Distinguished service awards presented at ANR luncheon

Michigan State University (MSU) College of Agriculture and Natural Resources (CANR) honored Charlotte Louise Wenham and John Amos with distinguished service awards at the annual Agriculture and Natural Resources (ANR) Week luncheon held March 8 at the Kellogg Hotel & Conference Center.

Charlotte Louise Wenham is an MSU alumna, having earned a bachelor’s degree in speech and a master’s in English. She also earned a doctorate in education administration from Western Michigan University. She has served as teacher, middle school principal, curriculum director and assistant superintendent in the St. Joseph Public Schools. She currently is a partner in Wood, Wenham & Henderson, through which she acts as a consultant, working with Michigan school districts, small businesses and non-profits.

Charlotte served as president of the Benton Harbor/St. Joseph Rotary Club, a member of the Berrien County MSU Extension Council and a member of the Michigan State Extension and Experiment Station Council, representing Berrien, Cass and Van Buren counties, along with the Southwest Research and Extension Center, the Kellogg Biological Station and the Kellogg Experimental Forest.

In the last six years, she has volunteered as a citizen advocate for MSUE, AgBioResearch and the CANR as a Michigan delegate to the Council for Agricultural Research, Extension and Teaching (CARET), which meets annually in Washington D.C. to learn about national impacts of Cooperative Extension programs and research from land-grant universities and how federal policies and funding affect the land-grant systems. She is a very effective advocate for our programs and can cite a number of programs and impacts that have made a difference in Michigan. She also contacts congressional offices at other times of the year to discuss the importance of MSUE and AgBioResearch programs and issues ranging from annual United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) budget bills to farm program legislation and special grant appropriations requests.

Charlotte has received the Outstanding Leadership Award from the Benton Harbor/St. Joseph Rotary Club; both state and local Outstanding Leader citations from the Delta Kappa Gamma Society, a professional society for women in education; an Above and Beyond Award from the rotary club and the Volunteer of the Year Award from Planned Parenthood of Mid-Michigan. Thanks, Char for all you do to support our work!

John Amos is owner of Amos Farms, a fruit-growing operation in the Williamsburg/Elk Rapids area. He and his family assisted the research of MSU Extension and the Michigan Agricultural Experiment Station (now MSU AgBioResearch), by supplying trees, application equipment and crews to collect harvest data for a six-year study of the chemical, ethephon. John went so far as to adjust his harvesting program to accommodate the researchers’ needs. Data collected from the research were the basis for ethephon’s eventual commercial use. John continuously offers his farm for studies and contributes to MSU’s research programs.

He and his wife, Pat, have hosted numerous foreign students, having them gain experience interning on their farm.

 For 20 years, he has volunteered for the Weather Service Cooperative Program, recording temperature and rainfall measurements. This valuable work allows growers to make educated decisions regarding applying sprays, irrigating and other tasks. The information he collected was recently incorporated into the MSU Agricultural Weather Network. He received the Outstanding Service Award from the Department of Commerce and National Weather Service Program.

John is a long-term active member of the MSU Horticulture Society, a member of the Whitewater Township Board and chair for the Elk Rapids Fire Department. Thanks, John, for helping to support our research and Extension programs and for opening your farm to our scientists and educators!

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