Cooperative Extension honors dedicated volunteers, supporters

By Kristina Gabalski, Correspondent Posted 6 December 2017 at 7:43 am

Photos by Kristina Gabalski: Joan Navarra-Mrzywka receives the Friend of Master Gardeners Award from Ed Neal, president of the Extension board of directors. Navarra-Mrzywka has helped the past several years at the annual Master Gardeners Holiday Wreath making workshop, providing materials and tools for participants.  
“Joan has helped the workshop grow to become a favorite of the community and a holiday tradition,” said Kim Hazel, Master Gardener and OCCCE Sr. Ag/Hort. Administrative Assistant.  
Navarra-Mrzywka has also provided ideas, assistance and donations for other Master Gardener projects including the annual Mothers’ Day tea cup garden class.

KNOWLESVILLE – Orleans County Cornell Cooperative Extension Board of Directors were joined by OCCCE staff, program participants, volunteers, community partners and friends at The Black North Inn Tuesday evening for the 2017 annual meeting.

The dinner meeting included a review of the 2017 Annual Report, election of the 2017 Board of Directors and presentation of special awards.

Robert Batt, Extension executive director, discussed 2017 highlights which included 422 youth, ages 5-19, enrolled in 4-H; 89 4-H leaders and volunteers; 73 4-H participants in public presentations; and more than 3,000 exhibits at the Orleans County 4-H Fair. Over 26,000 people attended the week-long 4-H Fair in July.

Batt also noted the Ag in the Classroom program which brought science, STEM, and agriculture education programs to three school districts in Orleans County.

Fifty-five adults and 47 youth participated in the Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program through workshops  supported by the EFNEF educator, and 75 participants took park in Master Food Preserver Workshops.

“Master Food Preservers sold out both their workshop series,” Batt said.

Orleans County Master Gardeners had an “extraordinary year,” Batt said. Their list of programming included Spring Into Gardening Education Day, a Rain Barrel workshop with the Orleans County Soil and Water Conservation District, the Medina Summer Enrichment Program, and the first-ever Garden Party at the gardens of the Riley Family in Albion.

Friend of Extension

Anne Preston was honored with the Friend of Extension Award. Batt said Preston has volunteered extensively for 4-H programs, “and done so much more … Anne has always been willing to help out,” he said, especially with making phone calls to remind volunteers of upcoming committee meetings.

Preston, who was not able to attend Tuesday’s meeting, has also given generous donations to both the 4-H program and 4-H Fair, Batt said.

4-H leaders recognized

Janet Klossner

Janet Klossner and Marsha Cook received recognition for 4 years as leaders; Erik and Marlene Seielstad, six years; Barb Kurzowski, 19 years; Bill Gerling, 27 years; Sarah Johnson, 29 years;  and Pauline Lanning, 51 years.

Neil and Joanne Johnson received diamond clovers for reaching their 40-year benchmark as 4-H Leaders.

Bill Gerling

4-H Horse Program Wranglers Club leader Janet Klossner received the Outstanding 4-H Leader Award.

Bill Gerling accepted the Friend of 4-H Award for H.H. Dobbins, Inc. Missy Call, 4-H Youth Program Coordinator, said Dobbins has donated fresh fruit for the annual pie baking workshops in the Trolley Building prior to Fair.

The donations have helped the Leaders Association overcome the challenges of no longer being able to serve fruit pies made at home in the Leader’s Pie Stand during Fair due to Health Department regulations. Dobbins has also provided additional donations to OCCCE including the Ag in the Classroom program, Call said.

Retiring Board of Directors members recognized 

Board Vice President Erin Anheier, Vincent Flow and Peter Toenniessen are retiring, and Ed Neal is retiring as president of the Board of Directors.

Kevin Bedard, Natalie Bokman Seal, Amanda Pollard and Marlene Seielstad were elected to the Board of Directors.

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