Tag Archives: distinguished service award

ANR Week honors industry leaders at luncheon

This week is Agriculture and Natural Resources (ANR) Week. On Tuesday, March 10, several people were honored with awards at the ANR Week Luncheon.

Each year the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources presents Distinguished Service Awards to those individuals or partners who have made outstanding contributions to Michigan’s agriculture and natural resources industries and who possess high standards of integrity and character to positively reflect and enhance the prestige of the CANR. These individuals demonstrate a commitment to Michigan State University and the CANR by continuing outstanding volunteerism and leadership on behalf of or in conjunction with the university on a local, state, national or international level. I’d like to call attention to the three people who received Distinguished Service Awards: Richard H. Lehnert, William L. Sheridan and David L. Smith.

 Richard H. Lehnert, associate editor of Good Fruit Grower, is a 1963 MSU alumnus. He served the Michigan agriculture sector as editorial assistant and editor of Michigan Farmer. Additionally, he owned and operated his own communications agency for another decade. Richard was managing editor of Fruit Growers News and associate editor of Vegetable Growers News. He earned national recognition for his reporting when the fire-retardant chemical polybrominated biphenyl (PBB) was mistakenly added to animal feed, leading to the destruction of thousands of cattle, pigs and chickens. For this, he received the Detroit Press Club Foundation Professional Award. He received the Heath Cooper Rigdon Conservation Writer Award for his coverage of soil conservation.

William L. Sheridan, auctioneer and realtor, is a 1972 MSU alumnus. He has operated several businesses in mid-Michigan, including Sheridan Auction Service, Owosso Livestock and Sales Company, the Brokerage Land Company and Sheridan Realty. A Mason resident, he was named the Michigan Cattlemen’s Association Member of the Year in 2014 and was recently inducted into the National Auctioneers Hall of Fame. He was appointed by former Gov. John Engler to the Michigan Beef Industry Commission and served as chair from 1998 until 2006. William maintains strong ties to the MSU Department of Animal Science, serving on its advisory and scholarship committees. He has also served on the CANR Alumni Association Board and serves the CANR as an auctioneer at AutumnFest, the college’s indoor tailgate event.

David L. Smith, executive director of the Michigan Vegetable Council, has been an advocate for the Michigan vegetable industry and for Michigan agriculture in general. In his current role, he has helped secure more than $2 million in grants for research on major vegetable disease problems. He launched the merger of the annual conference of the Michigan State Horticultural Society and the Michigan Vegetable Council to form the Fruit, Vegetable and Farm Market Expo. David is a member of the Michigan Farm Bureau, the Monroe County Extension Council and the Board of Review for Erie Township, Michigan, and an active member of several community organizations.

All three of these individuals have been outstanding partners for MSU and Michigan State University Extension. Congratulations to all three Distinguished Service Award winners!

Comments Off on ANR Week honors industry leaders at luncheon

Filed under ANR Week

Educators shine at NACAA conference

A group of seven of our Michigan State University Extension educators attended the National Association of County Agricultural Agents (NACAA) Annual Meeting and Professional Improvement Conference (AM/PIC) July 20‒24 in Mobile, Alabama. Attendees included Phil Durst, Tom Guthrie, Phil Kaatz, Stan Moore, George Silva, Mike Staton and Nancy Thelen.

“The AM/PIC provides a wide variety of educational and networking opportunities from which we learn and are inspired,” said Phil Durst, senior Extension educator and president of the Michigan Association of Extension Agents (the Michigan affiliate of the NACAA). “This is also a great team-building time.”

Phil let us know that the conference offered 65 seminars on a variety of agricultural topics and super seminars provided opportunity for in-depth study of topics such as climate science and agriculture, farm business transfer, and soil health and cover crops. Educators went on more than 20 tours that focused on agricultural enterprises, resource management, business and local attractions. An exhibit featuring more than 100 professional posters provided a glimpse of a wide variety of research and educational projects. Dr. Dana Chandler of Tuskegee University provided the keynote address on the role of George Washington Carver, Booker T. Washington and Thomas Monroe Campbell, all of Tuskegee, in pioneering Extension work.

As in years past, many of our colleagues received awards, presented or were involved in other ways.

Nancy Thelen received the Distinguished Service Award that encourages and recognizes excellence in the field of professional Extension from NACAA members with more than 10 years of service. She also was the national winner of the Agricultural Awareness and Appreciation Award. In addition, she presented two posters at the conference about Breakfast on the Farm.

Mike Staton was a national finalist for a published photo. A team consisting of Ned Birkey, Dan Rajzer, Marilyn Thelen, Dan Rossman, Bruce MacKellar and Mike Staton were national finalists in the “Search for Excellence in Crop Production.” Mike had the opportunity to present the work at the meeting.

The Extension Dairy Team was a national winner for a promotional piece, the 2013/14 Dairy Programs booklet. The team includes Stan Moore, Kathy Lee, Phil Durst, Frank Wardynski, Faith Cullens and Craig Thomas.

Stan Moore and Phil Durst were national finalists for an audio recording, their “Dairy Moosings” podcasts.

Tom Guthrie and Phil Durst served as voting delegates.

Congratulations to all!

Comments Off on Educators shine at NACAA conference

Filed under Awards

Extension educator receives Michigan Pork Producers Association’s highest honor

Michigan State University senior Extension educator Gerald (“Jerry”) May was awarded the Michigan Pork Producers Association (MPPA) Distinguished Service Award on Feb. 20 at the Professional Pork Producers Symposium luncheon at the Lansing Center.

MSU senior Extension educator Jerry May receives the Michigan Pork Producers Association (MPPA) Distinguished Service Award.


Michigan State University senior Extension educator Jerry May gives his acceptance speech upon receiving the Michigan Pork Producers Association (MPPA) Distinguished Service Award Feb. 20, 2014, at the Professional Pork Producers Symposium at the Lansing Center in Lansing, Mich.
Photo credit: Megan Sprague, MPPA

Jerry received the award, MPPA’s highest honor, for a lifetime of outstanding service to the pork industry. During the ‘80s, he served as a board member and two years as president of the MPPA. He continues to contribute with his work as an MSU Extension educator. Jerry has been with MSU Extension since 1999, working with commercial pork producers and in pork-related youth activities. He’s a pork producer himself, which is one of the reasons he relates so well to the industry. He has been working as an air quality educator and has various outreach and research activities in that area. Jerry has taken the lead on many of the environmental efforts Extension is making. He helps producers site new livestock facilities and helps them comply with GAAMPs (generally accepted agricultural and management practices).

Jerry was promoted to senior Extension educator status in 2013, evidence that we think he’s pretty effective, too. But there’s nothing to compare with recognition from the industry you serve. Congratulations, Jerry!

Comments Off on Extension educator receives Michigan Pork Producers Association’s highest honor

Filed under Awards

MSU AgBioResearch director receives two awards at Great Lakes EXPO

Doug Buhler, director of Michigan State University AgBioResearch and senior associate dean for research for the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources (CANR), received two awards on Dec. 11 during the Great Lakes Fruit, Vegetable and Farm Market EXPO annual banquet in Grand Rapids.

The Michigan State Horticultural Society (MSHS) honored Dr. Buhler with the Distinguished Service Award, and the Michigan Vegetable Council (MVC) honored him with the Master Farmer Associate Award. Both organizations recognized his strong commitment to serve the needs and listen to the concerns of industry stakeholders.

Dr. Buhler has served in a number of leadership positions at MSU, among them chairperson of the Department of Crop and Soil Sciences, interim state leader for agriculture programs in MSU Extension, and most recently interim dean for the CANR.

He has been on the leadership team for MSU Project GREEEN (Generating Research and Extension to meet Economic and Environmental Needs) for many years. The awards credited him for helping develop this initiative into “an outstanding example of cooperation between industry stakeholders and the university.” Dr. Buhler was also credited for recognizing the importance of key research and extension positions to industry, and working to hire new scientists during financially difficult times.

Since 1970, the MSHS Distinguished Service Award has recognized those giving dedicated service toward improvement of the Michigan fruit industry. The MVC gives the Master Farmer Associate Award to an individual who, while not directly involved with farming, has had a significant impact on the well-being of the vegetable industry in Michigan.

Congratulations to Dr. Buhler! His leadership in research helps to strengthen the quality of Extension programs we deliver.

Comments Off on MSU AgBioResearch director receives two awards at Great Lakes EXPO

Filed under Awards

Extension staff members receive MAE4-HYS Distinguished Service awards at the CYI Spring Conference

Kettunen Center in Tustin set the scene for this year’s Michigan State University Extension Children and Youth Institute Spring Conference May 8‒10. The weather was sunny and warm and everything was in bloom.

flowering tree

Photo credit: Michelle Lavra

Staff members attended and gave sessions on topics such as being financially accountable, creating public value statements and keeping competitive events educational.

flowers by birdbath

Photo credit: Michelle Lavra

Several staff members received awards at the Michigan Association of Extension 4-H Youth Staff (MAE4-HYS) Recognition Banquet. A reception honoring the award recipients followed the banquet.

In the space we have here, I don’t have room to mention all of the awards but I do want to single out the Distinguished Service Awards.

 Dorothy Munn and Sue Stapleton both received the MAE4-HYS Distinguished Service Award. The award is the highest state honor that 4-H staff can obtain through the MAE4-HYS. The award is given to current MAE4-HYS members who have at least 6 years of employment in Extension 4-H Youth Development, including some statewide involvement in coordinating events, programming or both, and who have proven evidence of positive change resulting from their work.

Extension educator Dorothy Munn became MSU Extension 4-H educator in Ogemaw County in 1998. Two years ago, Dorothy became a 4-H supervisor and coach for staff in four counties and took on an assignment with the Academic Success Science Team.

purple flower

Photo credit: Michelle Lavra

Dorothy administered and directed a four-year, $500,000 Title 5 Juvenile Justice grant, which provided expanded 4-H after-school and summer programming in three communities. With Dorothy’s support, 15 staff members collaborated with numerous entities including schools, municipalities, the health department, libraries and the Department of Human Services.

Throughout her Extension career, Dorothy has been involved in 4-H international programming, serving on the 4-H global education committee, teaching the Polish exchange session at Exploration Days and coordinating a 4-H trip to Poland. To highlight 4-H’s international programs, Dorothy coordinated an evening of culture that drew 70 people.

She has been the 4-H state awards coordinator for the North Region for many years, been on the North Central 4-H camp planning team since 1998 and served in nearly every role including treasurer, secretary and camp director. She has designed and taught a myriad of trainings for teens including instruction for camp counselors, teen leaders and club officers.

4-H program coordinator Sue Stapleton began her career in 4-H in 1986. Sue turned the 4-H Discovery Day at Springfield Oaks Activity Center into an expo that highlights many of the 4-H clubs in Oakland County. Thousands of youth have attended this event.

She served as Oakland County’s CCA at 4-H Exploration Days. She is one of the architects of Oakland County’s 4-H Horse Camp, attended by 60 to 75 youth annually.

Sue has become an expert in starting every kind of animal 4-H club. She was instrumental in getting a 4-H club involved in educating citizens on the benefits of raising chickens, perhaps leading to the city of Ferndale allowing chickens to be raised in city limits.

For many years, she trained each 4-H volunteer personally. Sue has covered almost every possible topic in her trainings. She has given many clinics on how to write county and state awards, and how to train officers as well.

Congratulations to both of you!

Dorothy Munn (left) and Sue Stapleton receive the MAE4-HYS Distinguished Service Award

Dorothy Munn (left) and Sue Stapleton receive the MAE4-HYS Distinguished Service Award May 8. 2013, at Kettunen Center in Tustin, Mich. Photo credit: Les Thomas.

Comments Off on Extension staff members receive MAE4-HYS Distinguished Service awards at the CYI Spring Conference

Filed under Awards

Extension educator receives ESP award

Michigan State University Extension educator Dennis Stein received an Epsilon Sigma Phi (ESP) North Central Region Distinguished Service award for the Alpha Psi Chapter at the 2012 ESP Conference that took place Oct. 6–10 in Mobile, Ala.

Dennis has been involved with technology training for clientele as well as Extension staff, Telfarm Microtel agricultural financial software, custom machine and work rates, wind energy, oil and gas leasing, Farm It Forward, Annie’s Project, recycling and preventive planting – just to name a few. His accomplishments have been excellent, extensive and far-reaching.

Congratulations, Dennis for this recognition by your colleagues!

Comments Off on Extension educator receives ESP award

Filed under Awards

Extension educator receives farm bureau award

Michigan State University senior Extension educator George Silva will receive the Eaton County Farm Bureau Distinguished Service Award at the bureau’s annual meeting on Aug. 23. The award is presented annually to an individual who has contributed exemplary service to the agriculture community.

Dr. Silva was promoted to senior Extension educator in 2010. He’s worked as an Extension educator in Eaton County for 12 years where he implements integrated crop and nutrient management educational and applied research programs on corn, soybean, wheat, vegetables and specialty crops. Among many other responsibilities, he’s also contributed his expertise as an innovation counselor for the MSU Product Center and as coordinator of the Eaton County Master Gardener and Junior Master Gardener programs. In addition to Eaton County, he has Extension responsibilities in Barry, Ingham and Livingston counties.

Dr. Silva joined MSU in 1986 as a research specialist in the Department of Crop and Soil Sciences. He became an Extension educator in Ingham County in 1996 and acting county Extension director for Eaton County in 2009.

No stranger to awards, Dr. Silva received the 2007 Eaton County Farm Bureau Educator of the Year Award, numerous National Association of County Agricultural Agents communication awards and an MAEA Presidential Citation in 2007, among others.

Congratulations, George!

Comments Off on Extension educator receives farm bureau award

Filed under Awards