New 4-H building named for former Extension leader
The North Dakota 4-H Camp near Washburn, N.D., will launch a major renovation and expansion project later this year with a combination of state funding and private donations.
Half of the money for the $1.9 million project is in the NDSU Extension Service's 2013-15 budget approved by the legislature and governor. The other $950,000 is from individuals, organizations and corporations through the North Dakota 4-H Foundation's Shape a New Destiny campaign.
The project involves renovating the current camp facilities, expanding outdoor camp opportunities and constructing a multipurpose 4-H center that will be named in honor of Myron D. Johnsrud, a Watford City, N.D., area native who served as NDSU Extension Service director from 1974 to 1986.
"We received great support from the private sector, along with legislators and the governor, for this project," says Duane Hauck, director emeritus of the NDSU Extension Service and campaign steering committee chair.
"Naming the new building after Myron is a fitting tribute to his prominent leadership with the Extension Service and 4-H program," Hauck adds. "The importance of youth programs within the Extension Service was enhanced during Myron's tenure. He was a true champion of 4-H."
After serving as NDSU Extension Service director, Johnsrud was appointed by U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Richard Lyng as administrator of the federal Extension Service in Washington, D.C. His responsibility was to provide national leadership for the Extension system, which includes the 50 states and U.S. territories.
In 1993, he was selected by his state Extension Service peers to be the director of Extension and outreach with the National Association of State Universities and Land-Grant Colleges. After more than three decades of Extension Service leadership, he retired in 2002. He also served on the North Dakota 4-H Foundation and National 4-H Council board of directors. He was inducted into the national 4-H Hall of Fame in 2007.
Johnsrud has received numerous other honors for his leadership, including the NDSU Harvest Bowl Agribusiness Award and NDSU Alumni Achievement Award, and he is a member of the International Adult and Continuing Education Hall of Fame.
Johnsrud and his wife, Muriel, continue to support NDSU in many ways, including sponsoring an athletic scholarship and the annual Excellence in Extension/Outreach Award, which provides an early career NDSU Extension Service member with an opportunity to pursue professional development and advance his or her career.
Their son, Mark, who provided a $250,000 lead gift to the campaign, says, "It is great to see my father recognized in this way. I am pleased to support this project."
Mark Johnsrud is the CEO of Nuverra Environmental Solutions, which is one of the largest companies in the U.S. that provides the delivery, collection, treatment, recycling and disposal of restricted solids and fluids primarily in the gas and oil shale development areas in 26 states.
"The new Johnsrud 4-H Center and renovations will enhance the camp's learning environment, increase the camp's capacity to accommodate larger youth groups, provide access to people of all abilities, and ensure a sustainable, environmentally responsible camp program," says Brad Cogdill, chair of the NDSU Center for 4-H Youth Development.
4-H is the largest and only research-based youth organization in the state. Although the camp has 4-H in its name, its programs are open to all youth.
The North Dakota 4-H Camp was established in 1967 as the Western North Dakota 4-H Camp, one of two regional 4-H camps. It has become the sole statewide 4-H camp facility.
Its location is historically significant. The 84-acre facility is along the banks of the Missouri River near Fort Mandan, where explorers Lewis and Clark and the Corps of Discovery spent the winter of 1804.
"The camp was created with a primary focus of providing education, outdoor recreation and leadership opportunities for youth," Cogdill says. "The present facilities have served youth well during the past 45 years. However, now is the time to begin to shape the future."
Research shows that a 4-H camp experience has a positive impact on the social, personal and educational growth of the participants. It also increases awareness of environmental issues and interest in the outdoors, develops leadership skills and influences career decisions.
"Our camp setting provides a safe environment for youth to learn and have the opportunity to grow more confident in adventure and exploration," Cogdill says. "On behalf of North Dakota 4-H, we want to thank our political leaders and private donors for their excellent support."
For more information on how to help support the state's 4-H program, visit the North Dakota 4-H Foundation's website at www.ndsu.edu/4h/4_h_foundation, send an email to ndsu.4-H@ndsu.edu or call 701-231-7251.
NDSU is recognized as one of the nation’s top 108 public and private universities by the Carnegie Commission on Higher Education.