as a 4-H program coordinator in Urban 4-H Youth Development Office, St. Paul Campus. Alneida has four years of experience in the youth development field working in both urban and rural contexts with underserved and underrepresented audiences. She is fluent in Spanish and has a B.S. in public affairs and non-profit management. Coming most recently from the Girl Scouts as a specialist for a Latina initiative, Alneida has gained valuable experience in partnership and volunteer development, program assessment, event planning, as well as the development of youth programs and parent engagement.

Jessica Russo
Extension Educator, Youth Development

Kari Buse will join Extension on October 22 as 4-H program coordinator in Anoka County. Kari has a degree in equine science from the University of Minnesota, Crookston. Her previous experience in 4-H Youth Development as a program coordinator, intern, 4-H volunteer leader and 4-H member has prepared her well for her new position.

Kari's work in Anoka will focus on special events and program, teen leadership, outreach and project coordination.

Betsy Olson
Extension Educator, Youth Development

Welcome David Foley as the new 4-H program coordinator for Houston County! David is currently the Goodhue County Interim PC and has worked in Dakota, Steele, and Goodhue counties with 4-H summer programming. His education includes extensive coursework in program planning and evaluation. David has a strong understanding of youth development and volunteer management, and a passion for 4-H.  

Nicole Pokorney
Extension Educator, Youth Development

Lauren Sorgaard is the new Extension Support Staff in Mille Lacs County. Lauren brings to us many skills and we are glad she is a part of the Extension team in Mille Lacs County! Welcome Lauren!

Renee Kostick
Extension Educator, Youth Development

John Verly, 4-H program coordinator, Jackson County, 11/1/2013     

Rita Marie Yetzer, senior administrative assistant, Carver County, 10/8/2013

Karen Bloomquist, 4-H program coordinator, Pipestone County, 10/14/2013

Nathan Crane has resigned his position as regional director, southeast, in Mankato effective September 30. Nathan had served as a regional director for over five years, and will be moving to a similar position with Iowa State University Extension.

LuAnn Hiniker, regional director, southeast, has been reassigned to the Extension Regional Office in Mankato.  A search is underway to fill the southeast regional director position in the Extension Regional Office in Rochester.

Bob Byrnes
Director of Field Operations

New Employees

Please welcome Beth Berlin as the new Extension educator in horticulture for Stearns and Benton counties. Her first day in this position was September 30. The focus of this position is on community horticulture education and giving guidance to the Extension Master Gardener groups in Stearns and Benton counties. She has a master's degree in horticulture with an emphasis on landscape design, and previous experience as a high school agriculture education instructor and as an NRCS technician. This experience and training will be a terrific asset in her new role. Welcome, Beth!

Nathan Johnson
Program Leader, Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences

We extend a big welcome to Angela Orshinsky. Angela joined Extension onAugust 26 and carries an appointment as Extension specialist and assistant professor, plant pathology. Angela earned a bachelor's degree with honors in microbiology and a doctorate in plant pathology from the University of Guelph in Ontario, Canada. She also has postdoctoral experience from positions at The Ohio State University and Agriculture & Agri-Food Canada.

Angela's program focuses on developing and applying integrated pest management (IPM) practices for horticultural crop production and horticultural industries. Her research interests include biological control of plant pathogens and plant disease diagnostics. Her integrated Extension education activities will serve Minnesota fruit and vegetable growers, the Minnesota Turf and Grounds Foundation and the Minnesota Nursery and Landscape Association.

Jim Bradeen
Department Head, Plant Pathology

Employee Transitions

In September, Phyllis Bongard transitioned from her Extension educator position to educational content development and communications specialist, a new role with the crops team. Phyllis will continue to be housed at the Extension office in Dakota County. Currently she is working on the Extension soybean website and will continue to work on emergency response issues.

Jeff Gunsolus
Program Leader, Crops

Effective last month, the Center for Farm Financial Management is now providing the programmatic and Extension educator supervision within the agricultural business management programming area. Bob CravenKevin Klair, and Dale Nordquist, Extension economists and program leaders in farm management, are the three individuals who are the new leadership team. All three have Extension appointments and have been conducting national farm management educational programs with the Center for Farm Financial Management for years. The center is embedded in the Department of Applied Economics. We welcome Bob, Dale and Kevin to their new roles.

Mike Schmitt
Associate Dean, Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences

Congratulations to Jill Sackett, Extension educator in ag production systems, who is transitioning to a position to support several grants that have significant Extension components. The main grant component is an e-learning grant withJeff Gunsolus, Extension program leader, crops, and Craig Sheaffer, professor, agronomy. Jill will also continue to support Extension's work in cover crops across the state. She will be housed at the Extension regional office in Mankato.

Tim Arlt
Program Leader, Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences

Ingrid Schneider, Tourism Center director, has been named editor of the Journal of Leisure Research. The Journal is a publication of the National Recreation and Park Association.

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 teaching students how to produce buildings that are energy-efficient, healthy, comfortable and durable. In addition to this award, Pat's NorthernSTAR Building America Partnership earned two Building America Top Innovation awards for exterior insulation, and builder and market support for Zero Net Energy Ready Homes.

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 September. Karen TerryJohn BilottaDoug Malchow,Shane MissaghiMary Blickenderfer and Eleanor Burkett, Extension educators in water resource management and policy, earned the Gold Award for newsletters (series of articles) for their From Shore to Shore newsletter. The publication educates Minnesota citizens about shoreland management to improve water quality, habitat, and aesthetics for lakes and rivers.

Congratulations to Rob Holcomb, Extension educator in agricultural business management, 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 include Chuck Schwartau, Extension educator in livestock, David BauDon Nitchie and Gary Hachfeld, Extension educators in agricultural business management, and Antonio Alba Meraz, Extension educator in family resource management.

Kevin Janni, Extension engineer, livestock, 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.

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 in the Southwest Research and Outreach Center in Lamberton, publishes multiple Extension articles in peer-reviewed journals and a popular weekly newsletter.

National Association County Agricultural Agents (NACAA) awards:

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, Extension educator in agricultural production systems serving Blue Earth and Le Sueur counties, received the Distinguished Service award for 22 years of service as an educator in Indiana and Minnesota. Diane specializes in swine production, crops, dairy and the Master Gardener education program.

Chuck Schwartau, Extension educator in livestock, was a National Communications award winner in the Radio Program Category for his entry "Farm Safety."

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

Diane DeWitte, Extension educator in agricultural production systems, and former Extension educator Laura Kieser's poster, "Local Extension Dairy Series Meets 21st Century Needs" was selected for presentation from 1,100 applications.

Lizabeth Stahl, Extension educator in crops, Jeff Coulter, Extension corn agronomist, Seth Naeve, Extension soybean agronomist, Dale Hicks, retired professor in agronomy and plant genetics, and U of M scientists Steve Quiringand Tom Hoverstad, were National First Place winners in the Applied Research Poster Competition for "On-Farm Evaluation of Twin-Row Corn and Soybean in Southern Minnesota."


On September 9, Lisa Kasson-Bauer transitioned from her previous position in Extension as interim 4-H program coordinator (since June) to 4-H program coordinator in Clay County. Prior to that she was the 4-H science program coordinator in Clay County, a new position that began in 2010. Lisa holds a bachelor's and master's of social work degree, both from the University of Nebraska.  

Lisa has given leadership to the development of science-based programs for middle school students while securing volunteers and partners to lead clubs. She extended 4-H's reach in the county, especially through engaging homeschool families in programming.   

In her new role, Lisa will give leadership to a volunteer system that supports a wide range of programs in Clay County 4-H.

Becky Harrington
Extension Educator, Youth Development

New Employees

Abby Neu joined Extension on August 26 as the new Extension educator, ag production systems, in Carver and Scott Counties. Abby comes to Extension from the seed production industry, and prior to that as a livestock nutritionist with a firm in Dakota County.

Abby will be focusing her efforts on continuing successful programming including the Carver County Dairy Day and the Scott County City to Country Tour. With a degree in animal science, Abby will be a good fit for these counties. She is a University of Minnesota graduate and long­time supporter of Extension, having served several years on the state equine advisory board and volunteering with 4­-H programs.

Tim Arlt
Program Leader, Agricultural Business Management, Local Programs

Julie Schneider, grants accountant, Finance & Planning, St. Paul, 8/20/2013

Colleen Sanders, program leader, Youth Development, Urban 4-H Youth Development Office, St. Paul, 8/19/2013  

Employee Transitions

Betsy Wieland will begin a new role in Extension as program manager in the Center for Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences; she will step into her new role beginning September 11. Betsy will work with program teams in allocating central resources for success, and she will oversee the logistical and managerial details of all of the Center's staff.

Betsy has served as an Extension educator, ag production systems, in Hennepin County since 2004 and as Minnesota co-coordinator for Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) since 2011. She has an M.S. in agronomy and plant genetics from the University of Minnesota and a B.S. in animal science from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Betsy's Extension experience will be a great asset in this role.

Mike Schmitt
Associate Dean, Center for Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences

Employee Departures

Mike Donnelly, Extension educator in ag production systems for Rice and Steele Counties, departed Extension on August 22 to pursue a graduate degree in dairy management in the Department of Animal Science. Mike was a local educator for the past two years. During this time, he successfully built a broad program around crop and livestock production in the two counties and beyond, starting a Quad County Dairy Day which encompassed Rice, Dakota Scott and LeSueur Counties. On behalf of all of his colleagues, we wish Mike all the best in his scholarly pursuits.

Tim Arlt
Program Leader, Agricultural Business Management, Local Programs

Jeff Gillman, Extension horticulture specialist, has started a new job at Central Piedmont Community College in Charlotte, North Carolina. As an associate professor in the Department of Horticultural Science for 15 years, Jeff's teaching and research included nursery management, plant propagation, pesticides and plant production. He was innovative in his teaching, outreach and research, and he created a work environment that fostered growth and personal and professional development. In Extension, Jeff was a great collaborator. He created and encouraged many new professional partnerships and collaborative endeavors within the University as well as throughout the industry.

Emily Hoover
Extension Horticulturalist, and
Department Head, Department of Horticultural Science

New Employees

Fabián Fernández recently began his appointment as an Extension specialist and assistant professor in the Department of Soil, Water and Climate. Fabián will be focusing his efforts in the area of soil nutrient (especially nitrogen) management--from both the agronomic production side and the water quality/environmental issues side. Fabián will provide intellectual leadership for a combined research and educational/Extension program that should contribute to multiple Extension program teams.

Fabián comes to Minnesota from the University of Illinois Department of Crop Sciences where he led a research and Extension program that focused on soil nutrient management and plant mineral nutrition. Originally from Argentina, Fabián obtained his Ph.D. in soil fertility and plant nutrition from Purdue University in 2006, and his M.S. and B.S. degrees from Brigham Young University in 2002 and 2000, respectively. Welcome to Minnesota, Fabián!

Carl Rosen
Department of Soil, Water and Climate Head

Employee Departures

Sarah Dornink, program manager for the Center Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences, departed Extension July 25 to be executive director at the Minnesota Agricultural Education Leadership Council (MAELC), where she worked previously as the community program assistant. During her time in Extension, Sarah brought excellent dedication to program teams, including support during the crucial early phase of program business plans. We wish her the best in her new position!

Mike Schmitt
Associate Dean, Center for Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences

Dan Gilchrist joined the Extension Regional Sustainable Development Partnerships (RSDP) as assistant director earlier this spring. In his new role Dan will oversee communications and support the operations and programming of RSDP statewide.  Dan will help advance the work of RSDP in building community-University partnerships and provide greater visibility for our work with our campus partners.  

Dan previously served the University as a communications and legislative adviser to Extension, a federal relations officer in the Office of Government and Community Relations, and a speechwriter to the University president.

Kathryn Draeger
Statewide Director, Regional Sustainable Development Partnerships

Michelle Garcia began her work as the Benton County 4-H program coordinator on July 15.
    
Michelle has strong academic and work experiences that have developed her skills and abilities to be effective in her new role. She received her bachelor's degree in political science with concentrations in environmental studies and education from the University of Florida, and an M.Ed from Florida Atlantic University, in environmental education.

Michelle has exceptionally strong interpersonal communication skills and is highly recommended by several former colleagues from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Over the past six years, she has worked in multiple states developing, implementing and evaluating programs. She has also created research-based curriculum, built partnerships and managed volunteer programs.  In addition to her skills in educating and reaching out to communities, Michelle has experience writing press releases, articles, media reports, creating an online media presence and delivering presentations to stakeholders.

Mark Haugen
Extension Educator, Youth Development

Lindsay Wimmer, CERTs Local Government Efficiency Financing Coordinator, Regional Sustainable Development Partnerships, St. Paul, 7/29/2013

Tomas Alvarez, developer, Information Technology, St. Paul, 7/29/2013

New Employees

Xinyi (Lisa) Qian began her position as tourism specialist with the Extension Tourism Center on June 20. In her new position, Lisa will assume leadership on tourism-related community and consumer-based research in Minnesota and will collaborate on the design, development, dissemination and evaluation of tourism research. Lisa looks forward to exploring collaboration opportunities with various tourism agencies, to contributing to the sustainable development of Minnesota's tourism industry with her applied research and to participating in continuous education of industry workers.

Lisa was awarded both an M.S. and Ph.D. in recreation, park and tourism management from Pennsylvania State University, University Park. A native of China, Lisa's bachelor's degree in tourism management was from Fudan University in Shangai, China. She previously held positions at the Radisson Plaza Hotel in Shanghai, as a special event organizer, and an instructor of tourism courses at Penn State.

Ingrid Schneider
Tourism Center Director

Sarah Schieck, Extension educator, livestock-swine, Extension Regional Office, Morris, 6/3/2013


Nicole Kenney, Extension educator, livestock-beef feedlot, Extension Regional Office, Willmar, 6/3/2013


Jerry Buckley, Extension educator, ag production systems-home & commercial horticulture, Norman County, 6/3/2013


Amy Martell, administrative assistant, Carver County, 6/7/2013


Emily Fulton, county 4-H program coordinator, Washington County, 6/10/2013


Holly Hunt, administrative assistant, Itasca County, 6/11/2013


Tiffany Ralston, principal office & administrative specialist, Dean's Office, 6/17/2013


Kristin Spinler, county 4-H program coordinator, Mower County, 7/1/2013


Richard McAtee, principal accounts specialist, Extension Regional Office, Grand Rapids, 7/10/2013


Gerri Swiers, support staff, Mahnomen County, 7/1/2013


Lynne Borden, department head, family social science, Family Resource Management, 7/1/2013

Employee Transitions

On July 1, Dawn Newman joined the Extension Center for Community Vitality staff as an Extension educator in American Indian community economics. She brings with her a decade of experience in creating links between Extension programming and Minnesota's tribal communities. In her new role, Dawn's key directive is to apply Community Vitality programming and research as she engages American Indian communities.

Brent Hales
Associate Dean, Center for Community Vitality

Employee Departures

David Wilsey left his Extension position mid-July to begin coordinating the U of M Master of Development Practice degree program. Since 2008, David, an Extension natural resource educator, has been instrumental in developing sustained natural resources programming with the Fond Du Lac Band of Ojibwe, including the Thirteen Moons program. He has been a core member of the American Indian Task Force and leadership teams. David has also contributed substantially toward programming focused on sustaining/improving natural resources livelihoods. We will miss David on our program teams, but wish him all the best in his new position.

Nathan Meyer
Program Leader, EFANS

Amy Martell, administrative assistant, Carver County, 6/7/2013

Emily Fulton, 4-H program coordinator, Washington County, 6/10/2013

Richard McAtee, principal accounts specialist, Extension Regional Office, Grand Rapids, 6/11/2013

Holly Hunt, administrative assistant, Itasca County, 6/11/2013

New Employees

Alison Link recently joined the Extension Technology team as an academic technologist. Alison will work with Extension programs to consult, advocate, and produce online learning and other learning technologies. She recently finished her masters degree at the University of Minnesota in multicultural college teaching and learning, with a focus on Twitter and technology adoption in higher education. She is particularly passionate about ways that technologies can support global collaborations.

Previously, Alison worked as an instructional technology fellow for the College of Education and Human Design. Her undergraduate work was at Grinnell College in international relations. Alison also loves to bike, garden and go to the State Fair. We are excited to have her energy and knowledge in Extension. Welcome Alison!

Amy Baker
Chief Technology Officer

Emily Krekelberg joined Extension on May 20 as an Extension educator, ag production systems, livestock, in Stearns, Benton and Morrison counties. She just received her B.S. in animal science with a dairy production emphasis from the University of Minnesota. Her past experience includes two separate internships while in school: one working in the county Extension offices of Carver/Scott and Blue Earth, and the other working for an animal health company. The focus of Emily's work in Extension will be addressing the educational issues of dairy and beef producers in the counties she serves. Please welcome her to Extension.

We are pleased to welcome Jerry Buckley to Extension as an Extension educator, ag production systems, home and commercial horticulture, in Norman and Mahnomen counties. His first day of work was June 3. Jerry graduated from North Dakota State University with a B.S. in agricultural economics. Past experience includes an internship with the USDA-ARS in Mandan, ND assisting with crop and livestock based economic research, and most recently as an Extension agent in training with North Dakota State Extension based in Cass County, Fargo, ND.

Nathan Johnson
Program Leader, Local Programs

We are excited to welcome three new livestock educators to University of Minnesota Extension!  Eric Mousel received his B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. from the University of Nebraska. Eric started with Extension on May 28, and comes to us with great knowledge of beef cow/calf Extension and teaching experience. He is well-known for his expertise in applied reproductive strategies in beef cattle. Eric will be a member of the Beef Team in the Extension Regional Office in Grand Rapids.

Nicole Kenney received her B.S. at Texas A&M University and an M.S. in beef feedlot nutrition at the University of Kentucky. Nicole brings new energy and innovative applications to beef feedlot management. She will also be a new member of the Beef Team in the Extension Regional Office in Willmar.

Sarah Schieck is a Minnesota native and received both her B.S. and M.S. at the University of Minnesota in swine nutrition. Sarah will bring excellent teaching experience to the job, having spent the last few years teaching livestock nutrition and management classes at Ridgewater College in Willmar. Sarah will be a member of the Swine Team In the Extension Regional Office in Morris.

Jeff Reneau
Program Leader, Livestock

Ashley Hokanson, office manager/HR technician, Grant County, 5/16/2013


Departing Employees
Laura Kieser, Extension educator, ag production systems, has taken a position with AgStar doing information research for their organization. Laura has been an educator in Carver and Scott counties since 2004 and has developed a reputation for strong educational programs in dairy, small farms and Annie's Project. Over this time she transitioned the City to Country Tour program from a free program to a program which generates funds to support county requested income. She quickly adopted the use of evaluations to drive programs and generate outcomes for the counties. Good luck to Laura in her new position!

Tim Arlt
Program Leader, Agricultural Business Management, Local Programs

Alison Link, academic technologist, Information Technology, St. Paul, 4/29/2013

Alicia Webb, 4-H program coordinator, Yellow Medicine County, 4/29/2013

Hannah Wall, 4-H program coordinator, Mille lacs County, 4/29/2013

Joshua Kukowski, Extension educator, Youth Development, Regional Office, Moorhead, /10/13

Jennifer "Jenny" Price joined Extension on April 9 as an executive office and administrative assistant in the Extension Regional Office in Farmington. Jenny has a bachelors of business administration in finance from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire and has previous work experience with the Minnesota Department of Commerce and Firstar Bank. Prior to Extension, Jenny was a full-time, stay-at-home mother of three.  

Jenny brings strong organizational, accounting and multi-tasking skills to her new position.  

Tammy McCulloch
Regional Director, Central

New Employees

Extension Finance & Planning is pleased to announce a new hire, Sunnianne (Sunni) Dunn.  Sunni joined us on April 8 as an accountant for the Dean's administrative units. She comes to us from the University of Minnesota College of Liberal Arts financial administrative team where she was responsible for various financial duties and payroll since January 2012. Before venturing to the U of M, Sunni worked at the University of Alaska Southeast as a fiscal technician.

In her new role, she will provide financial support related to document preparation for the government relations and communication units, as well as provide financial budget support, oversight and management of Extension administrative programs. Sunni will also be incorporating the development reporting and gift transmittal processing into her position.

Sunni will be housed in 415 Coffey Hall on the St. Paul Campus. She is organized, professional and enthusiastic, and we are thrilled to welcome her to Extension.

Rick Konkol
Finance Manager

Merritt Bussiere, Extension educator, community economics, Extension Regional Office, Brainerd, 4/1/2013

Margo Bowerman, Extension educator, youth development, Extension Regional Office, Crookston, 4/3/2013

Jennifer Price, executive office & administrative specialist, Extension Regional Office, Farmington, 4/9/2013


Retirees

Join University colleagues and others at a retirement party to celebrate Kathy Fennelly's many years of service to the University of Minnesota and communities across the state. Prior to working at the Humphrey School where she is currently a professor, Kathy was Dean and Director of Extension from 1996 to 1999.

Kathy's retirement celebration will be held on Thursday, April 25, 4-6 p.m., Carlson Private Dining room, 301 19th Avenue South, Minneapolis. RSVP online.  

Sue Riesgraf began her position as a Master Gardener coordinator in Carver-Scott counties in early February, where she manages 110 Master Gardener volunteers serving the two-county area. Sue brings a wealth of experience and skill to her new position. She was previously employed as a greenhouse worker and vineyard manager at the University of Minnesota Landscape Arboretum, and as a Peace Corps volunteer in Africa. Most recently she served as a program manager for the MAST International program in CFANS. Please join me in welcoming Sue to Extension.

David Moen
Master Gardener Program Manager

Brenda Williams is Extension's new local educator in Todd County. Todd County has placed an emphasis on strengthening their livestock industry and supporting businesses. Brenda's knowledge in dairy and beef genetics, and general livestock management, will be instrumental in helping to expand those segments.

Nathan Johnson
Program Leader, Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences

Jennifer Olk, began her new role with Extension on March 12 as an executive office & administrative specialist in the Extension Regional Office, Farmington.

Previously Jennifer worked for the University of Minnesota computer science department as a principal operator/student services specialist since 2007. During that time, she was the first point of contact for the department and was responsible for assisting with graduate student orientations, information sessions and files; coordinating Visas for international faculty and visiting scholars; supervising three student workers; assisting with travel and purchase forms; and event coordination for the department.  

Jennifer is organized, adaptable, and professional. In her new role, she will provide support to 4-H youth development and community vitality staff who are based out of the Farmington Regional Office.   

Tammy McCulloch
Regional Director, Central

Amber Shanahan, currently an Extension Youth Teaching Youth program coordinator in Washington County, is transitioning to a new role as Extension educator in youth development in the Extension Regional Office in Farmington on April 10.

Amber holds a B.S. in human development and family studies from the University of Wisconsin, Stout and an M.Ed. in family education from the University of Minnesota. She has prior work experience as a family educator with Michigan State Extension, an ESL/parent educator, a Challenge Course facilitator, a program coordinator for an after-school program, and as a program and training coordinator at a residential program for people with special needs.

Amber has effective skills in supervision and volunteer systems development, and works in an interdisciplinary nature to develop relationships and build strong partnerships. Amber will work with her colleagues in the central region to design and deliver quality programs for both youth and adults. Together, they will explore the best way to identify and address community needs through positive youth development.

Nancy Hegland
Program Leader, Youth Development

Betsy Olson will join Extension on April 15 as an Extension educator in youth development. Betsy has a B.A. in sociology from the University of Minnesota and an M.A. in international development with a concentration in research methods from the University of Denver. She has past experience working as a treatment family advocate with Vision Quest, serving as a Peace Corp volunteer in Jamaica, as a conference center associate with the Minnesota Continuing Legal Education and as a research assistant with Strategic Programs. Betsy most recently served as a 4-H youth development agent in Platteville, WI, where she provided leadership to the 4-H program and was instrumental in establishing a statewide youth council.

Betsy brings a strong youth development focus to her work and is very interested in evaluation and program quality. She is a skilled communicator, team player, and has strong people skills, all of which will be beneficial in her new role.

Betsy will be based in the Extension Regional Office in Andover, and will work with her colleagues in the central region to design and deliver quality programs for both youth and adults. Together, they will explore the best way to identify and address community needs through positive youth development.

Nancy Hegland
Program Leader, Youth Development

Grant Will, 4-H program coordinator, Lyon County, 3/4/2013

Caleb Anderson, receptionist, Carlton County, 3/11/2013

Kelly Strei, 4-H program coordinator - promotion & quality, Wright County, 3/18/2013

Brenda Miller, Extension educator, ag production systems, Todd County, 3/21/2013

Kathryn Sharpe has transitioned to a new role as Extension youth development educator in the urban 4-H youth development office. She joined Extension in 2008 as a program manager working with the New York Life Youth in Governance grant. Before joining Extension, Kathryn had positions as a teaching assistant in the Department of Geography at the University of Minnesota and a project specialist with the Mi Casa Resource Center for Women program in Denver, CO. She has a B.A. in history from Bryn Mawr College and an M.A. degree in geography, with a focus on social movements and immigration, from the University of Minnesota.

Kathryn has a wealth of expertise in working with diverse community volunteers, youth, parents, and student interns, as well as a strong grasp on the trends and issues in the field of youth development and best methods for reaching diverse audiences. Kathryn also brings strong facilitation and team-building skills to her new role.

Kathryn will work with her colleagues in the central region to design and deliver quality programs for both youth and adults. Together, they will explore the best way to identify and address community needs through positive youth development.

Nancy Hegland
Program Leader, 4-H Youth Development

The Extension Center for Community Vitality is pleased to welcome Merritt Bussiere to its team as the regional community economics educator working from the Extension Regional Office in Brainerd. Merritt will join the team on April 1 as the community economics educator serving an eight-county area in central Minnesota.   

Merritt grew up in Philadelphia, PA and earned his undergraduate degree from Temple University. He holds a master's degree in urban and regional planning from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, with a minor in economic development.

Merritt has 25 years of experience, including nine years with University of Wisconsin Extension as both an educator and a specialist. He also has worked in locations throughout Wisconsin, Maine and Michigan as a community development director, a community planning and development consultant, an economic development director, a Small Business Development Center business counselor, a zoning administrator, and a public policy researcher. Areas of specialization include community and economic development, business planning and finance, organizational development and group process, land use policy, and planning and regulation.

Matt Kane
Program Leader, Community Economics

Dianne Derrick joined Extension on February 15 as an Extension educator in youth development, and will work from the Extension Regional Office in Marshall. Dianne has a B.A. in social work and an M.S. in education in instructional technology. She is currently doing graduate work at Luther Seminary with a major in children, youth and family ministry.  

Dianne's past professional experience includes working in a variety of educational settings as a middle school reading teacher, a middle school media center director, an elementary library media specialist, and as an elementary teacher. She also has past work experience as a medical social worker.

Dianne's interests include working with diverse audiences, implementing innovative technology, and aligning curriculum to outcomes. She has a passion and commitment to youth development, and is an effective communicator and lifelong learner.

Dianne will work with her colleagues in the southwest region to design and deliver quality programs for both youth and adults. Together, they will explore the best way to identify and address community needs through positive youth development.

Nancy Hegland
Program Leader, 4-H Youth Development

Allison Sandve joined Extension as the news media manager on February 11. She was most recently at HealthEast, where she was a senior public relations specialist. Allison has a proven record of successful news pitching and response and is a respected member of the communications field in Minnesota.

Allison also has experience from Children's Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota and other healthcare businesses, as well as award-winning reporting for a daily newspaper in Red Wing and for the Eau-Claire, Wisconsin-based agriculture weekly The Country Today.

Allison looks forward to working with Extension faculty and staff to enhance our positive visibility in the news media and develop a statewide and regional news media strategy. She'll also work to boost our social media engagement and presence, and contribute to Extension's legislative advocacy.

Aimee Viniard-Weideman
Assistant Dean and Communications Director

Margaret Frazier, editor, Extension Center for Food, Agricultural & Natural Resource Science, 2/18/2013

New Employees

Amanda Corbett, research fellow, Extension Center for Family Development, 2/1/2013

Brynn Mathiowetz, principal office & administrative specialist, Brown County, 1/17/2013

Employee Transitions

Tammy McCulloch has been named regional director, central region, with a primary office location at the Extension Regional Office in Farmington.

Tammy previously served as an Extension educator in 4-H youth development and has 12 years of professional experience including four and a half years of Extension experience in Minnesota and Wisconsin. Tammy holds an M.S. in organizational leadership and quality and a B.S. in agricultural education.

Tammy began the regional director position on January 16.

Bob Byrnes
Director of Field Operations

Janelle Lanoue, of Farwell, Minnesota, recently accepted the position of 4-H program coordinator in the Extension Office, Le Sueur County. Janelle is a graduate of North Dakota State University with a degree in animal and equine science, and is in the process of completing her master's of agriculture in Extension education.

Janelle has worked as a 4-H summer intern in Douglas County and has been an active 4-H member for 13 years. She has a wide-ranging background working with youth and adult volunteers, and an extensive background in youth programming and program development. Janelle is an organized and highly motivated individual. Her past experiences working with community partnerships and her ability to create and deliver programs are just a few of her many strengths. Janelle started her new position on January 14.

Deb Hadley
Regional Extension Educator 4-H Youth Development

Bob Koch began his new duties as an Extension soybean entomologist and assistant professor on January 3, following a national search. The position was made possible by a unique partnership among Extension, the Minnesota Soybean Growers, and the College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences.

Bob received his B.S. in biology from St. John's University in Minnesota, and earned his Ph.D. from the Department of Entomology at the University of Minnesota in 2005. He worked as a post-doc at the University of Minnesota, studying the impact of biological control and cover crops on soybean aphids.

Bob has been with the Minnesota Department of Agriculture's Invasive Species program for the past 6 years, leading a variety of outreach programs. He brings a wealth of information to the position, including a foundational understanding of ecosystem complexity, and the applied aspects of integrated pest management (IPM). His initial plans include establishing an Extension/research program to address the risk of economic loss and/or pesticide resistance in pests such as soybean aphids and spider mites. He also plans to meet with growers, Extension educators and crop consultants to hear more about current IPM needs. Bob is located in Hodson Hall, St. Paul campus.

Bill Hutchison
Professor, Department of Entomology

Wan Tansatit began as principal office and administrative specialist, a shared position for Extension Development and the 4-H Foundation, on January 7. She most recently worked as administrative assistant in the Foundation and Alumni Relations Office at St. Paul College in St. Paul, and prior to that, as administrative assistant for the dean and faculty members in the Business, Computer Careers and Communications programs at St. Paul College.

Wan is a graduate of Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok, Thailand, and Western Michigan University. She will be located in 9 Coffey Hall, St. Paul campus.

Jane Johnson
Development Director
and
Cara Miller
Executive Director, 4-H Foundation

Allie Lyman joined Extension on January 16 as 4-H program coordinator in the Extension Office in Carver County.  In her new role, Allie will be responsible for the overall leadership of the Carver County 4-H youth development program.   

Allie is a graduate of Winona State University with a B.S. in community and health promotion.  Most recently, Allie worked full time as a community and education outreach specialist where she developed and provided innovative programming to audiences on the topics of sexual and reproductive health. Allie is a former 4-H'er and an active committee member for the Defeat of Jesse James Day, where she served as the 2009 ambassador and continues to support committee work.

Allie has diverse practicum and work experience and has demonstrated the ability to adapt programming and identify the key people or organizations that can create a successful partnership. She has great ideas about infusing quality into the 4-H youth development program in Carver County.

Tammy McCulloch
Regional Director, Farmington

Kerry Marsolek, sponsored project accountant, Finance and Planning, St. Paul, 1/14/2013

Richard McAtee, executive accounts specialist, Extension Regional Office, Grand Rapids, 1/2/2013

Tom Rothman has accepted the position of director of agricultural stakeholder outreach for Extension. Tom's appointment will begin on January 7. Tom has extensive experience in agricultural communications, most recently as director of agricultural programming for the Minnesota Farm Network, and will bring a wealth of knowledge to this position. Tom will be located in Coffey Hall, St. Paul campus.

Sarah Greening
Chief of Staff

Melissa Runck began as 4-H program coordinator at the Extension office in Nobles County on November 13.  Most recently she served as a marketing logistics coordinator in Pipestone.

Melissa grew up in 4-H in South Dakota and was active in livestock judging and family and consumer science judging.  Her strengths include good communication skills, a background in working with youth of all ages and adult volunteers, and good organizational skills.

Kia Harries
Extension Educator, Youth Development