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LaDonna Hines
LaDonna Hines

The Cowboy Way: LaDonna Hines

Wednesday, May 8, 2024

Media Contact: Mack Burke | Associate Director of Media Relations | 405-744-5540 |

When the Oklahoma State University Extension office in Oklahoma County relocated to Northeast 63rd Street in Oklahoma City, LaDonna Hines envisioned a dream.

The new location was a food desert, and she wanted to address the issue by establishing a farmers market. It took time to piece the puzzle together, but that dream became a reality in 2022.

Hines’ educational background as a registered dietitian, coupled with the expertise of other Extension educators in the Oklahoma County office, helps the Eastside Farmers Market meet a critical need by providing fresh, healthy food to residents. From May through October, the market is a welcoming site for consumers and producers interested in sharing their produce.

Hines’ Extension career spans more than two decades. She began as a Community Nutrition Education Programs area coordinator in 2001 and was one of the first registered dietitians hired by OSU Extension. She later served as a family and consumer sciences/4-H Youth Development educator, and for the past 14 years, Hines has served as the Extension director in Oklahoma County.

“My favorite thing about being county director is that I have the opportunity to work in all program areas,” she said. “This helps me relate to things my educators are facing so we can work together to not only meet their needs as professionals, but also the needs of the people we serve.”

Hines has been instrumental in securing more than $7 million in grants and external funding to provide additional programming that enhances the lives of Oklahoma County families. She has helped educators foster impactful partnerships that benefit Extension and its constituents.

“I want my educators to be successful. I hope my leadership helps them bring out their best,” she said. “I work to be a leader who is down in the trenches motivating them so that together we can make our community a better place.”

Her many accolades include the 2022 Distinguished Educator Award she received from OSU Extension, but she credits a successful career to her dedicated coworkers and the passion she has for helping others.

“Serving the people of Oklahoma and providing programming that has such a positive impact not only in Oklahoma County but also across the state, is such a rewarding career,” Hines said. “I can’t imagine doing anything else.”

Photo by: Phil Shockley

Story by: Trisha Gedon | STATE Magazine

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