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OAEAA recognitions of excellence announced

Friday, August 9, 2013

The Oklahoma Association of Extension Agriculture Agents honored its own recently, for excellence of service and commitment to the land-grant mission of helping to improve the quality of life for Oklahomans.

“Our Extension educators work side-by-side with individuals, county and state agencies, schools, businesses, commodity organizations and civic leaders to solve concerns of importance to Oklahomans, their families and their communities,” said James Trapp, Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service associate director.

Under the state and federal land-grant mandate, Extension educators take scientifically proven, research-based information and create innovative learning opportunities that address local issues.

“Extension has more than a statewide presence, we’re an active part of the communities in which we work and live,” said Wes Lee, OAEAA president and McClain County Extension director and agricultural educator. “Given the land-grant mission, our successes – by definition – represent the successes of others.”

Distinguished Service awards for educators with more than 10 years of service were presented to Rick Nelson, Garfield County Extension agricultural educator, and JJ Jones, Extension area agricultural economics specialist for Oklahoma’s Southeast District.

Jones also was honored for his communication activities this past year, as was Chad Webb, Noble County Extension director and agricultural educator.

Achievement Award recipients for educators with at least five years of service were presented to Aubie Keesee, Hughes County Extension director and agricultural educator, and Casey Russell, Coal County Extension director and agricultural educator.

Dana Bay, Woodward County Extension agricultural educator, was named the 2013 recipient of OAEAA’s Outstanding Young Educator Award.

Jason Warren, Oklahoma State University Cooperative Extension soil and water conservation management specialist, was honored as the OAEAA’s 2013 Outstanding State Specialist.

Farm Credit of Western Oklahoma and Northwest Oklahoma Cattlemen’s Associate were each named a 2013 recipient of the organization’s Friend of Extension Award. The honor recognizes individuals or groups involved in the support of Oklahoma agriculture and programs of the Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service.

“Extension programming has always been about a sense of community and collaborative partnerships,” Lee said. “The Friend of Extension Award is one way in which OAEAA recognizes the vital role undertaken by our supporters who help Extension help Oklahomans improve their quality of life.”

The Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service is part of OSU’s Division of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources, along with the College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources and the statewide Oklahoma Agricultural Experiment Station system.

As an organization, Lee said OAEAA provides a unified voice for its members and fosters ways to improve the overall effectiveness of Extension educators, both through enhanced interaction with other aspects of the division and by providing opportunities for professional improvement that better equip members to deal with clientele questions and concerns.

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