OSU Extension Association Cooperator and 4-H Leader of the Year Awards presented at the OSUEA Recognition Banquet on May 2nd at the CH2M Hill Alumni Center in Corvallis.
OSU Extension Association has recognized Cooperators for more than 30 years. Each year individuals and businesses are recognized for the significant contributions they have made to Extension programs. It is through these cooperators that Extension is able to accomplish so much.
In the beginning, Carol Harris had no horse experience. She started in the Polk County 4-H horse program over 20 years ago when her daughter wanted a horse and joined 4-H. Carol became a club parent and never missed a meeting! Now she is a leader, chair of the horse committee and fair superintendent. Her commitment to volunteering, working with kids and her organizational and people skills became very apparent early on. She puts the 4-Her and education above competition. Carol is involved beyond the county level as a member of the State Horse Development Committee. She supports local horse rescue programs and is a board member of Keizer Art Association. Carol’s husband, Keith, says, “I was really a naïve husband, I thought she would quit after our daughter graduated. I had to join in just so I could see my wife.”
Patti Jarrett, best described as an Extension Volunteer “Extraordinaire”, became involved in Extension’s programs in Clackamas County when she retired and began to manage, with her husband Paul, their 60-acre farm, just south of Oregon City. She wanted to learn about growing her own food, preserving fruits and vegetables and managing the property. Patti has always been one to “take charge”, provide leadership, and “make things happen.” Patti trained as a Master Food Preserver in 2006 and still coordinates outreach activities for her volunteer partners. Patti’s most significant contribution to Extension is her leadership in the local Extension Advisory Council. As the chair, Patti challenged the council to find a new way to fund Extension locally. A two-year effort occurred, leading to the creation of the Extension and 4-H Service District -- with one of the largest county Extension budgets in the U.S.
Don & Debbie Lauer
After retiring, Don and Debbie Lauer joined the Master Gardeners in 2006 and became involved in many projects in the Benton County Master Gardener program. They focused on outreach to the public on sustainable gardening practices, furthering the mission of the program. Don recognized the need for a volunteer to organize plant clinics and increased the number of clinics at community events. He possesses the patience and skill to work with large groups of volunteers, and increased Master Gardener presence by reaching over 1000 people in the community. Debbie organized a mentor program and increased retention of new Master Gardeners. She worked with a team to make the plant clinic at the desk in the Extension office a positive experience. Don and Debbie have each donated over 2000 hours to the program. Their involvement as volunteers extends to other organizations, and they truly exemplify what it means to be a Master Gardener.
John is a Lakeview area rancher, and is an active member of the 4-H Leaders Association in Lake County, and has been working to reenergize the association. John’s dedication and contributions to Extension through 4-H programs is extensive. His volunteer activities include resurrecting and reorganizing the Big Sage Beef 4-H Club and collaborating with community partners to provide a welding club where 4-H members have gained lifelong skills. He has also facilitated the start of a free annual 4-H Supporters Breakfast, staffed and funded by 4-H clubs, as a thank you to previous supporters of 4-H/FFA. John also serves as a member of a local 4-H College Scholarship Committee. John is a strong leader and mentor of junior 4-H leaders, and many alumni of his clubs continue to be strong supporters and volunteers of the 4-H Development Program. One of John’s biggest supporters is his wife, Deborah, who shares in many of these endeavors.
Cyndi Mudge is Executive Director for Astoria Sunday Market, President Elect of Astoria Rotary, and a member of the Art & Cultural Committee for Astoria’s Downtown Historic District Association. She has worked for non-profit organizations for more than twenty years and in 2005 received the Oregon Governor’s Volunteer Award. Teen Workforce ’97, a job and skills fair she produced in Seattle, inspired The Young Entrepreneur Project, which was launched in partnership with Clatsop County 4-H Club. Cyndi continues her mission to provide young people with opportunities to develop strong work ethics, job skills, and passion to pursue career goals. The Youth Entrepreneur Project gives youth the opportunity to design, develop, and market a product and the opportunity to apply for a small grant. It has been very beneficial building confidence, communication, and perseverance among the youth who participate in the program. Cyndi has made success happen for youth and is committed to making a positive contribution to the community.
Patty Driscoll has been an OSU Master Gardener volunteer since 1993, and a Master Food Preserver since 2006. She has been a training mentor, served as president and treasurer on the Lane County Master Gardener Association Board, as chair of the Oregon Master Gardener Association Board and received the Oregon Master Gardener of the Year Award. Patty teaches classes as part of the Pruning Specialist program and is chair for the Compost Specialist program. She has used her outstanding leadership skills with the Save Lane Extension Programs group, seeking stable funding to save Lane County Extension Service in its entirety. She worked tirelessly to bring volunteers together, pass out signs, and get the word out. When the election failed, Patty worked to reinstate the Master Food Preserver program. Because of volunteers like Patty, through creative fund raising and partnership building, Lane County Extension Services continue.
Bob and Barbara Grossmann
Since 1966, Bob and Barbara Grossman have been involved with OSU Extension in Yamhill County and statewide. After retiring, they both enrolled in the OSU Master Gardener Training. Soon Barbara took over the lead for the OSU Master Gardener Library, and created a cataloging and acquisition system. She continues to volunteer when she can on other projects. Bob brought his lifelong interest in Entomology to the Master Gardeners. He formed an Insect Committee which studies sample insects from clients and provides information to them. The committee has produced many educational displays, including the spinning wheel “Good Bug/Bad Bug” about beneficial insects, which was popular at the 2011 Oregon State Fair. He has taught the highly praised Advanced Insect Training as well as other insect-related classes at Gardener’s Mini-College. Bob writes a popular column, “Buggy Bits”, for the OSU program newsletter, Grapevine. Bob and Barbara Grossman have given willingly of their time and expertise for many years.
Verna O’Loughlin has been involved with 4-H since she was a child and is currently the leader of the Thundering Hooves 4-H Club where she has volunteered for 14 years. She has had many major responsibilities during this time: County Fair 4-H Cloverbuds Superintendent, Coordinator for 4-H Master Showmanship competition, 4-H Horse Show Coordinator, 4-H Horse Superintendent, Northwest Region 4-H Apprentice Horse Judge, Yamhill County 4-H State Fair Horse chaperone, 4-H Leaders Association Board Member, 4-H Leaders Association President, and 4-H Advisory Council Member. As a 4-H leader, Verna shares her love of riding and ability to teach even the most novice rider. She sponsors county 4-H Horse Awards. Verna has received the 4-H Horse Leader of the Year, Clete Drader Outstanding Service Award, 4-H Distinguished Service Award, and the 4-H Outstanding Alumni Award. Verna has a “can do” spirit, puts kids first, and serves as a role model for other volunteers.
Alan Pazar is a commercial fisherman and small business owner who lives and works on the Oregon Coast. Al has been involved in OSU Extension programs for over 20 years. He took trainings and workshops, and used resources and publications that were available from Oregon Sea Grant at the Lincoln County Extension Office in Newport. Al’s involvement went from customer to collaborator and he has been involved in major Sea Grant Extension programs. Through the Extension program SAFE(Scientist and Fishermen Exchange), Al has engaged with researchers and has spearheaded many collaborative research efforts. At his suggestion, temperature sensors were attached to crab pots and a nationally recognized research program was started. Al is a partner in two other west coast collaborative research extension programs, the Port Liaison Project and the Collaborative Research on Oregon Ocean Salmon. Marine reserves and wave energy research have benefited from Al’s cooperative approach.
Michele Pryse represents the best of Extension innovation as she models how tradition can be enhanced and delivered in a more innovative and beckoning manner. She has integrated her Master Food Preserver and Master Gardener expertise into her own life, and the community’s life, since her first training in 1999. She led Jackson County’s Master Food Preserver/Family Food Education Volunteers organization to a statewide record of 62 certified master food preservers. Michele has been instrumental in developing a suite of fee-based Extension classes; she participates in the Extension Advisory Council and was named the first-ever, Extension-affiliated “Queen of the Jackson County Fair” in 2010. She appears on Scott’s Garden, a television gardening show. She is responsible for initiating a partnership with the Jackson County Historical Society to provide training using historical agriculture food preservation techniques. She is the kind of volunteer that personifies the future of Extension -- at its best.
Jon Souder has had a long term interest in the environment, from his undergraduate days through his numerous career experiences working for the Federal Government, Peace Corps in Nepal, Army Corps of Engineers, US Fish and Wildlife Service, and as a professor of Forest Policy at Northern Arizona University. Jon joined the Coos Watershed Association in 2000 as executive director, and several Oregon Sea Grant Extension faculty have worked with him on projects including invasive species, watershed education programs for high school students, collaboration on funding requests and research projects. Jon’s scientific and organizational contributions have impacted individuals across Coos County and Oregon. His drive and energy have been instrumental in procuring needed funding for research and rehabilitation projects. His work as Executive Director of the Coos Watershed Association has been a model for watershed groups across Oregon. He continues to be a valuable partner for OSU Extension.
Bob’s Red Mill Natural Foods, Lori and David Sobelson
Bob’s Red Mill Natural Foods company’s emphasis on health and better living has led to a natural support of, and mutual partnership with, the OSU Extension Service. Based in Milwaukie, the company has had numerous interactions with the Clackamas County office since the 1980s. Bob’s Red Mill has been especially supportive of 4-H and nutrition programs. Annual donations to the 4-H program support educational workshops and County Fair awards. Bob’s Red Mill was named a Clackamas County Friend of 4-H in 2002. Bob’s has been a supporter of the nonprofit Clackamas County Friends of Extension, donating auction items and even hosting a fundraising event. Bob Moore, the company’s founder, has been recognized by OSU with a Weatherford Award, and as a major donor. The reputation of Bob’s Red Mill extends beyond the borders of Oregon: Extension publications and web sites nationwide list Bob’s Red Mill as a resource.
Lane Community College, James Lindly, Shirl Meads, Diane Pigg
A strong working partnership with Lane Community College is important for the survival of the Lane County OSU Extension Service Horticulture Program. Extension faculty and the Community College’s Small Business Development Center have developed a successful working relationship including joint educational efforts to mutually conserve resources and benefit students. With funding received through a grant, LCC and OSU work together to provide outreach and assistance for new and socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers. LCC started sponsoring OSU programs six years ago, offering classes and trainings through the Small Business Development Center. They have provided invaluable assistance to Extension training programs including grant funding, facilities, staff and technical support, and marketing. LCC has supplied political support to raise awareness, and facilitate understanding and communication around local funding for the OSU Extension service. Always community oriented LCC’s Small Business Development Center takes to heart public need, and the sound use of financial resources.
Strong Women Volunteers, Sue Rode, Jane Schlacht, Yolanda Gentile (Jackson County), Jackie Dwyer, Nancy Fenton and Kathy Szewc (Josephine County)
The Strong Women Volunteers offer one-hour classes at Extension sites in Jackson and Josephine counties to almost three hundred women (and a few men). These program leaders are committed to improving the strength, endurance, flexibility and balance of pre-menopausal women, and have been since 2003. These volunteers are independently in charge of all aspects of the training-- with faculty oversight. Enrollment focuses on older adult women with limited financial resources. Participants have generally never heard of Extension until they enrolled in the Strong Women sessions. These Strong Women actively participated in developing the physical fitness and exercise module for the web-based Mastery of Aging Well series, and participated in providing training in hospitals and clinic venues. Participants state they have experienced increases in self-confidence and verbalize a ‘greater ability to sleep well’ and “a reduction in the tendency to be depressed.”
Debbie Pratt, Benton County
Debbie Pratt is deeply committed to 4-H. She is humble and ‘behind the scenes,’ but knows that her 4-H volunteer work has a huge impact on young people and the overall program.
For 16 years, she has been an active member of the 4-H Leaders Council helping to establish budgets, coordinating fund-raising efforts, handling donations, managing scholarships, and distributing project funds. In addition to applying her skills so effectively as Benton County Association treasurer, she assists teens and volunteer leaders develop life skills in leadership, and master skills in the 4-H dog project.
She doesn’t just volunteer for the Benton County 4-H Program, she promotes 4-H at Hewlett-Packard where she works, and has donated funds to 4-H for many years.
The Oregon 4-H Leaders’ Association is proud to honor Debbie Pratt as an Oregon 4-H Leader of the Year.
Karen Rinehart, Wallowa County
“Karen Rinehart is a ‘super-volunteer’ in Wallowa County.” She has the energy to accept and complete major challenges that have a huge impact on the Wallowa County 4-H program. Karen lives her values through community service with 4-H members and through her own efforts. Examples include the County Jr. Leader Project, called “Ride for Life” where participants raise funds for cancer research when riding a horse for a 24-hour period. Karen also managed a $20,000 renovation project on the County Fairgrounds to benefit 4-H youth project learning. And Karen has impacted public health by coordinating a clinic to inform the community about why and how to vaccinate dogs against rabies.
Karen’s energy is contagious! The youth in the Wallowa 4-H program feel great about what they are learning because of her enthusiastic support. The Oregon 4-H Leaders’ Association is happy to honor Karen Rinehart as a valued 4-H volunteer and a 2012 Oregon 4-H Leader of the Year.
Margaret Santee, Clatsop County
“The Clatsop County 4-H Program is very lucky to have Margaret Santee as a 4-H leader.” Margaret teaches workshops for all 4-H members and volunteers in the county, takes photographs, coordinates judging events, and then becomes the ‘right hand’ of the OSU Extension 4-H staff.
Margaret is calm and professional. She stays one-step-ahead of challenges to help ensure quality 4-H programming in Clatsop County. Margaret is always a positive role model for youth and adults alike. The Oregon 4-H Leaders’ Association is pleased to join the Clatsop County 4-H Program in acknowledging Margaret Santee as a Oregon 4-H Leader of the Year.