Conservation, Extension hold joint celebration

John and Bonny Onyon were selected at for Penn State Extension’s “Friend of Extension Award” They are shown with their daughter Abby Onyon (center).

The Susquehanna County Conservation District and Penn State Extension recently held a joint celebration on October 10th at the Montrose Bible Conference’s Dreyer Lodge Tea Room. The Conservation District commemorated their 65th year and Penn State Extension honored the 100th anniversary of the Pennsylvania 4-H program.

After a delicious roast beef dinner, Master of Ceremony Jim Kessler hosted the evening’s tributes. First was a moving remembrance of the late George Gardner. George had served for over twenty years on the Conservation District’s board of directors and had been chairman most of those years. Conservation District Manager Jim Garner presented a heartfelt power point that brought tears to the eyes of many in the audience.

Michelle Kowalewski, Penn State Dairy/Ag Enterprise Educator presented a photo collection honoring the history of 4-H in

Larry Souder, President of WPEL received the Media Cooperator Award from Willie Keeney, Susquehanna County Conservation District. The Conservation District hosts a show Thursday afternoons on the radio station.

Susquehanna County.  Her presentation brought back memories of past 4-H adventures for young and old alike. Pennsylvania First Alternate Dairy Princess and Susquehanna County’s own Callie Curley discussed her recent crowning as First State Alternate Dairy Princess and her plans for the upcoming year of proclaiming the goodness of milk.

A presentation explaining “what is a conservation district and its value to the community” was given by Shane Kleiner, Northeast PA Regional Office Field Representative for the Department of Environmental Protection was next on the program. He was followed by Robert Wagner, Soil Conservation Technician for USDA-NRCS who told of the partnership between NRCS and the District which has lasted for 65 years. In a similar vein, Dan Naylor of the PA Department of Agriculture explained the relationship the Ag Department has had with the District.

These tributes to years of service and cooperation were followed by numerous awards. Penn State Extension Board President Richard Mackey presented John and Bonny Onyon with the “Friends of Extension Award” for their years of dedication to the County’s 4-H program.

State Representative Sandra Major presented a certificate of appreciation to the Penn State Extension which was followed by Representative Tina Pickett honoring the Conservation District for 65 years of protecting the resources of Susquehanna County.

Rounding out the evening was a series of awards given by the Conservation District. The Envirothon Donor Award went to Chesapeake Energy and Talisman Energy. Jane Clements was present with a beautiful plaque for Chesapeake Energy.

Ed Kelley Jr., Montrose, was the Outstanding Farmer Cooperator for his many years of implementing sound conservation practices on his farm. Ed Price received the Outstanding Educator Award for his work as an Envirothon advisor and his educational work with the PA Trappers Association.

Conservation District Technician Willie Keeney presented the Media Cooperator Award to Larry Souder, President of WPEL. For almost 60 years WPEL has carried information of importance to the agricultural community of the area and for the past eight years the District has hosted a show on Thursday’s following the noon news. The Susquehanna County Conservation District and Penn State Extension Service would like to thank all those people whose hard work and dedication have allowed these institutions to exist and serve for so long.