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U of M Extension advisory committee appoints new members

Media Contact:Catherine Dehdashti, U of M Extension, (612) 625-0237, ced@umn.edu

ST. PAUL, Minn. (9/7/2012) —University of Minnesota Extension has appointed eight new members to its Citizens' Advisory Committee.

The purpose of the Citizens' Advisory Committee is to provide feedback and perspective to Extension administration by serving as the eyes and ears of Extension's diverse clientele throughout Minnesota. Established in 1976, the committee is comprised of Minnesota citizens from across the state. New members are selected from Extension regions and serve either two- or three-year terms.

New members are:

Jerry Arneson of Moorhead has a broad range of experiences including Extension educator in Clay County, 4-H leader, and Red River Valley Emerging Leadership Program. Arneson has a bachelor of science in agronomy from North Dakota State University (NDSU), is a member of multiple boards in Moorhead, is currently the director of the Clay County Fair Board and serves as an agriculture business banker in Moorhead

Bryon Kittleson of Welcome previously served nearly 12 years on the Martin County Extension Committee, including as committee chair. Kittleson and his family have been honored as a U of M Farm Family of the Year and are a part of many charities and fundraising organizations. Kittleson is currently working with Extension crop educator Liz Stahl on a crop study in Martin County.

Jim Mulder of St. Paul is a former executive director of the Association of Minnesota Counties (AMC). With the AMC he led the Minnesota Redesign Initiative, a program that strived to find better ways to improve services to counties with bold leadership, increased collaboration and improved efficiencies. Mulder is completing his doctorate in public administration at Hamline University.

Helene Murray of St. Paul is a faculty member of the University of Minnesota. Murray's work is based out of the Department of Agronomy and Plant Genetics in the College of Food, Agriculture, and Natural Resource Sciences. She is also the Executive Director of the Minnesota Institute for Sustainable Agriculture.

Fatima Said of Winona has a background in education and business. She joined the non-profit Project FINE program as Executive Director in 2005, focusing on immigrant and diversity issues. Said has partnered with Extension in Rochester on research and programming projects.

Noreen Thomas of Moorhead has a bachelor's degree in food and nutrition and a minor in microbiology from NDSU. She completed a NASA-funded satellite imagery program and been published in NASA's magazine. Thomas and her daughter co-founded the 4-H Happy Feet program, which provides suitable footwear for children in need. Thomas lives on an organic farm near Moorhead, is a certified Extension Master Gardener volunteer and is a past recipient of the U of M Siehl Award.

Ariel Way of Garfield is currently a member of the Douglas County Livestock Committee. Way is a member of the Chippewans 4-H Club and has served as an ambassador at the state level. In this role, he has been appointed to the CAC as youth representative.

Don Yutrzenka of Argyle is a graduate of the University of Minnesota Crookston. He has been farming all of his life and was involved in 4-H during his youth. Don has been the recipient of many honors and awards, including the Jaycees Outstanding Young Farmer, NDSU's Outstanding Agriculturist Award, and the Marshall County Farm Family of the Year.

"Citizens' Advisory Committee members are leaders in their communities and provide an important perspective to Extension and the University," said Extension Dean Bev Durgan. "They assist Extension in fulfilling its mission of connecting local issues and needs with University resources."



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