Cooperative Extension livestock educator from St. Lawrence Count to be hoored for distinguished service
Monday, July 16, 2012 - 6:18 am

Livestock Educator Betsy Hodge is to receive a New York State Association of County Agricultural Agents’ Distinguished Service Award.

Hodge, of Cornell Cooperative Extension of St. Lawrence County, will receive the award at the National Association of County Agricultural Agents national meeting in Charleston, S.C. July 16-19.

Hodge developed northern New York’s regional livestock education program for sheep, goat and beef producers, in use in St. Lawrence, Essex, Franklin, Jefferson, Lewis and Clinton counties.

Hodge said she was inspired by what she saw as a “need for a livestock program, and it’s been very successful. It wouldn’t work if everybody didn’t chip in.

“We were really trying to give everyone a way to share information in an organized way.”

Among other things, the group has been sponsoring Beef Weeks and Sheep Weeks and tours of innovative farms to provide networking and information-sharing opportunities among producers.

Noting that Hodge’s work “represents the very best of Extension programming in New York State,” Northern New York Regional Agricultural Initiative Coordinator Anita Deming said, “Our Northern New York livestock producers report high satisfaction with Betsy’s hands-on educational opportunities, learning tours to model operations, and videoconferencing; her newsletters with the latest information and production tips, and the increased contact with Cornell livestock specialists and researchers.

“Betsy cares about her clientele and offers timely, research-tested information to encourage farm success, humane livestock production to meet consumer interest, and agricultural environmental stewardship,” Deming said.