Panhandle Extension professionals recognized |

Panhandle Extension professionals recognized

Panhandle Extension professionals recognized

A half-dozen Extension professionals from the Panhandle Extension District have been recognized for excellence recently.

Five Panhandle Extension employees received state recognition for their efforts at the Nebraska Extension Fall Conference in Kearney on Nov. 28. Extension Educator Jessica Grospkopf, based in Scottsbluff, received the Chester I. Walters Extra Mile Award, which recognizes Extension staff who go beyond the call of duty in carrying out their responsibilities. Groskopf provided leadership in farm bill education for 2014 and is continuing as the current farm bill is being crafted. She is developing and delivering risk-management education for producers utilizing state-of-the-art methods, such as the Marketing in a New Era (MINE) market simulator and development of the Grain Marketing Plan App. Extension Educator Connie Hancock, based in Sidney, received the Innovative Extension Educator Award. Hancock was recognized for her role in numerous education programs aimed at helping Nebraska individuals, businesses, and communities to successfully integrate into the global economy and digital age. These include regional and statewide broadband plans; one of the first Nebraska Extension digital curricula using the ZMag format; and recently with the Library Commission and Nebraska Innovation Studio to bring Makerspaces to Sidney. Her other large project is as community coach with the Rural Futures Institute Rural Community Prosperity Research Project. Cheryl Burkhart-Kriesel, Extension community vitality specialist, received the Innovative Extension Specialist Award. Burkhart-Kriesel was recognized for her work focused on helping communities obtain the future they desire, through her leadership and involvement in programs such as the community-driven Red Carpet Service program and development of the multi-state Marketing Hometown America program. Red Carpet Service has been delivered with team members in many locations in Nebraska and South Dakota, and has evolved to include an online program, a mini two-hour version, and two program spin-offs. Marketing Hometown America is an action-oriented, community engagement program focused on new resident recruitment and retention. Terri Lemmon, Extension 4-H assistant based in Chadron, received the Innovative Extension Managerial/Professional Award. Lemmon was recognized for her tireless work in the Dawes County 4-H program. A strong believer in partnerships, she has engaged with more than 30 groups in the community. She enrolled 200 members in the 4-H program. Traditional club membership is up 60 percent since she started four years ago. She has started many special-interest programs, expanding her reach with a wide variety of volunteers. Program participation is up more than 250 percent. Lemmon took the lead in organizing the North Panhandle Animals Inside and Out Field Day. She introduced the Next Chapter to eighth-grade students and the Connecting the Dots program to help freshmen and sophomores visualize their path after high school. She also implemented the Academic Success program for high school juniors and seniors. Mitch Stephenson, forage and range management specialist at the Panhandle Research and Extension Center, received the Innovative Extension New Employee Award. Stephenson began working with Nebraska Extension in 2015. The award acknowledges his impact working with Extension teams to develop workshops and field days addressing cheatgrass management, grazing management, and crop/livestock integration. He is working with the Nebraska Grazing Lands Coalition on an on-farm project evaluating the use of annual forages at several locations. He also developed a Range and Forage Management website for UNL and was part of a team that developed the Range and Forage group UNL website. In addition to the Extension awards, Groskopf and Extension Educator Jenny Nixon, based in Harrison, also received other recognition from their statewide peers. Groskopf also was among those recognized by UNL’s Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources during annual awards in Lincoln Dec. 1. The Omtvedt Innovation Award for Team was presented to the Commodity Marketing Education group, whose members include Groskopf. The award goes to IANR faculty, or a team lead by a faculty, who has demonstrated exceptional abilities in the areas of teaching, research, or extension education. At the Nebraska Cooperative Extension Association conference in Kearney, Nixon received the Epsilon Established Career Leadership Award. The award recognizes that, throughout her tenure, Nixon has grown in her Extension position to develop and deliver quality education and has also provided leadership throughout the organization. She has grown local, district, and state programming, particularly in Community Vitality. In addition, she has also grown community and state commitment to Extension through her professionalism, her willingness to take on new projects, and a steady, consistent work ethic.

NCTA horse team wins Reserve Champion

LOVELAND, Colo. — Horses and riders in a working stock horse competition in Colorado recently returned to Nebraska with winning attitudes and awards. The Aggie Ranch Horse Team from the Nebraska College of Technical Agriculture in Curtis brought home the Reserve Champion Collegiate Team title after three days in the arena at The Ranch at the Larimer County Fairgrounds near Loveland, Colo. NCTA Coach Joanna Hergenreder said the Winterfest Championship Show was the finale for the fall season. It was hosted by the Colorado-Wyoming-Nebraska (CoWN) Stock Horse Association and drew five colleges, and 150 contestants in all divisions. “Overall, this was a great show for us.” Hergenreder said. “All horses and each rider exhibited great improvement from the last show.” The Aggie team members and their horses, either personally owned or school provided, traveled with seven competitors and six student volunteers. Results for NCTA Aggies are listed by student, town (from Nebraska unless noted), horse, placings: Collegiate Limited Non Pro and Intermediate: Kaitlyn Thesenvitz, Wood River, Zip N On A Breeze, 1st Pleasure, 1st Trail, 7th Reining, 9th in Cow Work. Courtney Leach, Lewellen, Strait Chexy Doc, 4th Trail, 5th Cow Work, 8th Reining, and 8th Pleasure. Collegiate Novice: Sydney Boden, Ord, Sweet Pea, 1st Pleasure, 1st Trail, 6th Reining, 9th Cow Work. Carly Wade, Monroe, Maine, Docs Hot To Handle, 3rd Trail, 4th Cow Work, 5th Pleasure, 8th Reining. Brooklyn Becker, Beaver City, Ratchetts Splashy Fly, 7th Trail, 9th Reining, 10th Pleasure, 10th Cow Work. Huntra Christensen, Lincoln, Satan, in only their second show, 7th Cow Work, 10th Trail, 11th Reining, 14th Pleasure. Elly Dahl, Courtland, Kan., Jed competed in their first-ever collegiate show placing 8th Trail, 9th Pleasure, and 11th in Cow Work.

Duvall appointed to trade advisory committee

American Farm Bureau Federation President Zippy Duvall has been appointed to the White House’s Advisory Committee for Trade Policy and Negotiations. Members of the ACTPN advise the president on the potential effects of proposed and current trade agreements. The ACTPN, which is administered by the U.S. Trade Representative, is the main trade advisory committee that provides policy information and advice to the president. “I am deeply honored to be called to serve as a member of the White House’s Advisory Committee for Trade Policy and Negotiations.” Duvall said. “I look forward to taking a seat at the table on behalf of America’s farmers and ranchers as we look to further our agricultural trade opportunities. We must keep building on our current gains in markets abroad, foster lasting relationships with our international partners and, of course, effectively enforce current trade agreements to ensure agriculture continues to boost our economy and create jobs for all Americans.” Duvall has been appointed by the president for a four-year term. Established by the 1974 Trade Act, the ACTPN brings together up to 45 individuals from the private sector who represent key economic sectors affected by trade. The committee evaluates trade policy issues by considering their effect on the overall national interest.

Extension educator appointed in Box Butte County

Tiffany Rice has accepted an offer to serve as a Learning Child Educator for Nebraska Extension, based in Box Butte County. Her acceptance was announced by Dr. Jack Whittier, Director of Research and Extension for the Panhandle. She is scheduled to begin her duties June 1, 2018, after completing her duties as a teacher at Stapleton Public Schools. She will be based at the Extension Office in Alliance. Rice will develop and deliver educational programs and resources as part of Nebraska Extension’s Learning Child Issue Team, made up of of Extension professionals and other partners. She will work closely with parents, teachers, early childhood professionals and caregivers of young children. Nebraska Extension’s Learning Child program is designed to help create environments and experiences for children ages 0 to 5 that result in improved school readiness and enhanced social emotional growth and development. In addition to teaching at Stapleton, Rice was director and teacher of the VOA pre-school at Lewellen and a substitute teacher at schools in Garden County, North Platte, and Stapleton. She has a master’s degree in school administration from Wayne State college, and early childhood endorsement from Chadron State college, and a bachelor’s degree in health and physical education from Wayne State College. ❖

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