Harner joins North Dakota State University as agriculture communication director

Kirstin Harner has been named North Dakota State University's agriculture communication director.

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Kristin Harner joined NDSU as agriculture communication director on April 5, 2021. (NDSU Photo)

North Dakota State University has hired Kristin Harner as the director of agriculture communication .

“I am looking forward to and love the opportunity to work for the farmers and ranchers of North Dakota and working with such a talented group of people that are dedicated to improving the lives of the people of North Dakota,” Harner said.

Harner grew up on her family’s farm in southwestern Minnesota. After graduating from South Dakota State University, she filled multiple roles within the agriculture industry, including director of agricultural programs for Heritage Halls in Owatonna, Minn., director of agricultural programs for the Fond du Lac (Wis.) Area Association of Commerce, and public relations, communications and foundation director for the Minnesota Farm Bureau.

In addition, she also owns and operates a small community-supported agriculture farm near Northfield, Minn., with her husband.

Harner is excited for this new role in her career and sees it as a unique opportunity.


“This is a very unique opportunity. This position is part of Agriculture Affairs, which serves NDSU Extension, the North Dakota Agricultural Experiment Station and NDSU College of Agriculture Food Systems and Natural Resources,” Harner said.

In her new role, Harner will be responsible for providing leadership and management of the staff and fiscal resources for 24 employees in the department. She will work closely with the vice president for Agricultural Affairs and develop, implement and oversee communication, marketing and technology strategies for NDSU Agricultural Affairs. She will also serve NDSU Extension, the North Dakota Agricultural Experiment Stations and NDSU College of Agriculture, Food Systems and Natural Resources.

NDSU faculty and staff are excited to welcome Harner and look forward to watching her bring her vast knowledge and experience of agriculture to the table.

“Kristin comes with a broad set of experiences in communications and was most recently with the Minnesota Farm Bureau,” says Greg Lardy, vice president for Agricultural Affairs. “Her nearly 20 years with that organization gave her an excellent set of experiences that she will be bringing to our unit. I am looking forward to working with her to develop a long-term strategy for NDSU Agriculture Communication that takes a comprehensive look at our efforts and work to communicate with internal and external stakeholders.”

Emily grew up on a small grains and goat farm in southern Ohio. After graduating from The Ohio State University, she moved to Fargo, North Dakota to pursue a career in ag journalism with Agweek. She enjoys reporting on livestock and local agricultural businesses.
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