Purdue Extension educators and specialists providing exceptional service received special awards during Extension's annual Professional Development Conference on November 10.
Awards and their recipients were:
* Outstanding Extension Specialist Award to Fred Whitford of the Department of Botany and Plant Pathology. Whitford is coordinator of the Purdue Pesticide Program, which he developed. It has become one of the most dynamic and comprehensive pesticide programs in the United States.
Whitford has expertise in pesticide safety education, pesticide registration, regulations, insurance, and environmental and safety audits.
In the last six years, Whitford, his staff and others in the College of Agriculture have trained thousands of commercial and private pesticide applicators. He also has delivered more than 4,000 presentations to a variety of audiences.
Whitford has authored more than 200 research, Extension and regulatory publications. Two of them are directed at protecting children. In his role as a nonvoting member of the Indiana Pesticide Review Board, Whitford has helped to develop rules requiring that pesticide applications on or around schools must be made by a certified applicator.
* Purdue Extension Directors Award to the Women in Agriculture team of Stacy Clupper of Blackford County; Darlene Decker of Pike County; Ed Farris of Huntington County; Daisy Fryman of Delaware County; Angela Gloy, Extension agricultural economics specialist; Kelly Heckaman of Kosciusko County; Stacy Herr of Wayne County; Christa Holloway of Fulton County; Danica Kirkpatrick, Purdue Agriculture engagement programs manager; Bryan Overstreet of Jasper County; and Amanda Smith of Fountain County.
The Women in Agriculture Team was formed to help address the educational needs of women employed in, or involved with, the agricultural industry. Key projects have included Annie's Project, risk management workshops and the group's annual conference.
The team is composed of Purdue Extension educators and specialists as well as industry representatives.
* Paul B. Crooks Award to Sarah Burke, 4-H youth development Extension educator of Hancock County. The award is presented annually to an Extension educator with at least 10 years of experience and who has made a significant impact in their assigned areas, displayed excellence in teamwork and collaboration, and developed exceptional Extension programming.
Burke regularly trains new and experienced volunteers, empowering them to provide high-quality educational experiences for the young people they serve.
She works closely with schools in the county in organizing programs to benefit young people. One program, Understanding Diversity and Culture, is a series of three one-hour presentations designed to teach fourth-graders to accept differences and appreciate new cultures. Another program provides opportunity for students from all high schools to develop their leadership skills.
* 4-H Perfect Partnership Award to Randy Brown, Susan Plassmeier and Larry Caplan, all Extension educators of Vanderburgh County. The award, sponsored by the Indiana 4-H Foundation Inc., is given for outstanding cooperation and support of 4-H.