LOCKPORT, NY — On Thursday, Oct. 17, Cornell Cooperative Extension of Niagara County (CCE-Niagara) and the Niagara County Farm Bureau held their first joint annual dinner and meeting at the 4-H Training Center in Lockport. The evening included a farm to table dinner and several award presentations throughout the program.
Approximately 180 guests attended the event, which brought community members together as new goals, initiatives, and program updates were provided from both organizations.
“Merging our annual dinner and meeting with the Niagara County Farm Bureau makes perfect sense,” said Cathy Maloney, Executive Director at CCE-Niagara. “The joint annual dinner is reflective of the growing collaboration between our organizations as well as support for our complimentary missions.”
The following awards were presented during the annual dinner:
Gertrude Warren Leadership Award
The Gertrude Warren Leadership Award is presented each year to a leader who has been a volunteer with CCE-Niagara for more than five years, and who has made a contribution to the 4-H program. This year’s award winner is Patricia Travers. In addition to leading the Sanborn Stallions 4-H clubs for over 15 years, Travers offers open sewing classes to all 4-H members in the county and assists with the Rabbit and Dog Programs, as well as the Ambassadors Program.
Family of the year Award
Bob Masse, his wife Carissa, and their two daughters, Skyler (age 16), and Shea (age 13), of Lockport, were named the recipients of the 2017 Family of the Year Award by the 4-H program. The preeminent award, presented in memory of John A. Hall, his wife Lorraine and his daughter Betty, is presented annually to a family in Niagara County that exemplifies leadership and dedication to 4-H work in Niagara County. John K. Hall presented the award to the Masse family, for their dedication and involvement in many of the Niagara County 4-H Programs. All members of the Masse family are active participants in the Niagara County 4-H Program. Both Skyler and Shea are involved in the sheep, rabbit, dogs, arts and crafts, public presentations and ambassador program areas.
Carissa Masse was a 4-H’er herself, participating in all that 4-H had to offer as a youth. She currently serves as a club leader, leading the youth in arts, crafts and community service. Bob Masse has been instrumental in many projects on the grounds that benefit the 4-H Programs. Most notably, he played a lead role in overseeing the completion of the new Agriculture Education Building. Also, he serves as the chairman of the Program Issues Committee and is a member of the CCE Board of Directors.
Recognition of Service Award
Dr. Ken Gumaer received a Recognition of Service Award after serving as the leader of the Niagara County 4-H Beef Program for over 20 years. He has also served as a board member at CCE, and thanks to his dedication and leadership, the Beef Program has grown in size significantly.
Niagara County 4-H is one of the largest youth development organizations in the county, with more than 1,000 youth participating in countless ways. 4-H is the youth development program of our nation’s Cooperative Extension System and USDA and serves every county in the U.S. through a network of 110 public universities and more than 3000 local Extension offices.
4-H Leadership Award
The 4-H Leadership Award is presented each year to a leader who has been a volunteer with CCE-Niagara for five years or less, and who has made a contribution to the 4-H Program. This year’s leadership winner is Becky Mahar. As the key poultry leader of the Niagara County 4-H Program for the past three years, Mahar has led the program with enthusiasm and creativity to keep the youth engaged.
Walker Junior Leadership Award
The Walker Junior Leadership award is given annually to a 4-H member who demonstrates leadership among 4-H’ers. The 2017 Walker Junior Leadership award was given to Cameron Rowlands, age 15, from Sanborn. Rowlands is a junior leader in the Working Goat Program, where he is an excellent peer role model and mentor to younger members. Additionally, he taught a saddle making class for all the youth in the Working Goat Program.
Red Jacket Citizenship Award
The Red Jacket Citizenship Award is presented annually by the Red Jacket Masonic Lodge to recognize the contributions Niagara County 4-H youth make to their club, community, and county. This year’s winner is Lexy Ward, age 16, from Lockport. Ward is an individual 4-H member participating in the 4-H Ambassadors and Dairy Cattle Programs. Ward is also a junior volunteer firefighter for the Rapids Fire Company.