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UW-Extension agents and specialists recognized for their leadership and innovation

University of Wisconsin-Extension Agriculture and Natural Resources (ANRE) agents and specialists received special recognition from their peers for outstanding work, leadership and program innovation. The awards acknowledge the contributions these agents and specialists have made in identifying needs of stakeholders and audiences and then developing and implementing programming to respond to those needs. The seven award categories are Outstanding Agent, Outstanding Specialist, Mentor of the Year, Team/Workgroup Leadership and Responsiveness, Program Innovation, Excellence in ANRE and Friend of ANRE.

Outstanding Agent Award

Carl Duley, UW-Extension Buffalo County agriculture educator, received the Agriculture and Natural Resources program area Outstanding Agent Award in recognition of his ongoing commitment to the values and ideals of UW-Extension and his ability to shape ideas into workable solutions.

One nominator said, “I have been very impressed with the leadership that Carl has provided toward developing profitable small grains production in western Wisconsin. He is a vital part of the agricultural community, and is an excellent research collaborator, communicator and works exceptionally well with stakeholders to provide impressive outcomes.”

It was also noted that Duley is “a truly service-oriented professional with great consideration for the livelihood and sustainability of those within the agricultural and food processing communities; he is civic minded and goes above and beyond his ‘call of duty’ with great frequency to address community needs.”

Outstanding Specialist Award

Pam Ruegg, UW-Extension milk quality specialist at UW-Madison, received the Agriculture and Natural Resources program area Outstanding Specialist Award in recognition of her commitment to excellence in developing and delivering programs that are stakeholder driven, problem focused and outcome oriented.

“Dr. Ruegg’s work in milk quality is so well grounded and practical in its application and impacts, that she is invited to participate in activities, projects and specific farming operations all over the world,” one nominator said.

Another nominator said, “Pam’s reach is far, providing programming and resources not only for the conventional dairy operations, but also for organic producers, graziers, goat milk producers, and dairy workers. The goals of her programming are to help farmers and clientele solve every day problems as related to milk quality.”

Mentor of the Year

Ted Bay, UW-Extension Grant County crops/farm management agent was awarded the Agriculture and Natural Resources program area Mentor of the Year Award for his ongoing commitment to sharing his knowledge and experience with new colleagues.

Bay’s nominators noted that he “provides support, encouragement and trusted advice.”

In addition, they noted that he “demonstrates a high level of integrity from which new colleagues can learn and that is valued and appreciated.”

Team/Workgroup Leadership and Responsiveness

The Agricultural Risk Coverage and Price Loss Coverage (ARC/PLC) workgroup, consisting of UW-Extension agriculture agents Nick Baker, Jerry Clark, Bill Halfman, Richard Halopka, Kevin Jarek, Tim Jergenson, Dan Marzu, Scott Reuss, Mike Travis and Ken Williams; and UW-Extension/Madison specialists Paul Mitchell, Mark Stephenson and Jenny Vanderlin received the Agriculture and Natural Resources program area Team/Workgroup Leadership and Responsiveness Award.

The 2014 Farm Bill created new programs and new opportunities for producers and UW-Extension, who worked with the Farm Service Agency to set up a uniform outreach approach that was used in 150 outreach meetings throughout the state to help farmers and producers better understand the 2014 Farm Bill.

One nominator said, “This group of professionals provided outstanding educational outreach and leadership to farmers and landowners during the early implementation stages of the 2014 Farm Bill.”

Program Innovation

The Agricultural Podcasts Team consisting of UW-Extension agriculture agents Liz Binversie, Kevin Jarek, Tina Kohlman, Matt Lippert, Mark Mayer, Sarah Mills-Lloyd, Heather Schlesser, and Trisha Wagner; and UW-Extension/Madison specialists Matt Akins, Paul Fricke, Brian Holmes, David Kammel, Joe Lauer, Randy Shaver and John Shutske received the Program Innovation Award.

The team developed an innovate approach to content delivery through the use of technology and social media.

One nominator said, “The team developed timely YouTube podcasts about various agricultural topics including winter calf management, heat stress effects on dairy cattle, and corn silage production. These podcasts provide a means to deliver content in a new way and they also provide an opportunity to promote and extend UW-Extension’s brand to the digital audience.”

Excellence in ANRE Award

Rick Mills and Rhonda Lee, UW-Extension Program Development and Evaluation, received the Agriculture and Natural Resources program area Excellence in ANRE Award for their ongoing commitment to excellence, innovation, promotion and teamwork in support of the Agriculture and Natural Resources program area.

One nominator noted, “Rick and Rhonda work diligently in documenting program impacts and the public value of ANRE’s work.”

Friend of ANRE

The Friend of ANRE award recognizes a Wisconsin organization for their support of the educational efforts of the ANRE program area.

Tom Bressner, Wisconsin Agri-Business Association (WABA), was presented with the 2016 Friend of ANRE Award.

Wisconsin Agri-Business Association is a non-profit trade association with a mission to represent, provide programs and services, educate, train, manage regulatory and legislative affairs, and to be a strong unifying voice for the agribusiness industries of Wisconsin.

One nominator said, “Tom has been a great partner in building the cooperative relation surrounding the Wisconsin Crop Management Conference. He greatly understands and appreciates the role ANRE plays in developing the curriculum for this conference and strives each year to make it the best conference it can be.”

Special Career Recognition Awards

Special Career Recognition Awards were presented to Greg Andrews, former UW-Extension Pierce County agriculture agent, Barb Larson, former UW-Extension Kenosha County horticulture educator, Rick Klemme, Dean and Director of UW-Extension, Cooperative Extension, and John Shutske, UW-Extension specialist at UW-Madison.

Agriculture and Natural Resources Extension is a program of the University of Wisconsin-Extension, Cooperative Extension in partnership with local, state and federal government in each Wisconsin county.

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