Association of County Agricultural Agents Honors 2023 Award Recipients

The Wisconsin Association of County Agricultural Agents (WACAA) recently recognized several members during its annual awards and recognition program. An affiliate of the National Association of County Agricultural Agents (NACAA), WACAA is a professional organization for county, area, and state Extension professionals to encourage excellence and professionalism in their work; improve the effectiveness of Wisconsin Extension programs; provide assistance for agents to seek and participate in professional improvement opportunities; and recognize and promote superior achievement.

Kevin Shelley, South Central Nutrient Pest Management Specialist, and Glenn Nice, UW Pesticide Application Training Program Manager, received Second Mile Awards for their outstanding support of Wisconsin county agricultural agents. In addition, WACAA honored Tammy Vaassen, Executive Director of the Wisconsin Beef Council, and Millaine Wells, broadcaster at WFRV Local 5 Green Bay, with Friend of the County Agent Awards.

Those agriculture agents receiving top communication awards included:

  • Katie Wantoch, State-Wide Farm Management Outreach Specialist and Lyssa Seefeldt, Regional Dairy Educator in Chippewa, Dunn, and Eau Claire Counties, for their Audio Recording
  • Aerica Bjurstrom, Regional Dairy Educator in Kewaunee, Brown, and Door Counties and Tina Kohlman, Regional Dairy Educator in Fond du Lac, Ozaukee, Sheboygan, and Washington Counties, for their Computer Generated Graphics Presentation and their Event Promotional Package
  • Aerica Bjurstrom, for her Educational Video Recordings; Tina Kohlman, for her Personal Column
  • Tina Kohlman, Angie Ulness, Manitowoc County Agriculture Educator and Aerica Bjurstrom, for their Fact Sheet
  • Sandy Stuttgen, Taylor County Agriculture Educator, for her Feature Story
  • Jerry Clark, Regional Crops and Soils Educator for Chippewa, Dunn and Eau Claire Counties, Richard Halopka, Clark County Crops and Soils Educator, and Kevin Erb, Conservation Professional Training Program Manager, for their Publication
  • Jackie McCarville, Regional Dairy Educator for Grant, Green, Iowa, and Lafayette Counties, and Lyssa Seefeldt, for their Newsletter
  • Tina Kohlman, Aerica Bjurstrom, and Erin Dahle for their Website/ Online Content
  • Heather Schlesser, Marathon County Dairy Educator, and Sandy Stuttgen for their Learning Module/ Notebook.

Six of these nominations advanced to regional winners, and four of those to national finalists. These are: Learning Module /Notebook (national finalist), Heather Schlesser and Sandy Stuttgen; Educational Video Recordings (national finalist), Aerica Bjurstrom; Feature Story, Sandy Stuttgen; Computer Generated Graphics Presentation (national finalist), and Event Promotional Package Aerica Bjurstrom and Tina Kohlman, and Website/Online Content (national finalist), Tina Kohlman and Aerica Bjurstrom.

Receiving the Search for Excellence Award was the team of Carolyn Ihde, Crawford and Richland County Extension Educator, Lyssa Seefeldt, Bernadette O’Rourke, Youth Livestock Extension Specialist, Todd Taylor, Extension Sheep Specialist, and Bill Halfman, Extension Beef Specialist, for their programming in Livestock Production. This Small Ruminant program has advanced for national recognition.

Carolyn Ihde received the early career recognition, the Achievement Award. The purpose of the Achievement Award program is to encourage and recognize excellence in the field of professional Extension for members with less than ten years of service.

Tina Kohlman received the Distinguished Service Award. The purpose of the Distinguished Service Award Program is to encourage and recognize excellence in the field of professional Extension for members with more than ten years of service, who have conducted outstanding programs, and are held in high esteem by their fellow workers.