New Start For Extension

New Start For Extension

SDSU announces new field specialists and opens eight regional centers.

It's the first week of the new South Dakota State University Extension Service.

It begins work this week with 44 new field specialists located in Aberdeen, Lemmon, Mitchell, Pierre, Rapid City, Sioux Falls, Watertown and Winner. It will also be hiring 32 new youth program advisors, who will be housed in county offices.

SDSU Extension Service's new logo

When the state legislature and governor cut its budget by 10% earlier this year, the SDSU Extension Service is would reorganize. It closed all 66 county extension offices and created eight regional centers. It fired all xxxx county extension staff members and hired back 44 field specialist who either had master degrees or agreed to earn a master's degree within five years. It also launched www.Igrow.org, an internet communications-learning tool.

"We welcome a new day in SDSU Extension…," says Barry Dunn, dean of the SDSU College of Agriculture. "SDSU Extension is stronger than ever. We remain deeply committed to serving South Dakotans and, in this new era, we will continue to provide them with the research and information they need to be competitive in today's economy."

As a result of the reorganization, Dunn says SDSU Extension will live within the reduced fiscal boundaries of the 2012 state budget.

"Nothing was held back in this reorganization," Dunn said. "Complying with a 10 percent state budget cut is at the root of this entire restructuring. In everything we do, we are careful to be prudent with our dollars and absolutely conservative in our spending.  In creating Regional Extension Centers, we relied primarily on surplus property.  We recycled and reused existing equipment, while at the same time worked to assure the continued operation of county facilities that will house 4-H Youth Program Advisors."

As part of the reorganization, SDSU Extension reprioritized programs. Capstone programs now Competitive Livestock Systems, Competitive Cropping Systems, Food and Families, and Communities and 4-H Youth.

"We notably increased support to 4-H and youth and priority programs," Dunn said.

The following is a current directory of field specialists at the new regional centers:

Aberdeen -- Phone: 605-626-2870

Mark Rosenberg – Agronomy Weeds Field Specialist

Karelyn Farrand – 4H Character Education Field Specialist

Marj Zastrow – Nutrition Field Specialist

Karen Slunecka – Family Resource Management Field Specialist

Cheryl Jacobs – Community Development Field Specialist

Laura Edwards – Climate Field Specialist

Lemmon -- Phone: 605-374-4177

Robin Salverson – Cow/Calf Field Specialist

Mitchell -- Phone: 605-995-7378

Jim Krantz – Cow/Calf Field Specialist

Heather Larson – Cow/Calf Field Specialist

Megan Nielson – 4H Youth Livestock Field Specialist

Carrie Johnson – Family Resource Management Field Specialist

Jack Davis – Economics Field Specialist

Pierre -- Phone: 605-773-8120

Lori Jacobson – Swine Field Specialist

Ruth Beck – Agronomy Crops Field Specialist

Suzanne Geppert – 4H Youth Partnerships Field Specialist

Andrea Klein – 4H Healthy Living Field Specialist

Rod Geppert – 4H Livestock Show Management Coordinator

Rapid City -- Phone: 605-394-2236

Adele Harty – Cow/Calf Field Specialist

Dave Ollila – Sheep Field Specialist

Mindy Hubert – Small Acreage Field Specialist

John Rickertson – Agronomy Crops Field Specialist

Jonathon Nixon – Entomology Field Specialist

Sharon Guthmiller – Food Safety Field Specialist

Shawn Burke – Community Development Field Specialist

Peggy Schlechter – Community Development Field Specialist

Sioux Falls -- Phone: 605-782-3290

B. Lynn Gordon – Cow/Calf Field Specialist

Kurt Reitsma – Precision Agriculture Field Specialist

Connie Strunk – Plant Pathology Field Specialist

Donna Bittiker – Family Resource Management Field Specialist

LaVonne Meyer – Food Safety Field Specialist

Heather Gessner – Livestock Business Management Field Specialist

Chris Zdorovtsov – Community Development Field Specialist

Larry Wagner – Agronomy Crops Field Specialist

Geoffrey Njue – Specialty Field Crops Specialist

Watertown -- Phone: 605-882-5140

Warren Rusche – Cow/Calf Field Specialist

Tracey Renelt – Dairy Field Specialist

Paul Johnson – Agronomy Crops Field Specialist

Sandra Namken – Aging Field Specialist

Deb Sundem – Nutrition Field Specialist

Heather Moechnig – Food Safety Field Specialist

Audrey Rider – 4H Youth Leadership Field Specialist

Don Guthmiller – Crops Business Management Field Specialist

Winner – Phone: 605-842-1267

Bob Fanning – Plant Pathology Field Specialist

Ann Schwader – Nutrition Field Specialist

Source: SDSU

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