Extension TodayNews from and about the 1890 Land-Grant Extension System
Message from the Chair
Vonda Richardson, Extension Administrator, Florida A&M University
On behalf of the Association of Extension Administrators (AEA) Executive Committee, we are excited to present the next edition of the Extension Today newsletter.
This monthly digital newsletter is intended to highlight Cooperative Extension and provide updates across the 1890 land-grant system. We appreciate the AEA Marketing and Communications Committee’s hard work on this project and each university’s participation in submitting excellent content.
The theme for September is awards recognition among the talented Extension faculty and staff at our 1890 Land-Grant Universities. We are specifically highlighting the 1890 Region Excellence in Extension Awards presented at this year’s Southern Region Program Leaders Network Virtual Conference. The Regional Award for Excellence in Extension is presented to individuals who strive throughout their careers through local, state, regional or national responsibilities to achieve the benchmarks reflective of excellence in Extension educational programming in 4-H Youth Development, Agriculture and Natural Resources, Community Resource Development, and Family and Consumer Sciences. The criteria include, but are not limited to:
- Demonstration of high impact of programs.
- Visionary leadership and anticipation of emerging issues for clientele and the system.
- Commitment to diversity.
- Integration of programs in partnership with university colleagues and outside clientele.
The awardees are recognized as leaders at their respective institutions, the communities they serve and in their respective fields of expertise. They have demonstrated the ability to garner a continual flow of resources for sustainable Extension programs and the use of innovative teaching methods. We celebrate these awardees, as well as other awards and acknowledgments throughout the 1890 land-grant system. We appreciate you taking the time to read about the talented expertise in Extension and the difference we are making in people’s lives. Continue to stay safe and protect others.
AEA presents Excellence in Extension Awards
Three Extension professionals received this year’s 1890 Region Excellence in Extension Award in recognition of career accomplishments that exemplify the vision and goals of Extension education at the local, state and national levels.
The recipients are Dr. Thomas Broyles, Extension associate professor and 4-H/youth development state program leader at Tennessee State University; Dr. Sanjun Gu, horticulture specialist at North Carolina A&T State University; and Dr. Tamara Warren, health and nutrition specialist at Alabama A&M University. Gu is the overall 1890 Region Excellence in Extension Award winner and will be recognized at the Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities (APLU) virtual conference on Oct. 28, 2020.
Broyles was recognized for expanding the outreach and impact of 4-H youth development programs at Tennessee State Extension to more than 50 counties. Gu is an accomplished researcher, teacher and Extension professional who works with both interdisciplinary research teams and small-scale producers. Warren serves Alabama residents at the highest risk for obesity and chronic diseases through initiatives such as Community Health Aerobic Motivational Program Initiating Optimal Nutrition (CHAMPION) and Technology Enhancing Exercise and Nutrition (TEEN).
Thirteen Extension professionals were nominated this year for the 1890 Region Excellence in Extension Award — a record number of nominations. In addition to the regional awards, the APLU presents a National Excellence in Extension Award and a National Extension Diversity Award at its annual meeting. The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) and Cooperative Extension have sponsored the awards since 1991.
ESP Epsilon Sigma Phi winner
By Wendi Williams, Communications & Marketing Coordinator at Alabama A&M University
Allyson Shabel, an Alabama Extension urban regional agent, recently received two awards from the Extension Professionals’ Organization Epsilon Sigma Phi: The Early-Career Service Award and the Distinguished Team Award for beekeeping outreach that has garnered international attention.
Other team winners include Jack Rowe, regional Extension agent, and Dr. Geoff Williams, Bee Lab director and assistant professor of entomology at Auburn University; and Phillip Carter, a retired AAMU Extension agent from Houston County, Alabama. Shabel has implemented Extension educational activities in the areas of home grounds and forestry, wildlife and natural resources for the past six years.
Dr. Elizabeth Myles honored at Professional Agricultural Workers Conference
Dr. Elizabeth Myles, associate director of the Alcorn State University Mississippi Small Farm and Agribusiness Center, was recently recognized as a 2019 L.A. Potts Success Story during the 77th annual Professional Agricultural Workers Conference (PAWC). Hosted by Tuskegee University, the conference provides a forum for the exchange of cutting-edge knowledge. It also acknowledges professionals who have made outstanding contributions in the realms of agriculture and outreach.
Myles was awarded for her “Marketing with Myles” radio show. Airing every Tuesday from 2-2:30 p.m. on Alcorn’s public radio station WPRL 91.7 FM, the show is hosted by Myles and produced by her husband, Jerome Myles Sr., WPRL gospel music director. It is designed to provide audiences with news and information surrounding agricultural marketing. It also serves as a platform for farmers, buyers, agricultural professionals and agribusinesses.
“It was an honor to receive such a prestigious award,” said Myles. “We look forward to bringing more innovative topics to our listening audiences and continuing to work with local farmers, agribusinesses and agricultural professionals.” For more information, contact Myles at (601) 877-3947 or email@example.com.
Federal agency congratulates Jamie Dahl for efforts with oak ecosystem, women-based woodlands organization
Preserving vital natural resources while creating economic opportunities within an underserved area of Ohio, Central State University Extension (CSUE) Forest Outreach Coordinator Jamie Dahl was congratulated earlier this year for creating and delivering outstanding results in the Renewable Resources Extension Act (RREA). The U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) funds RREA.
CSUE forestry programs recognized included continued collaboration through the Ohio Interagency Forestry Team. The forestry team is working to conserve the oak ecosystems in southeast Ohio through a shared stewardship approach and is working to restore oak-dominated forests across a 17-county project area in southeastern Ohio.
CSUE helped found a Women Owning Woodlands (WOW) group in southeast Ohio. WOW is part of a national movement to bring topical, accessible and current forestry and natural resources information to women landowners and forest practitioners.
2019 AEA Excellence in Extension awardee John Clendaniel
John Clendaniel, farm management specialist for Delaware State University, received the 2019 AEA Excellence in Extension Award for his service to DSU in the agriculture and natural resources program area.
A native of Kent County, Delaware, Clendaniel’s agricultural roots run deep. He grew up on a farm and has held jobs mostly in the agriculture industry, including work for his father’s agriculture equipment business. Clendaniel graduated in 1995 from DSU with a Bachelor of Science in agribusiness, just shortly after Delaware State College became DSU. Now, he is employed by his alma mater and is engaged in the field of work that he knows best — agriculture.
In his official capacity as Agriculture and Natural Resources program leader for DSU Extension, Clendaniel wears a variety of hats, including grantsmanship. He plans and conducts meetings, workshops and conferences to assist farmers with current issues. He is charged with coordinating the efforts of faculty and staff who provide outreach education to Delawareans in the areas of farm management, crop production trials, marketing and business planning.
Dr. Jennifer Taylor honored as the 2019 Woman of the Year in Agriculture
Dr. Jennifer Taylor, associate professor at Florida A&M University College of Agriculture and Food Sciences, was named the 2019 Woman of the Year in Agriculture. In February 2020, the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services honored her during the Florida State Fair, in conjunction with the Florida State Fair Authority and the Florida Farm Bureau Women’s Leadership Program.
Taylor is internationally known and recognized as a strong advocate for organic farming and has worked in Cooperative Extension for more than 20 years. In fall 2019, Rodale Institute recognized Taylor as an Organic Pioneer Award recipient. The organization presents the honor annually to a farmer, scientist and businessperson for their innovations and commitment to the organic industry.
At 16 years old, Janya Green, of Sylvester, Georgia, won the 2020 4-H Youth in Action Pillar Award for Agriculture by the National 4-H Council. Green was recognized nationally for her commitment to the future of rural agriculture and her leadership of the Fort Valley State University 4-H Village Community Garden, a program designed to combat food insecurity and nutrition-related diseases.
The 4-H Youth in Action Awards, sponsored in part by Bayer, began in 2010 to recognize 4-H’ers who have used the knowledge they gained in 4-H to create a lasting impact in their communities. Green grew up on her family’s farm and experienced firsthand the challenges America’s farmers and rural citizens face.
She channeled that experience into a passion for service when she met Sam X, her FVSU Extension 4-H Program mentor, who not only exposed her to a budding community garden initiative, but also introduced her to vast opportunities to grow as a leader through 4-H. She was 11 at the time, but Green took on the challenge to help launch the community garden and now serves as the garden manager. The garden fills 2.5 acres and provides more than a ton of high-quality produce, serving 3,000 households in the community annually.
Kentucky State University FCS specialist retires after award-winning, 44-year career
After 44 years of service at Kentucky State University, Dr. Joanne Bankston retired in 2020. She held various roles in Kentucky State’s Cooperative Extension and retired as coordinator of family and consumer sciences and as a state specialist for family economics management.
Bankston received numerous awards and honors throughout her career. She was honored as a legend in family and consumer sciences at the American Association of Family and Consumer Sciences conference and expo in 2016. She was among the 130 leaders from across the country whose biographies were published in “Leaders in Family and Consumer Sciences.”
In 2016, Bankston received the Association of Extension Administrators’ (AEA) Excellence in Extension Award for her outstanding contributions to Cooperative Extension at 1890 historically black land-grant universities. In 2013, she received KSU’s Outstanding Extension Specialist Award, and in 2010, she was part of a team that received the 2010 Outstanding Program Award for Legally Secure Your Financial Future from the Association of Financial Counseling and Planning Education. She held many other leadership positions at KSU and elsewhere since her KSU career began in 1976.
Micah Anderson receives Langston University's Lion Roaring Award
The annual Langston University School of Agricultural and Applied Sciences' Lion Roaring Award winner for 2020 is Micah Anderson, who is a LU-SAAS horticulture Extension educator. He is responsible for engaging farmers, producers and communities throughout the state of Oklahoma. Previous to the COVID-19 epidemic, he worked closely with LU-SAAS horticulture faculty, statewide partners like the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food and Forestry (ODAFF), Oklahoma State University and other community partners to conduct plasticulture workshops and presentations on Black farmers’ contributions to the development of Oklahoma agriculture.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, Anderson worked tirelessly to assist farmers and LU-SAAS researchers to develop field research and market gardening vegetable plots. He also worked along with OSU horticulture faculty to implement the ongoing Oklahoma Market Gardening School in Eastern Oklahoma. Throughout 2020, Anderson has demonstrated resourcefulness, technical expertise and knowledge of how to empower traditionally disadvantaged small farmers throughout the state. For these and many other reasons that have not been mentioned, Anderson is the LU-SAAS 2020 Roaring Lion.
The purpose of the Lion Roaring Award is to recognize exemplary Extension and outreach work, which exhibits the forward thinking and dynamic work that is expected of LU-SAAS Extension staff and faculty.
National leadership program grads include two from Extension at North Carolina A&T
Dr. Carinthia Cherry, nutrition specialist, and Dr. Sanjun Gu, horticulture specialist, both with Cooperative Extension at North Carolina A&T State University, were among the 90 graduates of this year’s LEAD21 national leadership development program. LEAD21 develops leaders within land-grant institutions and their strategic partners, who connect research, academics and Extension in their work. The program focuses on nine leadership competencies designed to help leaders develop their skills, personal leadership practices and network of peer leaders. Participants met as a group throughout the year, working together virtually and in person.
Cherry is responsible for developing and delivering nutrition programs for limited-resource audiences in North Carolina. Gu’s work focuses on vegetable grafting and season extension techniques for organic and sustainable vegetable and small fruit production.
“This leadership training made me aware who I really am and taught me how to form and manage a productive team,” said Gu. “It taught me that issues we experience every day are usually universal. The difference is how you deal with them and turn them toward the positive. It was an unforgettable experience.” The LEAD21 graduation was held in February in Washington, D.C.
Cooperative Extension Program agents earn Mary W. Wells Memorial Diversity Award
At this year’s Texas Extension Association of Family and Consumer Sciences Awards Celebration in Amarillo, Texas, three Cooperative Extension Program agents were awarded the Mary W. Wells Memorial Diversity Award. The recipients for the Family and Community Health CEP unit were Clara Walker, CEP agent in Waller County; Te’Anna Donaldson, CEP agent in Harris County; and Alfredo Alberto, CEP agent also in Harris County.
The purpose of the Mary W. Wells Memorial Diversity Award is to encourage agents to build relationships and engage in actions that strengthen the association. Additionally, the goal is to provide a support network and improve employee experiences while working for Texas A&M AgriLife and Prairie View A&M Extension Service and participating in the District 9 Extension Association of Family and Consumer Sciences.
Teki Hunt honored with Championship Award
Teki K. Hunt received the Championship Award for her outstanding support to the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff’s School of Agriculture, Fisheries and Human Sciences (SAFHS)’ 1890 Cooperative Extension Program’s Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program (EFNEP).
The award was presented by Dr. Doze Y. Butler, dean and director of SAFHS, and Easter Tucker, interim family and consumer sciences program leader for the Cooperative Extension Program, in 2019 at the 50-year celebration of EFNEP. It was awarded in recognition of the partnership between 4-H and EFNEP for the Healthy Habits program funded by a renewable grant from the Walmart Foundation through the National 4-H Council. The program is in its fourth year with this grant.
Zoumenou recognized among EFNEP peers
Dr. Virginie Zoumenou, University of Maryland Eastern Shore professor of dietetics and nutrition and director of the Extension Nutrition and Health Programs, is serving the Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program (USDA-NIFA) in two leadership roles.
Her colleagues nominated her as an Outstanding EFNEP Program Leader and chose her from among them to serve as one of 15 Program Leader Exemplars, said Dr. Susan Baker, professor and Extension specialist at Colorado State University and EFNEP coordinator. The program leaders are a group of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Education and EFNEP staff from 1862 and 1890 Land-Grant Universities working with the SNAP-Ed Program Development Team Executive Committee to develop core competencies for all job categories within their programs.
Baker said Zoumenou will use the “Developing a Curriculum” process to create, validate and confirm new or revise existing core competencies for four job categories: program leaders, program supervisors, professional educators and paraprofessional educators. “It is not surprising that Dr. Zoumenou has been given such an accolade, because the quality of her programs and activities are hard to match. She is a unique asset to our UMES Extension Program,” said Dr. Nelson Escobar, interim associate administrator for Extension at UMES.
Excellence in STEM Award winner
Dr. Chantel Wilson lives where science and nature intersect, and she loves introducing youth to her world. Wilson is an Extension specialist and 4-H STEAM educator with the Virginia Cooperative Extension (VCE) at Virginia State University (VSU). In May, Wilson was selected as the Virginia winner for the Excellence in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics Award by the National Association of Extension 4-H Youth Development Professionals (NAE4-HYDP) for an innovative, hands-on 4-H curriculum she developed, entitled “Grass, Goats, and Uninvited Guests.”
The curriculum, which teaches youth how to identify and treat parasites in sheep and goats, was successfully peer-reviewed and published by the VCE in April. It is currently awaiting submission to the National 4-H Council’s national 4-H peer-review system. Wilson is working with the council to create educational kits for purchase at Shop 4-H. She is also part of a team that developed the 2020 4-H STEM Challenge Mars Base Camp Kit, which is currently being distributed for 4-H programming nationwide and will be featured during 4-H STEM Month in October.
Wilson earned her doctorate in crop and soil environmental sciences from Virginia Tech, a master’s degree in plant pathology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a bachelor’s degree in biology from Hood College.
West Virginia State University communicator receives Pioneer Award for excellent leadership
A member of the West Virginia State University (WVSU) communications and marketing team received an award in June from the Association for Communication Excellence (ACE) in Agriculture, Natural Resources, and Life and Human Sciences, the national association for communications professionals working within the Cooperative Extension System.
Assistant Director of Communications Stacy Herrick received the ACE Pioneer Award, which honors members who demonstrate exceptional leadership and technical skills and make significant contributions to ACE during their early careers.
“We couldn’t be prouder to see Stacy’s work honored by ACE,” said WVSU Extension Service Director Dr. Ami Smith. “She has truly elevated our communications and marketing efforts since joining the team and continues to raise the bar with each project she takes on.”
Herrick joined the WVSU communications and marketing team in 2013, providing graphic design support for WVSU Extension Service and other campus units. This acknowledgement is merely the latest in a string of a dozen awards the WVSU communications team has received from ACE over the past six years.
Message from the ECOP Chair
Dr. Mark Latimore Extension Administrator, Fort Valley State University
It gives me great pleasure in our second AEA newsletter to thank you for affording me the opportunity to serve as chair of the Extension Committee on Policy (ECOP) during the 2019-2020 year. As part of the Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities (APLU), ECOP is the representative leadership and governing body of the Cooperative Extension Section.
I can truly say that AEA prepared me well for the role as chair. Each of you provided support and advice, which was extremely valuable to my success. With your support, we were able to accomplish the goals of ECOP to include securing support for changing the carryover provision language of Section 1444 (1890 Agricultural Extension) to be consistent with the Smith-Lever carryover provision. We were also successful in implementing other member-driven opportunities designed to enhance resources, relationships and recognition for Cooperative Extension nationally. This has been an excellent experience! Again, we thank you for your support.