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North Dakota's Karl Hoppe inducted into National Association of Agricultural Agents Hall of Fame

Karl Hoppe, North Dakota State University Extension livestock systems specialist at the Carrington Research Center and Sustainable Agriculture and Resource Education Center state coordinator, was recognized with the honor at a conference this summer in West Palm Beach, Florida.

A man in a blue plaid shirt, blue jeans, cowboy hat and blue jeans talks to boys and girls at a Junior Beef Producers workshop.
Karl Hoppe talked to youth about cattle nutrition at the Junior Beef Producers workshop held Aug. 9, 2022, at Carrington (North Dakota) Research Extension Center.
Ann Bailey / Agweek
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CARRINGTON, N.D. — Whether it’s conducting beef cattle management and nutrition workshops or keeping a small town’s books balanced, North Dakota State University Extension livestock systems specialist Karl Hoppe likes to have a hand in helping ranchers and the communities in which they live.

"I've always viewed my position as an opportunity to work with producers and production people across the United States, mostly in North Dakota, of course," Hoppe said.

The combination of Hoppe’s work in beef cattle nutrition and management and his service to rural North Dakota communities and organizations has earned him induction into the National Association of County Agricultural Agents Hall of Fame.

Hoppe, who works out of the the Carrington Research Center and also serves as Sustainable Agriculture and Resource Education Center state coordinator, was recognized with the honor at a conference this summer in West Palm Beach, Florida. He is only the second North Dakotan to be inducted into the NACAA Hall of Fame. Brad Brummond, NDSU Extension agricultural agent for Walsh County, was selected for the NACAA Hall of Fame in 2019.

“Karl’s lifetime of dedication to the livestock producers of North Dakota and his willingness to assist the next generation of Extension agents and livestock producers speaks volumes of his value to the state of North Dakota and Extension,” Brummond said in an NDSU Extension news release.

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Hoppe began working at the Carrington Research Extension Center as an associate in 1990 after graduating with bachelor’s, master’s and doctorate degrees from South Dakota State University in Brookings.

“Ever since then, I’ve been at the same desk in the office,” Hoppe said.

During the past 32 years he has conducted cattle feedlot projects, answered ranchers’ questions and taught youth about livestock management and nutrition.

“I’ve enjoyed working with animal agriculture. I really enjoy helping producers solve issues and problems,” Hoppe said.

Often there are no easy answers.

“Agriculture really is a complex biosystem. You do one thing, and it’s going to affect five or six other things. It’s just not linear,” Hoppe said. “Everything is moving at the same time, so it’s hard to figure out what the right thing is.”

Addressing livestock issues might mean sitting in the office taking phone calls from ranchers and NDSU Extension country agricultural agents, going on the road to answer their questions or encouraging youth at a beef producer workshop to do a sniff test on a handful of cattle feed from a CREC bunk.

All three of those were Hoppe’s responsibilities in the space of a couple of work days.

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“There really isn't a typical day. Every day is completely different,” Hoppe said.

The days also involve work in rural communities after he finishes his day’s work at the CREC.

Over the years, Hoppe has used the skills he learned at North Central Region for Rural Development leadership training to serve as Grace City, North Dakota, city auditor, on the Midkota Public School Board and on the Foster County (North Dakota) Soil Conservation District board.

Hoppe, who raises cattle and sheep, also is a member of the North Dakota Lamb and Wool Association and a 31-year member of the North Dakota Stockmen's Association.

Hoppe sees his induction into the National Association of County Agricultural Agents Hall of Fame as a reflection on NDSU Extension more than of himself.

“This is just what I do. This is my job,” he said.

Related Topics: AGRICULTURELIVESTOCKNORTH DAKOTA STATE UNIVERSITYAGRICULTURE EDUCATION
Ann is a journalism veteran with nearly 40 years of reporting and editing experiences on a variety of topics including agriculture and business. Story ideas or questions can be sent to Ann by email at: abailey@agweek.com or phone at: 218-779-8093.
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