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Extension specialist honored for public service

Photo of John Nowatzki


John Nowatzki, NDSU Extension agricultural machines specialist, recently received one of nine Governor’s Awards for Excellence in Public Service. The presentations were made at a luncheon at the state capitol on Sept. 11.

“We deeply appreciate the commitment and dedication of our team members who work hard every day to deliver high-quality services to North Dakotans,” Gov. Doug Burgum said. “It’s with great pleasure and gratitude that we recognize these individuals for their outstanding work, commitment to continuous improvement and superb service to our state and its citizens.”

Nowatzki was recognized with the Pioneer Award for Excellence in Innovation for his cutting-edge work in precision agriculture technology, including farm applications for unmanned aerial vehicles.

“I certainly recognize that all of these efforts are group activities. I truly appreciate the collaboration with so many individuals at NDSU, and specifically with NDSU Extension personnel both at the county and state level,” Nowatzki said. “Most of the work I have done with unmanned aerial vehicles in agriculture has been in collaboration with private industry.”

Nowatzki joined the NDSU Extension Service in 1994. He earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in agricultural education from NDSU. He is a member of the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers.

Other awards and honorees included:

Heritage Award for Customer Service: Jeff McKinnon, administrative supervisor for addiction services with the Southeast Human Service Center, Department of Human Services

Telegraph Award for Excellence in Technology: Cliff Heyne, online program manager, Enterprise Services Division of the Information Technology Department

Zezula Award – “One Who Helps”: Colleen “Kelly” Weiand, veteran’s specialist with the North Dakota National Guard

Zezula Award – “One Who Helps”: Ben Ehreth, planning asset management team, Department of Transportation

Landmark Award for Excellence in Management: John Axtman, Williston district supervisor with the Department of Mineral Resources’ Oil and Gas Division

Frontier Award for Excellence in Continuous Learning: Dr. Lisa Peterson, clinical director, Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation

Harvest Award for Excellence in Quality: Karlene Fine, executive director of the Industrial Commission

Roaming Bison Award (Team): Unified Command – represented by North Dakota National Guard Adjutant Gen. Alan Dohrmann, Highway Patrol Col. Michael Gerhardt Jr. and Morton County Sheriff Kyle Kirchmeier

A record number of nearly 300 submissions were received this year.

As a student-focused, land-grant, research university, we serve our citizens.

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North Dakota State University
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