BISMARCK, North Dakota — Recognizing people who have given of their time and talents to North Dakota State University Extension and the NDSU Research Extension Centers was a focus of this year’s fall conference held Oct. 12-14 in Bismarck.

The entities presented awards for Friends of Extension, Friend of the North Dakota Extension Association of Family and Consumer Sciences, NDSU Extension Communicator of the Year and the Epsilon Sigma Phi Awards.

The Friends of Extension Award recipients were the Sheyenne Valley Technical Rescue Team, Diane Schultz, Barry Medd and former Sen. Larry Robinson.

The Sheyenne Valley Technical Rescue Team of Kindred was selected for its support of the farm and ranch safety education program. The team members trained NDSU Extension agents in grain bin safety so that the agents could provide grain bin safety education programs throughout the state. The rescue team also collaborated with NDSU Extension by participating in weekly and monthly farm and ranch safety team meetings to enhance the team’s knowledge and focus on prevention efforts. They also provided legislative testimony to the state legislature in support of Extension’s farm and ranch safety program.

Greg Endres, North Dakota State University Extension cropping systems specialist, presents a Friend of Extension Award to Diane Schultz.
NDSU Extension photo
Greg Endres, North Dakota State University Extension cropping systems specialist, presents a Friend of Extension Award to Diane Schultz. NDSU Extension photo
Diane Schultz was recognized for her longstanding support of 4-H equine programs. For over 11 years, Schultz has supported the North Dakota 4-H camping experience by volunteering her time and her horses to the “Wish I Had a Horse” 4-H camp. This camp continually sells out within hours due to its popularity and impact. Schultz offers Morton County youth the opportunity to learn about horses at her ranch, how to ride and life on a ranch.

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Greg Endres, North Dakota State University Extension cropping systems specialist, presents a Friend of Extension Award to Barry Medd.
NDSU Extension photo
Greg Endres, North Dakota State University Extension cropping systems specialist, presents a Friend of Extension Award to Barry Medd. NDSU Extension photo
Barry Medd was recognized for his longstanding support of the Rural Leadership of North Dakota Program. Medd provided leadership to the RLND Program by serving as council chairperson the past four years and serving on the RLND Council Executive and Financial Committees. Medd has demonstrated his commitment and support for the RLND Program through his strong advocacy for the program, encouraging North Dakotans to apply to RLND and encouraging and advocating for financial support RLND.

Greg Endres, North Dakota State University Extension cropping systems specialist, presents a Friend of Extension Award to former Sen. Larry Robinson.
NDSU Extension photo
Greg Endres, North Dakota State University Extension cropping systems specialist, presents a Friend of Extension Award to former Sen. Larry Robinson. NDSU Extension photo
Former Sen. Larry Robinson of Valley City was an avid supporter of NDSU Extension and understood the work, mission and the responsibilities to the citizens that Extension serves. Robinson served in the North Dakota Senate from 1989 to 2020. Through his elected office, he served on the Senate Appropriations Committee and was involved with NDSU Extension, the North Dakota Agricultural Experiment Station and NDSU Research Extension Centers. Robinson has been a great friend to Extension through his continued support of Extension’s work to strengthen agriculture, develop youth’s potential and build strong families and communities.

Kim Lipetzky was named Friend of the North Dakota Extension Association of Family and Consumer Sciences. Lipetzky has been a friend of family and community wellness agents and Extension for over 25 years and was instrumental in the development of the original “On the Move” program later known as “On the Move to Better Health.” She also was on the steering committee along with Extension to organize and run the Cass Clay Food Partners and Commission, and she served on the Cass County Advisory Council for several different terms. She recently retired after 33 years in her position with Fargo Cass Public Health.

The NDSU Extension Communicator of the Year award, presented by the NDSU Agriculture Communication Department and North Dakota chapter of the Association for Communication Excellence, was presented to Don Kinzler, NDSU Extension agriculture and natural resources/horticulture agent for Cass County. Don writes two newspaper columns per week for the Forum, is a guest on two radio shows per week and appears on the North Dakota Today show a few times per month. He receives and answers hundreds of lawn, gardens and trees questions per year and enjoys interacting with clients to solve their problems.

Epsilon Sigma Phi Awards are presented to those who are dedicated to fostering standards of excellence in the Extension System and developing the Extension profession.

This year’s recipients were:

  • Early Career Service Award — Anitha Chirumamilla, Langdon Research Extension Center cropping systems specialist.

  • Distinguished Service Award — Janet Knodel, NDSU Extension entomologist and professor of entomology.

  • Meritorious Support Staff Award — Nancy Smith, West District Office administrative assistant.