University of Wisconsin-Extension Agriculture and Natural Resources agents and specialists recently 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, Buffalo County Extension agriculture educator, received the Outstanding Agent Award in recognition of his ongoing commitment to the values and ideals of Extension and his ability to shape ideas into workable solutions.
One nominator says, “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 [and] communicator, and works exceptionally well with stakeholders to provide impressive outcomes.”
Outstanding Specialist Award
Pam Ruegg, Extension milk quality specialist at UW-Madison, received the 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,” a nominator says.
Mentor of the Year
Ted Bay, Grant County Extension crops/farm management agent, was awarded Mentor of the Year for his ongoing commitment to sharing his knowledge and experience with new colleagues.
Bay’s nominators note he “provides support, encouragement and trusted advice.” In addition, they say 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 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 Team/Workgroup Leadership and Responsiveness Award.
The 2014 Farm Bill created new programs and new opportunities for producers and UW-Extension, which 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 better understand the 2014 Farm Bill.
One nominator says, “This group of professionals provided outstanding educational outreach and leadership to farmers and landowners during the early implementation stages of the 2014 Farm Bill.”
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 says: “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 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 notes, “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 its support of the educational efforts of the ANRE program area.
Tom Bressner, Wisconsin Agri-Business Association, was presented with the 2016 Friend of ANRE Award.
Wisconsin Agri-Business Association is a nonprofit trade association with a mission to represent, provide programs and services, educate, train, manage regulatory and legislative affairs, and be a strong unifying voice for the agribusiness industries of Wisconsin.
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 Extension; and John Shutske, Extension specialist at UW-Madison.