Newly elected, re-elected, appointed and those currently serving on the St. Francois County Extension Council members — as well as one retiree — were recognized during the organization’s 2019 Annual Meeting and Banquet held Tuesday night at Long Hall in Farmington.
Approximately 50 people attended the meeting/banquet that began with the reciting of the Pledge of Allegiance, introductions and invocation, followed by dinner. The event was emceed by District 1 Chairman Brian Kocher and various members of the St. Francois County MU Extension team.
St. Francois County Clerk Kevin Engler led the 2019-2020 St. Francois County Extension Council members in their oath of office.
In Missouri’s 114 counties, a University of Missouri county extension council of elected, appointed and delegated citizens help guide local educational programming. The members are partners in the educational process, from needs assessment through program implementation and evaluation of outcomes.
The extension council works with regional specialists to provide the county educational program, manage finances of local extension operations, provide personnel to carry out extension activities and elect and organize the local extension council.
The new board consists of reappointed council members Tom Heberlie, East Central Cattlemen, and Patrick Mullins, St. Francois County Commission; re-elected District 1 council members Brian Kocher, Velma Kocher and Renee Kurtz; re-elected District 2 council members David Hawkins and Darlene Weber; newly-elected District 1 council members Shea Davis, Erin Sullivan and Robert Sullivan; and newly-elected District 2 council members Chad Aldridge and Robert Carrow.
The lone retiring council member recognized during the program was Roberta House.
The Reese family of Farmington were recognized as the St. Francois County Farm Family for 2018. They were selected by the St. Francois County Extension Council and St. Francois County Farm Bureau. The family is made up of Dave and Julie Reese, along with their children, Levi and Danel who are both active members of the Wild Bunch 4-H Club and FFA.
“Each year, the fair sets aside a day to recognize farm families from across the state that are active in their communities, involved in agriculture, and/or participate in local outreach and extension programs such as 4-H or Farmington FFA,” said Youth Program Associate Kayce Amsden. “This year, all 114 Missouri counties plus the city of St. Louis participated, honoring nearly 490 people from 115 farm families.”
Announcing this year’s Leaders Honor Roll were Rebecca Blocker, field specialist in housing education; and Kendra Graham, field specialist in livestock. Recognized were Keith Robertson and his daughter, Jenna Young, longtime co-owners of the Farmington Livestock Auction; and Shelly Bess, former extension council member and the director of the Shared Blessings Transitional Housing Shelter in Bonne Terre.
Presenting this year’s Friend of 4-H awards was Stephanie Schindler, county engagement specialist in 4-H youth development.
“This year we have the honor of awarding two St. Francois County Friend of 4-H awards,” she said. “Typically, we do these at 4-H Barn Warming, but our recipients were unable to attend. So, we wanted to take this chance to recognize the Friends of 4-H for 2018.”
Recognized were David Hawkins and the St. Francois County Commission.
The program concluded with a presentation given by Kevin Hinkebein who talked about his elk ranch located around 10 minutes outside the Farmington city limits.
Kevin R. Jenkins is the managing editor of the Farmington Press and can be reached at 573-756-8927 or firstname.lastname@example.org