Extension educator for community vitality appointed in Sidney | TheFencePost.com

Extension educator for community vitality appointed in Sidney

Jason L. Weigle has been appointed Extension educator in Community Vitality for Nebraska Extension, based in Sidney, Neb.

His appointment was announced by Extension Educator Karen DeBoer, unit leader. Weigle began his duties on Oct. 1, replacing Connie Hancock, who has retired. He will serve Cheyenne, Morrill, Kimball, Banner, Scotts Bluff, Garden, Deuel, Keith and Arthur counties, providing support and leadership for regional and statewide, community vitality programs designed to develop and grow rural Nebraska businesses; engaging youth and young adults in rural communities; and creating 21st-Century communities that attract and retain young people.

He will work in collaboration with other extension personnel, as well as other Nebraska Extension experts, in addition to community leaders, businesses, entrepreneurs and youth development organizations.

Weigle is currently an associate extension educator at Nebraska Extension. His work, teaching, and research over the last 20 years have focused around community and the interactions which make community thrive. He brings a wide variety of work experience, ranging from inspecting and permitting landfills for the state of Alaska to working in unconventional oil and gas development in the United States and Canada to starting and running his own woodworking business.

Both his master’s and doctoral research focused on community and the challenges facing rural areas due to competing interests in natural-resource development and use. Weigle’s work in extension focuses around community capacity development and asset building, with particular emphasis on entrepreneurial ecosystem development. He is a member of the Nebraska Rural Poll team and serves on the Extension Disaster Response and Recovery Team.

Weigle received a Ph.D. in rural sociology and human dimensions of natural resources and the environment from Penn State University; a master’s degree from PSU in community and economic development; and a bachelor’s degree from PSU in soil science with a minor in extension education.

Rob-See-Co announces Nielsen as chief operations officer

ELKHORN, Neb. — Rob-See-Co, an independent seed company located in Elkhorn, Neb., expands its leadership team with the addition of Ken Nielsen as chief operations officer, overseeing supply, logistics and quality. Nielsen brings over 40 years of experience in the seed production industry having held leadership roles for Golden Harvest and Syngenta.

Nielsen was a supply tech for both DeKalb and JC Robinson, as well as plant manager of two different plants for the latter. With the Syngenta acquisition of Golden Harvest, he became the head of Outsource Corn Production, Winter Corn Production and Sorghum Production. Nielsen also held the role of head of internal operations with Syngenta, having multiple sites reporting to him, and was responsible for all processes from receiving of parent seed to final returns from the customer. His last role with Syngenta was as seeds operations specialist where he was a knowledge source for production sites, supply planning, and quality assurance. Nielsen was also instrumental in setting up activity-based costing.

UW Extension educators commended for excellence

The University of Wyoming Extension’s pesticide training coordinator and an educator serving northwestern Wyoming have been recognized nationally for their work.

Training coordinator Jeff Edwards and Jeremiah Vardiman, northwest area extension educator in agriculture and horticulture, received awards at the September National Association of County Agricultural Agents conference in Fort Wayne, Ind.

Vardiman, based in Park County, received the Achievement Award, dedicated to the top 1 percent of the membership selected by his peers and the director of extension. Vardiman provides research and education to producers related to crop production, primarily forage and seed production, sugar beets, dry beans and barley.

Edwards, based at the James C. Hageman Sustainable Agriculture Research and Extension Center near Lingle, received the Distinguished Service Award, representing the top 2 percent of the membership selected among his peers and the director of extension. Edwards provides up-to-date programming material to Wyoming extension educators who then provide these materials to licensed pesticide applicators in the state.

Under Edwards leadership, Wyoming was one of the first states to secure sustainable funding for the Wyoming Pesticide Safety Education Program. ❖