Montana State University

MSU Extension employees win awards for excellence in community development

May 25, 2016 -- MSU News Service

Jennifer Anderson, Extension agent in Rosebud and Treasure counties, received the NACDEP Excellence in Community Development Individual Award for her work developing the Community Foundation of Northern Rosebud County. Photo courtesy of MSU Extension.Katie Weaver, Park County economic and community development agent, led a team of professionals who earned the NACDEP Excellence in Community Development Team Award for creation of a program designed to empower and engage leaders. Photo courtesy of MSU Extension.

Jennifer Anderson, Extension agent in Rosebud and Treasure counties, received the NACDEP Excellence in Community Development Individual Award for her work developing the Community Foundation of Northern Rosebud County. Photo courtesy of MSU Extension.

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BOZEMAN -- Two Montana projects led by Montana State University Extension employees recently earned first place Western region awards from the National Association of Community Development Extension Professionals.

Jennifer Anderson, Extension agent in Rosebud and Treasure counties, received the NACDEP Excellence in Community Development Individual Award for her work developing the Community Foundation of Northern Rosebud County (CFNRC). Katie Weaver, Park County economic and community development agent, led a team of professionals who earned the NACDEP Excellence in Community Development Team Award for creation of a program designed to empower and engage leaders.

Anderson helped found the CFNRC in 2008 as a way to fund on-going and future projects within Rosebud County. The foundation is governed by a local volunteer board of directors that actively seeks donations and works to keep wealth from leaving the rural area by providing a means to capture it for the use of the community. Since 2008, the CFNRC has accumulated a total endowment of $380,000. More than $80,000 has been distributed to 90 community projects. These projects include upgrading the helipad at the community hospital, providing swimming lessons for youth and purchasing iPads for each classroom in the public schools.

Anderson, who has been an Extension professional since 1997, was recognized for being instrumental in identifying community needs and bringing people together as a team to meet them.

“Jennifer promotes inclusiveness and diversity and has successfully helped both with asset development and in allocating funds through grants that have significant county-wide impacts,” said Paul Lachapelle, the MSU Extension program leader and community development specialist who nominated her.

Weaver spearheaded the creation of Leadership 49, an eight-month program designed to empower and engage leaders from across Park County by enhancing leadership skills and communication and increasing knowledge about challenges and opportunities in different communities. By cultivating relationships and encouraging participants to become more informed citizens, the organization is helping build capacity throughout the county.

The Leadership 49 award also recognizes team members: Tracy Mosley, MSU Extension agriculture and horticulture agent; Mary Anne Keyes, MSU Extension 4-H and family and consumer sciences agent; Druska Kinkie, E Bar P Ranch; Meagan Lannan, Livingston Job Service; Ted Madden, Park County Community Foundation; Tawnya Rupe, Mountain Sky Guest Ranch; Jessie Sarrazin, ERA Landmark Western Land; Paul Shea, Yellowstone Gateway Museum; and Tom Shellenberg, Ace Hardware.

NACDEP is an organization committed to increasing the visibility, coordination, professional status and resource base of community and economic development Extension programs and professionals.

Anderson and Weaver will receive their awards at the national conference in June.

Contact: Jodie DeLay, MSU Extension, (406) 994-2502, jdelay@montana.edu