Dordt College News

Dordt Ag Department awarded

April 20, 2005

Sioux County’s Extension Service awarded a 2005 Extension Booster Award to the Agriculture Department at Dordt College this year, in recognition of continuous ongoing support the college has given to ISU’s Extension program. The award was presented at the annual Citizens for Extension Banquet held on the campus of Dordt College April 12.

Accepting the award on behalf of Dordt College was Dr. John Olthoff, professor of agriculture at Dordt College, and also currently serving as chairman of the extension council. Extension Award

Cheryl Heronemus, extension education director for Sioux County, said the extension service presents two awards annually, one to an individual and the other to a business or organization. Recipients are selected based on input by staff and extension council members, which was done covertly this year to surprise Olthoff with the presentation at the banquet.

“Dordt’s Ag Department is always willing to help out in any way they can,” commented Heronemus regarding this year’s Booster Award. “It benefits their students and it benefits the county. It’s really a win/win situation.” Heronemus said the Extension Service doesn’t have the staff to do all the teaching and training they’d like to accomplish, but thanks to the assistance of Dordt’s Ag Department they have been able to better serve farmers and young people in the region.

For example, recently 10 Dordt students in Dr. Duane Bajema’s Ag 105 class (Orientation and Ag Safety) assisted the extension service in offering a Tractor and Machinery Certification Course to 14 and 15-year-old youth in Lyon and Sioux County. Teens who are paid workers in agricultural production in Iowa are legally required to take this course, however currently in Iowa only 11 out of 99 counties offer the training, making it nearly impossible for youth to get the required safety training they need. Employers are subject to substantial fines ($1,000+) for violations of this pre-employment safety requirement. The course was held April 1, 2, 8 and 9 and included supervised behind-the-wheel tractor experience at Sioux-Lyon Implement.

Three Dordt ag students from Dr. John Olthoff’s Ag 234 Class (animal health) have also assisted with an extension FSQA (Food Safety Quality Assurance Training) Program for the 4-H youth in the county. This certification is required in order to show livestock at the county fair.

Three others developed a Grain Bin Safety Project, annually demonstrating to an estimated 1,000 area adults and youth the dangers of flowing grain in grain bins.

The Agriculture Department is the fourth largest enrollment program at Dordt College, offering a two-year associate degree and Bachelor of Arts degrees with a choice of five different emphases: agriculture, Agri-business, Animal Science, Plant Science, and Ag Missions.

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