Montana State University

Montana Extension Agents receive National Awards

January 28, 2011 -- MSU News Service

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Belt - Cascade County MSU Extension Agent Wendy Wedum has been recognized by the National Association of Community Development Extension Professionals (NACDEP) for her leadership in working with community members to develop, implement and coordinate a new Community Development Program to address poverty in Belt, Montana. Wedum received the 2011 Excellence in Community Development Work Award for coordinating work in Belt that resulted in successful implementation of many community programs, including weatherization improvements to the local Senior Center, construction of an information kiosk on Main Street, a grant for a new wellness facility, and coordinating a Youth Leadership Group.

"It's Extension Agents like Wendy Wedum that are responsible for much of the community development work that is coordinated and implemented around the state," said Paul Lachapelle, president of the state affiliate of NACDEP. "The work of addressing poverty in communities across Montana is challenging; Wendy provided much of the momentum and leadership that has brought about important change in the area and she is deserving of this national recognition."

The award will be presented to Wedum at the 2011 NACDEP conference in Charleston, South Carolina in March.

Glendive - The Awards Committee of the Montana Association of Community Development Extension Professionals (MACDEP) voted unanimously to nominate Bruce Smith, MSU Extension Agent in Dawson County, for the State Distinguished Extension Community Development Service Award. The National Association of Community Development Extension Professionals (NACDEP) recognizes one individual from each state for their achievement. Smith received this award for his outstanding service in Extension Community Development programs.

Smith has been involved in coordination of the Montana Horizons Program, a community capacity-building program to address poverty; a food development center; organizing a local community garden and farmers market; development of a farm-to-table co-operative including establishing local food councils in neighboring counties; and working with the Montana Department of Corrections on a prison garden.

"Extension Agent Bruce Smith has been involved in so many impactful projects, he really is the consummate community development professional," said Paul Lachapelle, president of the state affiliate of NACDEP. "He is a tremendous resource to his community, his county and the state. I speak for all of the community development educators in Extension when I congratulate Bruce on this well-deserved recognition."

The award will be presented to Smith at the 2011 NACDEP conference in Charleston, South Carolina in March.

Paul Lachapelle, Extension Community Development Specialist, (406) 994-3620 or paul.lachapelle@montana.edu