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Retiree updates (June 2021)

Welcome new retirees

Joyce Hoelting retired on April 9. Joyce has been described as the backbone, the heart and soul, and as the glue that bound the Center for Community Vitality together for 20 years. Her contributions and leadership in the center’s writing and communications, in facilitation, marketing and resource development, human resources management, and grant development and reporting empowered the center to become one of the most highly respected and often emulated cooperative Extension community development units in the country. Her grant-writing skills and coordination helped keep the center in the black during times of reduced funding. Joyce co-founded Friends in the Field, which allowed other community development partners to discuss issues of mutual concern in Minnesota, reduced competition and created avenues for greater collaboration. Joyce served Extension as the organization-wide federal reporting specialist and served on a variety of Extension-wide committees.

In Memoriam

George W. Morse, March 28. George graduated with a bachelor’s degree from University of Maine, a master’s degree from Purdue University and a doctorate from the University of Wisconsin in applied economics. George was a professor at The Ohio State University from 1977 to 1989. He was a professor beginning in 1989, and later an Extension senior associate dean, at the University of Minnesota until his retirement in 2007. George loved his profession and continued to mentor and encourage everyone he had worked with over his long and enjoyable career.

Gordon Rose, April 10. Gordon worked for the USDA, SDSU and University of Minnesota Extension. He retired in 1987 with 30 years of federal service and 13 years in Extension. Through the USDA, he educated groups in various agricultural systems which grew to include several international workshops and classes as well. Most recently, Gordon lived in Sioux Falls, S.D.

Carl Hoffman, April 28. Carl was an Extension educator in horticulture, retiring in 2010. He started in Stearns County in 1989 as a summer assistant, and his appointment increased over several years when he took on Benton County Master Gardener responsibilities. Carl is best known as a horticulturist and has taught parts of the Master Gardener Core Course and the LPAT programs.

Chuck Christians, April 29. After attending Iowa State University, Chuck received a master’s degree at North Dakota State University where he taught animal science, coached the livestock judging team and wrote a book titled “Aberdeen Angus Bloodlines.” He received a doctorate. at Oklahoma State University in beef cattle breeding and conducted research in beef carcass composition and meat quality issues. He held an associate professor position at Mississippi State University where he taught sheep production, beef cattle breeding and coached the livestock judging team. Christians joined the University of Minnesota in 1964 as an Extension livestock specialist. He taught live animal evaluation and sheep production courses, coached the livestock judging team, was in charge of the sheep teaching unit, and supervised undergraduate and graduate research projects.

Retirees in retirement: Sharing your story

Gene Allen recently published his memoirs in a book titled "Unexpected Adventures: Farm Kid to Professor.” It features stories of Gene’s life growing up in rural Idaho and describes his 43 year journey through college to connected but unique roles at the University of Minnesota: professor, dean, vice president and provost, and head of International Programs. The book was edited with love by Gene’s granddaughter, Cassidy Minarik.

Eddie Berhardson, former Clay County Extension educator and director, will be honored at this year's NDSU Harvest Bowl in November in Fargo. He will receive the Agribusiness Award, which is given each year to a person who has distinguished themselves in the field of agriculture in North Dakota and beyond. Harvest Bowl is an annual event at North Dakota State University that goes back to the 1970's. Eddie has chaired this event for 15 years. Harvest Bowl recognizes the success of outstanding agriculturists from 53 counties in North Dakota and 10 counties in Minnesota. The weekend event celebrates the excellence in agriculture and Bison sports. Scholarships are given to Bison athletes who have an agriculture background.

Eddie was honored to receive a phone call from NDSU President Bresciani as he shared news of the award with him.

Gwen Gmeinder, former government relations staff (and former Retiree News editor), was appointed to the board of directors for PeaceMaker Minnesota. The mission of this non-profit organization is to help schools be safer places, free from bullying and harassment, and to help youth learn positive relational skills like empathy, respect and how to resolve conflicts peacefully. As a result, school environments are improved, advancing academic achievement and youth learn social skills that can serve them throughout their lives — at home, at work and in the community. “I promote this organization because their accomplishments are helping kids,” says Gwen, who recommends a visit to the PeaceMaker Minnesota website.

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