UW-Extension agents and specialists recognized for their leadership and innovation

Contact: John Shutske, 608-262-9812, john.shutkse@wisc.edu

University of Wisconsin-Extension Agriculture and Natural Resources (ANRE) agents and specialists 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 UW-Extension Agent, Outstanding UW-Extension Specialist, Mentor of the Year, Team/Workgroup Leadership and Responsiveness, Program Innovation, Excellence in ANRE and Friend of ANRE.

Outstanding UW-Extension Agent Award
Adam Hady, UW-Extension Richland County agriculture educator, received the Agriculture and Natural Resources program area Outstanding Agent Award in recognition of his ongoing commitment to the values and ideals of UW-Extension.

Nominators said, “Adam is committed to providing people with high quality teaching resources and he possesses the ability to help and teach people no matter what background knowledge level they are at with a topic.”

Hady’s knowledge covers a wide range of animal species and a variety of production methods. He is known as a “go-to” person for high quality poultry information and also serves on the statewide swine team. Hady has developed numerous collaborations with organizations to implement programs, surveys, and events; his experience in collection and interpretation of data allows for effective decision-making on future direction.

“Adam has a passion to serve others and increase knowledge of the clientele he works with,” said another nominator.

Outstanding UW-Extension Specialist Award
Amanda Gevens, UW-Extension vegetable crop plant pathology specialist at UW-Madison, received the Agriculture and Natural Resources program area Outstanding UW-Extension Specialist Award in recognition of her commitment to excellence in vegetable crop plant pathology and her willingness to work with growers of all sizes and scopes of vegetable production.

“Dr. Gevens has really helped ‘raise the bar’ in the fresh market produce programming in this part of the state. She knows her subject matter and her recommendations are very practical and they work,” one nominator said.

Another nominator said, “Dr. Gevens is a positive asset to UW-Extension. She is highly respected by the agents, farmers and other stakeholders in the region because of the quality of work that she does, her ability to relate to people, and her ability to help them learn.”

Mentor of the Year
Mark Hagedorn, UW-Extension Eau Claire agriculture educator was awarded the Agriculture and Natural Resources program area Mentor of the Year Award for his ongoing commitment to sharing his knowledge and experience with new colleagues.

Hagedorn’s nominators noted that he “provides support, encouragement and trusted advice.”

In addition, they noted that 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 2015 Midwest Manure Summit workgroup, consisting of UW-Extension agriculture agents Liz Binversie, Scott Gunderson, Mark Hagedorn, Tina Kohlman, Jamie Patton, Eric Ronk and UW-Extension/Madison specialist Rebecca Larson, received the Agriculture and Natural Resources program area Team/Workgroup Leadership and Responsiveness Award.

The Midwest Manure Summit started as an idea in 2008, when a group of UW-Extension agriculture agents in northeastern Wisconsin looked at the needs of the dairy industry in that part of the state. It became apparent that manure management was a key to the continued growth of the day industry in Wisconsin. Manure handling technology was changing quickly and UW-Extension saw an opportunity to stimulate the industry with new ideas. The Midwest Manure Summit brings together the best resources from around the country to fuel conversations and innovations. More than 850 people from 15 states and two Canadian provinces attended the Summit in 2009, 2011, 2013 and 2015.

Program Innovation
The Agriculture and Natural Resources Program Innovation Award went Liz Binversie, UW-Extension Brown County agriculture educator and Lyssa Seefeldt, UW-Extension Marquette County agriculture educator for their development of an interactive display that helped Wisconsin Farm Technology Days attendees learn more about agriculture.

The Agriculture Literacy Game used interactive technology to test participants’ knowledge of agriculture in a fun and engaging way. Participants could compare their scores to a self-rating for knowledge. Some participants indicated they knew a lot, but their score may not have reflected that.

One nominator said, “Using this game was fun for participants and allowed for increased interaction between UW-Extension educators and Wisconsin Farm Technology Days attendees.”

Excellence in ANRE Award
Dave Luciani, distance education specialist, received the Agriculture and Natural Resources program area Excellence in ANRE Award for his leadership on programming that promotes UW-Extension’s purpose, vision and values.

One nominator noted, “Dave Luciani has been an excellent resource for agents and specialists in producing high quality educational video productions. He is easy to work with and is extremely patient in his approach when working with amateurs. He is able to capture meaningful educational materials on film, even when he is not an expert in the subject matter.”

Another nominator said, “He is always willing to take on a new challenge whether it be editing video taken with a UAV and matching that to voice, or climbing the bluffs along the Mississippi River looking for rattlesnakes. Dave will always make it work, look good, and hit the educational objectives given to him.”

Friend of ANRE
The Friend of ANRE award recognizes a Wisconsin organization for their support of the educational efforts of the ANRE program area.

Wisconsin Farm Credit Services, which include AgStar Financial Services, Badgerland Financial, GreenStone Farm Credit Services and United Farm Credit Services, were presented with the 2015 Friend of ANRE Award.

Farm Credit Service organizations serving Wisconsin have been strong partners with UW-Extension by collaborating and partnering with UW-Extension county educators and state specialists through sponsoring programs; promoting, encouraging and recruiting program participation; and providing and hosting planning meetings and educational programs that keep Wisconsin’s $88 billion agricultural industry strong and growing.

Agriculture and Natural Resources Extension is a program of the University of Wisconsin-Extension, Cooperative Extension in partnership with local, state and federal government in each Wisconsin county.


2015 Outstanding Agent - Adam Hady

2015 Outstanding Agent – Adam Hady

2015 Mentor Award - Mark Hagedorn

2015 Mentor Award – Mark Hagedorn

2015 Excellence in ANRE - Dave Luciani

2015 Excellence in ANRE – Dave Luciani

2015 Program Innovation - Liz Binversie and Lyssa Seefeldt

2015 Program Innovation – Liz Binversie and Lyssa Seefeldt

2015 Team/Workgroup - 2015 Midwest Manure Summit

2015 Team/Workgroup – 2015 Midwest Manure Summit

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