North Dakota State University Extension agent Brad Brummond has been named to the National Association of County Agricultural Agents (NACAA) Hall of Fame.
Brummond, NDSU Extension’s agriculture and natural resources agent in Walsh County, is the first North Dakotan to be selected for the NACAA Hall of Fame. He will be honored at the association’s conference, which is Sept. 8-12 in Fort Wayne, Ind.
The NACAA Hall of Fame Award was established in 2006 to recognize NACAA members for demonstrated commitment, dedication and effective leadership in job performance as an outstanding educator, association involvement at the state and national level, and outstanding humanitarian service. This award is presented annually to one person from each of the four NACAA regions.
“It is a very simple thing to care and want to help people make their lives better,” Brummond says.
Brummond joined NDSU Extension in 1982 as the assistant agent in Traill County. In 1984, he became the Extension agent in Hettinger County. Four years later, he took over as the agent in Kidder County, and in 1992, he moved to Walsh County.
Throughout his career, he has helped producers improve their crop production. That includes working to improve soil health, control weeds and identify new pesticide-resistant weeds, and providing training in the proper use of pesticides to keep farmers and the public safe. In addition, he has become an expert in organic crops and sustainable agriculture.
“Brad’s career has been one of weaving together the resources of the for-profit, nonprofit, governmental, research and educational sectors to meet the evolving needs of agriculture,” Theresa Podoll of Prairie Road Organic Seed, Fullerton, N.D., wrote in a letter of recommendation urging the NACAA to select Brummond for the Hall of Fame.
“Early in his career, recognizing an underserved constituency, Brad worked hard to study the needs of sustainable and organic farmers by immersing himself in the few support organizations they had,” she said. “He didn’t just visit their farms to understand their production systems, issues, questions, research and marketing needs; he immersed himself. He saw the work that needed to be done, how he could serve as an Extension educator, and he stepped forward; no task was too small or too great.”
She added: “Our farm and organic farms throughout the state and region have greatly benefitted from his knowledge, networking and support.”
He was recognized for his efforts in 2016 by being named a Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) Hero.
“That is their highest award and was a great moment in my life,” he says.
Brummond also has been instrumental in strengthening 4-H programming, with an emphasis on developing judging teams, in Walsh County. He has served as a role model and mentor to the 4-H’ers.
“I can confidently say that Brad has shaped my life and ultimately determined my career path,” former Walsh County 4-H’er Justin Zahradka wrote in his recommendation letter. “As a young 4-H member, I first remember Brad at the county fair. He was always the first one there, last one to leave, and made sure the events ran as smoothly as possible.”
At age 17, Zahradka joined Brummond’s Northeastern North Dakota Cover Crops Demonstration project. The first year, the youth grew a forage-based cover crop of radishes, turnips, barley, sorghum/sudan grass and peas and tracked how much weight his family’s cattle gained while grazing the cover crop.
“Brad helped me every step of the way, from selecting the seed mix and fertilizer, timing of grazing and analyzing the data,” said Zahradka, now 25. “It was through this process that I gained such tremendous agronomic knowledge and began to share Brad’s passion for sustainable agriculture.”
Brummond has been a member of the NACAA since 1982. He served as president of the North Dakota Association of Extension Agents in 2004. From 2004 to 2010, he served as national chair of the Search for Excellence Committee, and in 2011, he was elected North Central Region vice director. He has received numerous awards, including the NACAA Achievement Award and Distinguished Service Award, and NDSU’s Green and Golden Globe Diversity Award.
In addition, Brummond is active in various community affairs, serving on the Park River Area High School Board, North Valley Career and Vocational Center Board and Walsh County Arena Commission.