Cattlewomen’s Camp, 4-H Food and Livestock Training Programs Win Annual Extension Awards

By Alisa Boswell-Gore

Stillwater, OKOklahoma State University Extension presented a group of annual honors during an awards luncheon Jan. 25 on the OSU campus.


“Our Extension awards program gives us an opportunity to celebrate the great work of our employees in bringing impactful programs to local communities throughout the state,” said Damona Doye, vice president of OSU Extension. “Their hearts and minds are focused on serving people, and they do that in many interesting and important ways.”


Heather Winn, family and consumer sciences educator in Cherokee County, was named the 2023 OSU Extension Distinguished Educator. The following OSU Extension educators and specialists from across the state were also recognized for their hard work and innovation in developing new educational programs for children, youth and industry professionals.


Outstanding Team Award — Food, Fun and 4-H


Coordinators with Oklahoma 4-H Youth Development didn’t let the COVID-19 pandemic stop them from educating young minds.


With a program called Food, Fun, 4-H, Oklahoma kids gained valuable skills in the kitchen, preparing homecooked meals and trying new foods. The project also encouraged family time and fun while learning communication skills.


Participants received monthly themed packets via email that contained recipes for a complete meal, featuring colorful photos with step-by-step directions. Participants also received nutritional facts, educational information, conversation starter topics for when the family is around the table and a family physical activity challenge.

Food, Fun, 4-H was coordinated by Cathy Allen, senior Extension specialist for Oklahoma 4-H, and Jessica Nickels, Garfield County 4-H educator.


Excellence in Diversity Award – Cattlewomen’s Bootcamp

This hands-on learning opportunity for women in agriculture took place in June 2022 at the Grady County Fairgrounds in Chickasha. The three-day workshop combined traditional educational programming with hands-on demonstrations, activities and classroom exercises.

Participants learned about cattle evaluation, calf management, herd nutrition, hay evaluation, forage production, marketing, production and financial records, farm transitions, management practices, farm business planning, herd health and vaccinations, facility management and selection, reproduction management and calving management.

The following Extension professionals were involved in the project:

  • Olivia Toothman, Creek County 4-H educator
  • Donna Patterson, Rogers County 4-H educator and county Extension director
  • Dana Bay, Ellis County 4-H educator
  • Dana Zook, West District area livestock specialist
  • Tayler Denman, Carter County 4-H educator and multi-county specialist
  • Rosslyn Biggs, DVM, beef cattle specialist and clinical assistant professor of veterinary clinical sciences


Outstanding Group – DART Army Reserve Training


In February 2022, OSU Extension hosted a special large animal training session in Rogers County for Oklahoma Army Reserve soldiers. OSU Extension livestock specialists supported Disaster Resistance Response Team officials with hands-on demonstrations to prepare soldiers for situations they could encounter locally or in a foreign country.

From a cattle truck rollover on one of Oklahoma’s busy interstates to a fast-moving wildfire or a widespread emergency in a remote village overseas, working with nervous, scared or injured livestock is a complicated task that requires patience and a steady hand. This program taught Army reservists from the 486th Civil Affairs Battalion how to identify brands, colors and sex characteristics of horses and cattle. The interactive training included guidance on how to safely move a group of animals and halter a horse in disaster situations.

The following Extension professionals were involved in the project:

  • Donna Patterson, Rogers County 4-H educator and county Extension director
  • Amy Hagerman, assistant professor of ag and food policy
  • Marty Montague, Choctaw and Pushmataha 4-H educator and county Extension director
  • Barry Whitworth, DVM, senior Extension specialist for animal and food sciences
  • Earl Ward, northeast area livestock specialist
  • Gus Holland, Tulsa County 4-H educator


Outstanding Field Staff – Orange Power Produce Project


This project hosted mobile farmers markets at elementary schools and provided students with fresh produce in Adair County. At the project’s fifth and final farmer’s market at Westville School in October, the project provided over 636 pounds of produce to third- and fourth-grade students.


The Orange Power Produce Project was coordinated by Shanda Stephens, high obesity program educator for Adair County.


Other Extension awards distributed at the event include:

  • OSU Extension Outstanding Intern – Holly Detrick, Wichita State University
  • Merl Miller 4-H Staff Executive Training Scholarship – Leslie Lewis, northeast district program specialist for Oklahoma 4-H
  • Melvin & Virginia Semrad Educator Scholarship
    • Megan Monteith, family and consumer sciences area specialist for health disparities
    • Kelsey Ratcliff, family and consumer sciences area specialist for health disparities
    • Mindy McNeil, Oklahoma County 4-H educator

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