Brent Plugge received the Distinguished Service Award (DSA) from the National Association of County Agriculture Agents during the 2022 Annual Meeting and Professional Improvement Conference. The conference was held in West Palm Beach, Florida on July 20. He was one of several honorees who represent the top two percent of the membership selected by their peers.
Plugge began his career in extension in Kansas in 1989. He moved to Nebraska Extension in 1994 and has since served for 27 years. Plugge’s education programs focus on beef production systems. His most significant accomplishments have been establishing the Nebraska Ranch Practicum (NRP) and developing the Husker Beef Lab (HBL). NRP is a comprehensive course of study offered in the Nebraska Sandhills that provides hands-on instruction in ranch management. Since its inception, over 700 participants have graduated from the program. HBL is a mobile laboratory that provides a platform for instructors to teach science, focusing on ruminant animal nutrition. The program was established in 2011 and has reached over 20,000 students.
Plugge has also served on several state and regional committees and has mentored many new extension educators. He is currently a faculty advisory for the UNL Innovative Beef Systems Extension Team and serves as the lead educator for the Nebraska Extension Office in Buffalo County.
NACAA is a nation-wide professional extension organization geared toward extension educators/agents and other professionals who work in agriculture, horticulture, forestry and natural resources, 4-H youth development, community development and related disciplines. The DSA is conferred on members who have worked in extension for at least ten years, are held in high esteem by their fellow workers and have developed and put into effect an outstanding extension program, which includes carrying to completion constructive and outstanding work.