BROOKINGS, S.D. - The National Association of County Agricultural Agents (NACAA) recognized Sara Bauder, SDSU Extension Agronomy Field Specialist with the Achievement Award and Kimberly McGraw, SDSU Extension 4-H Youth Program Advisor - Clark & Spink Counties with the Distinguished Service Award during the Annual Meeting and Professional Improvement Conference held in Chattanooga, Tenn.
The awards recognize excellence in the field and are prestigious, as only 2 percent of all SDSU Extension staff in the state receive them. The Achievement Award recognizes Extension staff with service of 10 years or less, and the Distinguished Service Award recognizes Extension staff with service of 10 years or more.
"We are always honored when members of our team are recognized for the work they do serving South Dakotans. Sara Bauder and Kim McGraw are exceptional examples of the dedication our entire SDSU Extension team has to serving individuals, stakeholders and industries that make up our great state," says Karla Trautman, SDSU Extension Interim Director.
More about the Sara Bauder & Kim McGraw
Sara Bauder has been an SDSU Extension Agronomy Field Specialist since 2016. She focuses on general agronomy, cover crops, soils and forages. She has helped organize a new annual soil management grower meeting, a new forage-focused grower meeting, multiple field tours, several farm show booths and many agronomy research projects. She is a member of the Agronomy Society of America, South Dakota Ag and Rural Leadership Alumni and the SD Soil Health Coalition.
"I love working with South Dakota farmers who are looking for answers to their problems or simply want to improve their farming operation," explained Bauder. "By working with them, I aim to make their lives easier by doing what I can to offer sound, research-driven advice. I also enjoy meeting new people, and constantly learning more about the ever-changing field of agronomy."
As an SDSU Extension 4-H Youth Program Advisor in Clark and Spink counties, Kim McGraw focuses on 4-H programs and working with local school districts to ensure youth understand where their food comes from while promoting agriculture and sciences.
McGraw has worked for SDSU Extension for more than 18 years; first serving on the agronomy team, then, in 2011 she became the SDSU Extension 4-H Youth Program Advisor for Clark & Spink Counties. She has been a member of the South Dakota Association of Agricultural Professionals for 18 years and is the organization's past president.
"I have greatly enjoyed my career working with the people of South Dakota, being able to promote agriculture and teach our young people where their food comes from and the importance of agriculture in their daily lives," McGraw said. "With SDSU Extension, every day is different. My role provides me with an opportunity to impact other's lives. I may not always know an answer to a question, but through SDSU Extension, I am able to connect South Dakotans with the right person. This is something I have always felt is the most important part of my job - offering unbiased advice and helping better the lives of others."