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Cooperative Extension recognizes key leaders and advocates

Staff Reports Posted 11 December 2019 at 4:00 pm

Provided photo: The Cornell Cooperative Extension in Orleans County last week named Elissa Nesbitt, left, a “Friend of Extension” for her efforts in securing funding from Xerox for the 4-H robotics program. Laura Olinger, board president, presents Nesbitt with the award at the Black North Inn.

POINT BREEZE – The Cornell Cooperative Extension in Orleans County recognized several key supporters and contributors during the organization’s annual meeting last week at the Black North Inn.

The following were honored:

Friend of Extension – Elissa Nesbitt and Xerox

Elissa Nesbitt and Xerox have been supporters of the 4-H robotics program since the program’s inception. Through the years Xerox’s name has appeared on every robot the team has built for competitions.

Nesbitt has searched for ways for the team to seek contributions from other sponsors as well. When she found out this year that the team is hoping to build a STEM shop on the fairgrounds that will provide a permanent build site, she leapt into action by helping to draft materials to share with perspective members and sponsors, identifying furniture and equipment donations to fill the new building, and being a champion for the participants.

Thanks to this ongoing support, many of those first year participants have now completed their college education and moved into STEM careers.

Outstanding 4-H Leader –  Kayla Sucy

Extension annually recognizes an outstanding 4-H leader who has demonstrated successful club work, has worked to maintain a group of active youth and contributes greatly towards the successful project work of 4-H youth.

Kayla Sucy has served as leader of the Paw Praisers Dog Club for five years. She is a member of Fair Committee and the dog program development committee. Sucy takes on other roles as well including volunteering to travel with our Orleans County delegation to 4-H Tech Changemaker training at the National 4-H Conference Center in Chevy Chase, Maryland and as a chaperone for other events when needed.

Friend of Master Gardeners – Jena Buckwell

Master Gardeners chose Jena Buckwell as the Friend of Master Gardener for her commitment to furthering CCE’s educational mission. Buckwell has completed training as both a Master Gardener and Master Forest Owner through CCE.

Buckwell leads educational programming at the Spring Education Day and Fall Education Day each year. Her class topics are always ecologically centered, with a strong focus on sustainability and ecological health. She is meticulous about her research and always willing to offer participants additional resources to further enhance their understanding of her topic material. Most of all, she always conveys her passion and experience in subjects that matter to her and to the natural world.

Also honored were retiring board members – Ed Neal, Charlie Pettit and Laura Olinger. These members have all served the two full terms on the board. All of the honorees were recognized with engraved ice cream spoons and gift cards to enjoy ice cream, just one more way they will continue to support Orleans County agriculture.

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