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Division of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources

OSU Cooperative Extension professionals honored

STILLWATER, Okla. - The Oklahoma Association of Extension Agriculture Agents honored its own in July, for excellence of service and commitment to the land-grant mission of helping to improve the quality of life for Oklahomans.
OSU Cooperative Extension professionals honored

Jen Olson, 2017 OAEAA State Specialist Award recipient. (Photo by Todd Johnson)

“Our Extension educators work side-by-side with individuals, organizations and civic leaders to solve concerns of importance to Oklahomans, their families and their communities,” said James Trapp, Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service associate director.

The Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service is a state agency administered by Oklahoma State University’s Division of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources, and one of three equal parts comprising the university’s state and federally mandated teaching, research and Extension land-grant mission.

Under the state and federal land-grant mandate, Extension educators take scientifically proven, research-based information and create innovative learning opportunities that address local issues.

“Extension has more than a statewide presence, our county educators are an active part of the communities in which they work and live,” Trapp said. “Given OSU’s land-grant mission, our successes – by definition – represent how we have helped others to succeed.”

Casey Russell, Coal County Extension director and agricultural educator, was honored with the 2017 OAEAA Distinguished Service Award. Russell has served Coal County for 10 years.

“Two things that stick out about Casey is the way he has worked diligently to develop a good relationship with the local Amish community through traditional agricultural programs and farm visits, and the way he has partnered with the local library to provide programming to nontraditional clientele, one of the most successful of which is a Bee Keepers Club” said Zack Meyer, chair of the OAEAA awards committee.

Meyer himself – in a surprise that was kept secret from him until he was called up during the award presentation ceremonies – was named the 2017 OAEAA Achievement Award recipient. The Kingfisher County Extension director and agricultural educator has conducted numerous trials relating to forage management, prescribed burning implementation and wheat and canola production. Prior to moving to Kingfisher County in June 2014, Meyer served the residents of Okfuskee County, where he was heavily involved in the creation of the Twin Rivers Prescribed Burn Association.

Trent Milacek, OSU Cooperative Extension area agricultural economist for the state’s Western District, was honored as the 2017 OAEAA Outstanding New Agent Award recipient. An area specialist since June 2014, this native of Waukomis who grew up on a wheat and cattle operation has presented at more than 175 producer meetings, field days and on-site agricultural tours.

“His educational efforts have covered a variety of topics ranging from farm policy to marketing, to risk management,” Meyer said. “In addition, Trent has provided valuable in-service training for fellow Extension professionals on seven different occasions, covering topics such as farm bill decision-making tools and the ins and outs of assisting producers with crop insurance coverage choices.”

Milacek is frequently featured in local and regional media, and has written more than 50 news articles for the Enid News & Eagle, distributed more than 120 weekly market reports and contributed to 18 editions of Ag Insights, an Extension monthly newsletter.

Jen Olson, OSU Cooperative Extension assistant specialist with the division’s department of entomology and plant pathology, was name the OAEAA 2017 State Specialist Award recipient. For the past 10 years, she has been instrumental in DASNR’s wheat and canola disease testing programs, grape and pecan workshops, floriculture workshops, and tree care workshops and tours. Olson has been featured on the Oklahoma Gardening television program and is a member of the National Institute for Microbial Forensics, Food, and Agricultural Biosecurity team.

“Diagnostic services provided by Jen have contributed significantly to furthering better understanding of important plant diseases in Oklahoma,” said Phil Mulder, head of the department of entomology and plant pathology. “Her continued work with the NIMFFAB team and their support staff has been instrumental in training and discovery of new diagnostic techniques that will certainly pay dividends in the future.”

Mulder added she has increased the stature of the OSU Plant Disease and Insect Diagnostic Laboratory as a reliable source of information for stakeholders, and has been responsible for increasing diagnostic services and sharing her expertise with Extension educators and specialists throughout the state.

“Contact us,” Trapp said. “Extension is a valuable resource providing the latest research-based expertise related to agriculture, family and consumer sciences, rural development and 4-H youth development. We are pleased to see our own honored by their peers and recognized by residents and stakeholders for their contributions to improving the lives of others.”

Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service county offices are typically listed under “County Government” in local directories.


Donald Stotts
DASNR News and Media Relations
Agricultural Communications Services
132 Agriculture North
Oklahoma State University
Stillwater, OK 74078
Phone: 405-744-4079
Fax: 405-744-5739

Oklahoma State University - Stillwater, OK 74078

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