NDSU Extension Teams Honored for Program Excellence

Four North Dakota State University Extension Service teams were honored for their work with a Program Excellence Award. The teams received their awards during the joint NDSU Extension and Research Extension Center conference Oct. 24-27 in Fargo. The honors included cash awards sponsored by Farm and Ranch Guide.

By Duaine Marxen

Hettinger County Extension

Building Tomorrow’s Leaders Today

Twenty-four students in grades eight to 12 from Langdon area, St. Alphonsus, Walhalla and Munich schools spent three Sundays gaining skills in public speaking, effective communication and meeting management, parliamentary procedure, managing conflict, personal branding and legislative strategy. They attended a board meeting, heard from local leaders and taught parliamentary procedure to younger students. They also met with legislators and the state superintendent of public instruction.

After the program, 100 percent felt they were prepared to serve in a leadership role, and 88 percent felt confident they could run a meeting using parliamentary procedure. Three months later, 92 percent had accepted a leadership role in an organization of which they are a member.

Team members: Macine Lukach, Dawson Schefter, Stanley Dick, Todd Borchardt, Cavalier County Job Development Authority, Kayla Lee and Chalmer Dettler

Design Your Succession Plan

Data reveal that 77 percent of all farm assets are owned by those age 70 or older, yet less than half of North Dakota farms and ranches have a succession plan in place. This curriculum helps families start the process. It consists of five modules: Starting Your Succession Plan, Determining What You Want, The Next Generation and Your Legacy, Family Meetings and Conversations, and Choosing and Working with Professionals.

The program has had 400 participants since the 2014-15 pilots. After the 2016-17 programs, 97.8 percent of respondents said they were likely or very likely to work on their succession plan in the next six months, and 97 percent were confident in their ability to gather the information they will need to meet with a professional.

Team members: Crystal Schaunaman, Carrie Johnson, David Ripplinger, Joel Lemer, Paige Brummund, Ashley Ueckert and Cindy Klapperich

Farm Safety Day

This year’s Farm Safety Day for youth focused on:

•Lawn and yard safety – using riding and push mowers and weed and hedge trimmers safely, and blade maintenance

•Sun savvy awareness – skin cancer risk, sun protection factor, ultraviolet light exposure with a bracelet that changes color

•CPR – CPR practice with dummies, automated external defibrillators, first aid and safe barriers when exposed to blood

•Safe sound levels – sound examples, hearing loss and ear protection

On pre- and post-tests, students significantly increased their knowledge in all four program areas. For example, on the CPR pretest, 29 percent provided correct responses, and on the post-test, 87 percent provided correct responses.

A survey 3 1/2 months after the event showed behavior change. For example, 60 percent said they wear long pants and closed-toe shoes when mowing the lawn, 81 percent said they apply sunscreen and 74 percent said Walmart bags are not safe blood barriers.

Team members: Duaine Marxen, Christina Hansen, Craig Askim, Amanda Dahners and Chelle Doll

From Sheep to Sweater (and More)

This is an agricultural literacy program on the sheep industry for elementary school youth. Between April and December 2016, the team delivered the lessons to all public school elementary students and staff in Griggs, Nelson and Steele counties, reaching more than 650 individuals.

Each lesson consisted of a slide program and three hands-on activity stations:

•The meat and cheese from sheep, including tasting lamb meatballs

•Sheep care, including their digestive system, feeds they eat and docking tails

• Wool properties, feeling wool, viewing the fibers under a microscope and spinning wool into yarn

Students also were able to see and touch a live sheep. Six months after the lessons, 67 percent of the teachers felt their students had a better understanding of the sheep industry and what agriculture is, and 100 percent plan to schedule more Ag in the Classroom programs with Extension staff.

Team members: Kristi Berdal, Angela Johnson, Leigh Gunkel, Katelyn Hain, Megan Vig, Stacy Wang, Dave Haasser, Travis Hoffman, Stacy Luehring and Rita Kainz

Duaine Marxen is the NDSU Extension Agent for Hettinger County. His office is in the county courthouse in Mott.

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