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Congratulations on a job well doneCongratulations on a job well done

Delivering timely, helpful information to farm families and all Iowans is an important function of ISU Extension and Outreach.

Rod Swoboda 1

March 30, 2015

4 Min Read

To encourage professional improvement and recognize outstanding effort by Iowa State University Extension and Outreach specialists, the Iowa Agricultural Extension Association has a communications awards program each year for its members. These awards are presented at the annual meeting of IAEA on the ISU campus at Ames. Winners and categories they excelled in for 2014-15 were recognized at the recent March 2015 IAEA meeting.


"We had winners in 10 of the 14 categories," says Gary Hall, chairman of the IAEA communications committee. "The applications demonstrated that ISU Extension agricultural staff members are doing great work. I encourage all Iowa Ag Extension Association members to consider submitting entries in this awards program."

Congratulations to all of the Iowa winners
Wallaces Farmer magazine sponsors the annual IAEA communications awards. The state winners in each category move on to regional competition and those winners proceed to the national contest. The Iowa winners and categories they excelled in for 2014-15 are:

Paul Kassel, Extension field agronomist at Spencer in northwest Iowa, won in the individual newsletter category. He also took first place in the audio recordings category.

Bob Dodds, Regional Extension educator at Donnellson in southeast Iowa, took first with a published photo and caption.

Kapil Arora, Extension ag and biosystems engineering field specialist at Nevada, earned first with his program promotional piece. He also had first place in the website category.

Nancy Jensen, program coordinator for Extension in the Butler County office, took top honors in the personal column category.

Madeline Schultz, Extension value-added agriculture specialist at Ames, earned first place with a feature story. She also took first in the video recording category.

Rich Wrage, Regional Extension director in central Iowa, based at Boone, won first for team newsletter.

Jennifer Bentley, Extension dairy field specialist at Decorah, earned top honors for a publication.

And here's another job well done: Congratulations to Don Short
Silos & Smokestacks recently announced the upcoming retirement of its president, Don Short. Following a lifelong career involved with agriculture in a variety of roles, Silos & Smokestacks National Heritage Area president Short plans to retire later this year. The SSNHA board of trustees is launching a nationwide search for the Heritage Area's new leader and hope to have the position filled by mid-summer.

Short grew up in rural Winthrop, Iowa, where he took over the family farm. His involvement in farming continued throughout most of his life, including working for Moews Seed Company and Pioneer/DuPont Seed Company. Short brought his love for agriculture to Silos & Smokestacks in January 2001, when he took over the lead role for the Heritage Area. During his time with SSNHA, Short was heavily involved in federal legislation and developing corporate partnerships to ensure the long-term sustainability of the region's coordinating entity.

He says, "Working with the federal government and receiving federal funding was a new experience. You learn very quickly that not everything sticks and the battle never ends."

The Heritage Area covers 37 counties in northeast quarter of Iowa
During the transition, Short plans to continue to work with Silos & Smokestacks on a part time/consultant basis, primarily in areas related to federal legislation and funding. Short plans to enjoy retirement with his wife Janet, attending classic car auctions, fishing and visiting his grandchildren. Short says, "I'm grateful to have had the opportunity to work at Silos & Smokestacks. No two days were ever the same and the Staff and Board of Trustees were the best ever to work with."

SSNHA is one of 49 federally designated heritage areas in the nation and is an Affiliated Area of the National Park Service. The Heritage Area covers 37 counties in the northeast quadrant of Iowa. Interstate 80 borders it on the south and Interstate 35 borders it on the west. Through a network of sites, programs and events SSNHA interprets farm life, agribusiness and rural communities-past and present. To learn more about Silos & Smokestacks National Heritage Area visit www.silosandsmokestacks.org/.

About the Author(s)

Rod Swoboda 1

Editor, Wallaces Farmer

Rod, who has been a member of the editorial staff of Wallaces Farmer magazine since 1976, was appointed editor of the magazine in April 2003. He is widely recognized around the state, especially for his articles on crop production and soil conservation topics, and has won several writing awards, in addition to honors from farm, commodity and conservation organizations.

"As only the tenth person to hold the position of Wallaces Farmer editor in the past 100 years, I take seriously my responsibility to provide readers with timely articles useful to them in their farming operations," Rod says.

Raised on a farm that is still owned and operated by his family, Rod enjoys writing and interviewing farmers and others involved in agriculture, as well as planning and editing the magazine. You can also find Rod at other Farm Progress Company activities where he has responsibilities associated with the magazine, including hosting the Farm Progress Show, Farm Progress Hay Expo and the Iowa Master Farmer program.

A University of Illinois grad with a Bachelors of Science degree in agriculture (ag journalism major), Rod joined Wallaces Farmer after working several years in Washington D.C. as a writer for Farm Business Incorporated.

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