University of Missouri Extension (originally Federal Co-op Extension) is currently celebrating 100 years of service in a low-key way, according to Brent Carpenter, Ag Business Specialist in Pettis County.
“We’re proud of our 100 years, and one reason we’re not saying a whole lot about it, because we’re a forward-looking organization. I think there’s some runway out there (ahead of us),” Carpenter said at the Pettis County Extension’s annual awards dinner held Tuesday night at Best Western State Fair Motor Inn, 32nd and Limit.
“That’s what we’re trying to do in our office here, be more efficient, more effective and have more impact in the future, and still be proud of what’s behind us,” he told Council members.
Coincidentally, the University of Missouri-Columbia is also celebrating a milestone of 175 years.
A number of awards were presented at the event, including two additions to the Leaders Honor Roll. Ellen Young and Rose McMullin were recognized for excelling in true leadership, involvement and support of Pettis County Extension, according to Kay Sparks, 4-H Youth Development Specialist.
The John Mergen Spirit Extension Award went to Owen Fox and Bob Heitmeyer. “It was pretty easy to say we need to honor both of them at the same time, because they worked together to make Pettis County Extension what it is … it’s our privilege to honor you this evening,” commented Council Secretary David Dick.
The Allen Family was recognized as the 2013 State Fair Farm Family. B.K., Kristy, Sara, Ashley and Merry Jo Allen were present for the presentation.
Five families were recognized with the Century Farm Award. Present for the awards dinner were Charles and Joyce Elliott from Ionia, Kristy Bluhm Fisher of Bluhm’s Brookdale Farms from Smithton and Eugene E. and Carol Oelrichs and their family from Oelrichs Family Farms, Mora.
Not present were Patricia L. Morrow and Kathryn Glenn O’Brien of Green Ridge; and Kenneth and Virginia Weikal of La Monte.
New Council officers (Dana Binder, chair; Kevin Gibbs, vice chair: David Dick, secretary; and Matt Kahrs, treasurer) were sworn in by Pettis County Clerk Nick La Strada,
Outgoing Council members were recognized as well – Joe Wells, Joe Dove, Patty Wood and Kevin Daniel — by Megan Webb, Nutrition and Health Education Specialist.
Gaylon Alfrey, Nancy Burkholder, Jim Cave, Don Hutcheson, Gretchen Sims and Ellen Young were all sworn in as newly-elected members to the 2014-15 Council. (Cave, Alfrey and Young were reelected).
Anita Hampton of Polk County and Glenn Coleman from Cass County gave an update on the State Extension Council during the annual meeting.
Sara Thomas, office manager, was recognized for her work with the Extension Council.
Simmons First National Bank and FCS Financial supplied the funds for the meal Tuesday night.
Nancy Burkhalter noted that the 4-H Foundation presented five $500 scholarships to area students this year, including Skyler Bahner, David Boatright, Jordann Gregory, Brittany Hall and Laurel McMillin. “We’re hoping that we can grow and give more scholarships and do more for our local 4-H’ers here in Pettis County,” Foundation Chair Burkhalter said. She noted the 4-H Achievement Days dinner planned for July 2. Member projects will be on display at the event, and a silent auction is also planned.
The third annual University Extension of Pettis County fund-raiser dinner/auction is scheduled for Saturday, March 22 from 4:30 to 7 p.m. at Our Savior Lutheran Church, 3700 W. Broadway, according to Patty Wood, Extension fund-raiser chair. The event was postponed from Feb. 1 due to extreme winter weather. Photos by Randy Kirby, Sedalia Weekly Observer.