MSU Extension Employees and Supporters Win Awards for Excellence and Service


BOZEMAN – Montana State University Extension agents, staff and supporters from across Montana recently received awards during Extension’s annual conference at MSU in Bozeman.


Laurie Lautt, MSU Extension agent in Big Horn County, received the 2016 Silver Buffalo Award in recognition of 37 years of exceptional service. The award, given by Montana's Joint Council of Extension Professionals, is MSU Extension’s highest honor. Lautt has directly reached more than 800 participants through food preservation education. The Big Horn County commissioners, in their letter of recommendation, lauded her as an outstanding mentor, professional, teacher and colleague, calling her food safety work essential to the county.


Elin Kittelmann, MSU Extension agent in Fallon-Carter Counties, received the Anne Wiprud Memorial Award, which recognizes an MSU Extension professional with fewer than 10 years of experience for outstanding achievement. Kittelmann has organized presentations in her counties by numerous national experts, including Temple Grandin, Curt Pate and Dr. Robert Mortimer. When producers brought concerns over water quality to her attention, she worked with local veterinarians, staff at Fort Keogh and other groups to respond. Her efforts culminated in the publishing of educational materials and funding to manufacture inexpensive water testing devices for producers.


The Alexander Blewett III School of Law at the University of Montana and the Business, Estates, Trusts, Tax and Real Property section of the State Bar of Montana, also known as BETTR, won the JCEP Arrowhead Award, which recognizes a community partner, for their support of MSU Extension estate planning and financial education programs. The School of Law has provided countless hours reviewing MontGuides and curriculum, providing pro bono work and helping to ensure that MSU Extension financial education information is accurate and easy to understand. BETTR has provided 30 years of support beginning with the creation of the public service committee to review documents for accuracy and make suggestions for improvement. Members of BETTR have been involved in the review of 39 estate planning MontGuides that are widely used by the general public.


The Montana chapter of Epsilon Sigma Phi, a national fraternity of Extension educators, presented the Montana ESP Early-Career Award (less than 10 years) to Cascade County Extension agent Rose Malisani. In addition to regular duties, Malisani provided leadership to the Symbol of Excellence swine carcass evaluation program and the 2015 and 2016 state 4-H horse show.


The Montana ESP Distinguished Service Award went to Bobbie Roos, Daniels County. As the only agent in her county, Roos has developed a comprehensive Extension program that includes agriculture, horticulture, 4-H, family and consumer sciences and community development.


The Montana ESP Visionary Leadership Award went to Jane Wolery of Teton County in recognition of accomplishments leading Extension in a new direction. Wolery brought the eParenting program, which empowers parents to use digital media as a powerful and positive tool in supporting their parenting role, to Montana. In addition, Wolery recently achieved full professorship at MSU.


The Montana ESP Friend of Extension award for outstanding public service and support to state Extension programs went to Montana State Senator Taylor Brown. In his role as legislator, broadcaster, rancher and alum, Brown has been a staunch supporter of Extension, the College of Agriculture and MSU in general. Brown is a founding member of Resource Education and Agricultural Leadership Montana and continues to serve on its board. As a senator, he was instrumental in the legislature restoring funding for two Extension specialist positions, supporting the Schutter Diagnostic Laboratory and providing base funding for the Local Government Center.


The Montana ESP Team Award went to the National Extension Association of Family and Consumer Science National Conference Planning Committee led by Tara Andrews, Custer County, and Sheila Friedrich, Sheridan County. The team also included 49 MSU Extension personnel. This award recognizes teams who have contributed significantly to the state’s response to national Extension initiatives. The team hosted 712 colleagues from 38 states at the conference held at Big Sky in September.


The Montana Association of Extension 4-H agents awarded the following: Achievement in Service (3-6 years of service) to Shelley Mills, Valley County, and Jerrica Seilstad, Cascade County; Distinguished Service (7 or more years of service) to Katelyn Andersen, Ravalli County, and Allison Kosto, Broadwater County; Meritorious Service (15 or more years of service) to Sharla Sackman, Prairie County.


Communicator Awards were recognized as follows: Josie Evenson, Richland County, state published photo; Jane Wolery, Teton County, state news story, state and regional feature story; Kelton Jensen and JaNaie Veca, Gallatin County, state and regional periodical publication. Brett Schomer, 4-H Center for Youth Development, won the state, regional and national Communicator Award for a promotional piece.


Lisa Terry, Stillwater County, earned the Excellence in Global Citizenship award and Allison Kosto earned the 4-H Volunteerism award. Nikki Bailey, Carbon County; Shannon Arnold, College of Agriculture, Division of Agricultural Education; and Lisa Terry, Kelton Jensen and Christina McRae-Holland, working with 4-H, earned the state, regional and national award for Excellence in Teamwork.


The National Extension Association of Family and Consumer Sciences recognized Jane Wolery with Communications Awards for written press release, first place state and region and internet education, first place state and second place region. Wendy Wedum, Pondera County, and Alice Burchak, Toole County, earned Communication Team Award, first place state and region. Jona McNamee, Cascade County, and Sandy Bailey, family and human development specialist and program leader, earned the Early Childhood/Childcare Training award. Lisa Terry earned first place in the state and region for photography and best newsletter with Ashley House, Stillwater County.


The Powerful Tools for Caregiving team, including Laurie Lautt, Wendy Wedum, Denise Seilstad, from Fergus County; Nori Pearce, from Lake County; Tara Andrews, Jennifer Anderson, from Rosebud-Treasure Counties; Jane Wolery, Roubie Younkin, from Valley County; Jackie Rumph, from Yellowstone County; Katrin Finch, from Hill County; Bobbie Roos, Jona McNamee, Debbie Albin and Sandy Bailey, won second place in the Western region for Community Partnership.


The Montana Association of County Agricultural Agents awarded the Distinguished Service Award to George Haynes, Extension specialist in Agricultural Economics and Economics. Haynes provides education in farm policy and financial management for agricultural borrowers. The Achievement Award went to Tracy Mosley of Park County. Mosley focuses her programming on range management, invasive species and forages.


Members of the Montana Association of Community Development Extension Professionals were recognized for the following awards: Western Region Team Award for Excellence in Community Development work, Leadership 49, Katie Weaver, Tracy Mosley and Mary Anne Keyes all of Park County; and Western Region Team Award for Excellence in Community Development work, Community Foundation of Northern Rosebud County, Jennifer Anderson.


For more information, contact Jodie DeLay at (406) 994-2502 or

Caption: Montana State University Extension agents, staff and supporters from across Montana recently received awards for excellence and service during Extension’s annual conference at MSU in Bozeman.


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