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SDSU Extension Presents Staff and Faculty Awards During 2022 Fall Conference

November 10, 2022
SDSU Extension personnel

BROOKINGS, S.D. – SDSU Extension recognized staff and faculty members for achievements in service and educational programming at its annual Fall Conference Oct. 25-27, 2022, at the Swiftel Center in Brookings. 

“It is our privilege to take this opportunity each year to recognize our SDSU Extension professionals and the impactful work that they conduct each and every day,” said Karla Trautman, SDSU Extension director. “From recognizing years of service to the organization or acknowledging the creation of innovative programs, it is important to elevate and celebrate the accomplishments of our talented and valued professionals.”

The SDSU Extension employees recognized for their accomplishments are listed below.

View Portraits of Honorees

Years of Service with SDSU Extension and/or the State of South Dakota
Five years

  • Laura Alexander, 4-H Youth Program Advisor – Brule and Lyman counties
  • Audrey Bollin, Accounting Assistant
  • Katie Doty, 4-H Youth Program Advisor – Yankton County
  • John McMaine, Griffith Endowed Assistant Professor and Water Management Engineer
  • Ryan Samuel, Assistant Professor and Swine Specialist

Ten years

  • Pete Bauman, Natural Resources and Wildlife Field Specialist
  • Leacey Brown, Gerontology Field Specialist
  • Sharon Klein, Administrative Assistant – Winner Regional Center
  • Amber Letcher, Assistant Professor and Youth Development Specialist
  • Audra Scheel, 4-H Youth Program Advisor – Sanborn, Aurora, and Jerauld/Buffalo counties
  • Janice Rounds, Administrative Assistant – Watertown Regional Center
  • Jennifer Ringkob, 4-H Youth Program Advisor – Marshall and Day counties
  • Lauren Hollenbeck, 4-H Youth Program Advisor – Union, Clay and Yankton counties
  • Jane Amiotte, 4-H Youth Program Advisor – Pennington County
  • Laura Edwards, State Climatologist
  • Amanda Stade, 4-H Events Management Coordinator

Fifteen years

  • Shelly Cartney, Educational Technology Information Officer
  • Chuck Engelmann, Senior Computer Support 
  • Aletha Benson, Administrative Assistant – Pierre Regional Center
  • Amanda Blair, Professor and Meat Science Specialist 

Twenty years

  • Kari O’Neill, Community Vitality Program Manager
  • Ann Schwader, Program Assessment and Reporting Coordinator

Twenty-five years

  • Julie Walker, Professor and Beef Specialist
  • John Keimig, Youth Safety Field Specialist

Thirty years

  • Anthony Bly, Soils Field Specialist

Thirty-five years

  • Bob Thaler, Distinguished Professor and Swine Specialist

SDSU Extension Awards

  • The Mental Health First Aid program team – Andrea Bjornestad, Krista Ehlert, Audrey Rider, Samantha DeVaney, Jennifer Ringkob, Jane Amiotte, Kaycee Jones, Michelle May, Olivia Amundson, Lorna Saboe-Wounded Head, Peggy Schlechter and Heather Gessner – received the Creativity in Service to All South Dakotans
  • Christine Wood, received the Excellence in Partnership Award
  • Katherine Jaeger, Excellence in Programming Innovation and Creativity
  • 4-H Workforce Outcome Team – John Madison, Sonia Mack, Sara Koepke, Laurie Elmore, Deanna Gall, Wendy Sweeter, Jane Amiotte and Christine Wood – received the Excellence in Virtual Program Delivery Award 
  • Sara Koepke, Spirit of Extension Award

Professional, University and Extension Awards

Recent promotions

  • Patrick Wagner, Entomology Field Specialist, promoted to Field Specialist 2
  • Sean Kelly, Range Management Field Specialist, promoted to Field Specialist 2
  • Audrey Rider, Early Childhood Field Specialist, promoted to Field Specialist 3

University or other professional distinctions

  • Anthony Bly, Soils Field Specialist, F.O. Butler Award for Extension Outreach – awarded at the SDSU Celebration of Faculty Excellence in February 2022
  • John McMaine, Assistant Professor and Water Management Engineer, named the Griffith Chair in Agriculture and Water Resources, and received the Excellence in Extension Award from Gamma Sigma Delta, the honor society of agriculture
  • Matthew Diersen, Professor and Risk and Business Management Specialist, named the Griffith Chair in Agricultural Finance
  • Peggy Schlechter, Community Vitality Field Specialist, member of multi-state collaborative recognized by the National Association of Community Development Extension Professionals for the Excellence in Teamwork Award for their efforts in creating the Connecting Entrepreneurial Communities Virtual Program 
  • Heidi Carroll, Livestock Stewardship Field Specialist and Beef Quality Assurance Coordinator, recognized as SDSU Professional Staff Outstanding Professional
  • South Dakota 4-H Legislature Program Committee – Caroline Hansen, Jenae Hansen-Gross, Hilary Risner and Amber Erickson – received the Citizenship in 4-H Youth Development Award at the 2021 National Association of Extension 4-H Youth Development Professionals Conference
  • Pete Bauman, Natural Resources and Wildlife Field Specialist, recognized as Wildlife Professional of the Year by South Dakota chapter of The Wildlife Society
  • Bob Thaler, Distinguished Professor and Extension Swine Specialist, received Distinguished Alumni Award from the Kansas State Ag Alumni Association in April 2022
  • Anthony Bly, Soils Field Specialist, named 2022 Friend of Soil Health by the South Dakota Soil Health Coalition
  • Lorna Saboe-Wounded Head, Family Resource Management Field Specialist, serving as National President of the American Association of Family Consumer Sciences
  • South Dakota 4-H Program, recognized with School Bell Award by Associated School Boards of South Dakota

Named to attend the 2023 National Extension Leadership Development cohort, a one-year leadership experience hosted by the North Central Region

  • Audrey Rider, Early Childhood Field Specialist