CORVALLIS - The Oregon State University Extension Service recognized several "Cooperators of the Year" with awards presented during a recent annual conference at OSU.

"The OSU Extension Service's cooperator awards are intended to honor the outstanding contributions of several individuals and organizations that have freely volunteered their time and resources to support Extension Service programs," said Pamela Olsen, Yamhill County Extension agent and public relations chair of the OSU Extension Association.

The list of those honored includes Ken Meier, Salem; Ellen and Jim Scannell, Ashland; Emma Jean Smith and Margaret Stark, Grass Valley; Gene Fisher, Oakland; Mona Easley, Corvallis; Wilco Farm Stores, McMinnville; and Intel Corporation and the Intel Latino Network, Hillsboro.

Ken Meier, a Marion County Extension volunteer since 1993, was recognized for his work with the OSU Extension Service Master Gardener and Master Food Preserver programs, and his involvement with "Ag Fest," an annual Marion County event that celebrates agriculture and home gardening.

Ellen and Jim Scannell were honored for their volunteer service to the Master Gardener and Master Food Preserver programs. Together, the couple annually contributes more than 1,000 hours of their time to the OSU Extension Service by maintaining campus gardens, handling client questions and giving seminars.

Emma Jean Smith and Margaret Stark were cited for their 46 years of volunteer work with the OSU Extension Service 4-H Youth program in Sherman County. Both women became 4-H clothing club leaders in 1954 and have continued as club leaders up to the present.

Gene Fisher received a cooperator award for his over 50 years of involvement with OSU Extension education programs in Douglas County. He served as a member and chair of the Douglas County Extension Advisory Council for many years and has been a trustee for the Oregon 4-H Foundation for over a decade.

Mona Easley was recognized for her contribution to the Benton County and statewide OSU Extension Service 4-H program. Over a 16-year period Easley served as a fair superintendent on both the county and state level; a 4-H camp craft director; and as a member of the state and county 4-H Advisory Councils.

Wilco Farm Stores in McMinnville was recognized for its strong support of the OSU Extension 4-H Youth program in Yamhill County. The company has donated staff time and supplies, valued at more than $25,000, to county 4-H Youth livestock programs and county fair activities. For example, the company helps youth involved in 4-H club animal projects by supporting a worming program for all market animals. This ensures that youth will get their projects off to a quality start.

The Intel Corporation and Intel Latino Network (ILN) in Hillsboro were honored for its cooperation with the Washington County office of the OSU Extension Service in starting an after-school 4-H Youth Web Wizard Program, which has been successful in reaching Latino youth in the area. Intel Corp. and ILN donated $125,000 in grants to the 4-H program to establish and support two community computer labs in Washington County, and have supported more than 30 volunteers who act as youth mentors in the program.

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Pamela Olsen, 503-434-8913