Mary Fennemore of Fifer Orchards accepts the Director's Friend of Extension Award.

Extension awards

UD Cooperative Extension presents awards at annual conference

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9:55 a.m., Nov. 6, 2013--University of Delaware Cooperative Extension kicked off a Centennial Celebration at it annual conference held at Rehoboth Beach on Tuesday, Oct. 29.

At the celebration, UD Cooperative Extension recognized four Director’s Friend of Extension Award recipients as well as the recipients of the 2013 Director’s Leadership Award.

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The following were the recipients of the Director’s Friend of Extension Awards:

Nancy A. Cotugna

Nancy A. Cotugna is a professor of behavioral health and nutrition at UD and in 2004-05 she spent her sabbatical with UD Cooperative Extension researching where other states obtained matching funds for the Food Stamp Nutrition Education program (SNAP Ed) and identifying potential sources of funding in Delaware. 

Her graduate students have also conducted research to further Extension programming efforts.

Michelle Rodgers, associate dean for Cooperative Extension in the University’s College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, said Cotugna has been “extremely helpful in assisting with the University of Delaware’s Cooperative Extension nutrition education programs. When the nutrition department had a coordinated dietetic internship program, Dr. Cotugna was instrumental in placing dietetic interns with Extension. Additionally, she assigns one to three community nutrition students each semester with various staff members to volunteer for Extension.” 

Fifer Orchards

Fifer Orchards, a fourth generation family farm that features a farm and a country store in Camden-Wyoming and a local fresh market in Dewey Beach, was presented with the award thanks to its support of 4-H and Cooperative Extension over the years. 

4-H youth have been given the opportunity to gain educational knowledge and value from various operation tours provided by Fifer Orchards staff. These youth have been able to develop and showcase their presentation skills as well as their culinary skills through the Front Porch Demonstration program.

Through the program, members of 4-H prepare recipes using fruits and vegetables in harvest and showcase them on the front porch of Fifer Orchards. They also have been allowed to share their knowledge and skills with others through the Animal Showcase program.  

Fifer Orchards has also been a donor of funds and products to various 4-H events, including the peach ice cream donation booth at the Middletown Peach Festival that provides $1,100 annually to support the county program.

Fifer Orchards has also allowed Extension to host tours at its site and has provided speakers for various Extension events, all in an effort to promote agriculture and to share knowledge and information with their clientele as well as to the clientele of Cooperative Extension. 

Fifer Orchards has been instrumental in providing land and labor to do various vegetable trials. In addition, Fifer family members participate on various Extension committees and boards.

Delaware State Housing Authority

The Delaware State Housing Authority (DSHA) is a low-income public housing community with 10 locations throughout Kent and Sussex counties. UD and DSHA have collaborated to provide 4-H Afterschool Programs to youth at seven of those locations.

For the past twenty years, 4-H and DSHA have operated a site at Hickory Tree in Selbyville and the success of that program has convinced the state agency to partner with 4-H to reach all their eligible children.

DSHA provides the community rooms, computer labs at some locations, recreational space, heat/air conditioning, maintenance of facility, water, and monthly pest control at each location at no cost to UD. 

The housing manager and social worker at each location assist in identifying children to attend the afterschool programs and serve on the afterschool advisory board. 

David Marvel

David Marvel is a grain and vegetable farmer focused on fresh and processing vegetable production. He is the past president and current vice president of the Fruit and Vegetable Growers Association of Delaware (FVGAD).

As an officer and member he continues to serve on a number of boards and committees that connect the issue of healthy living and family farming. Under his leadership, the FVGAD started the first farm to school program in Delaware and continues to lead the way in getting farm fresh food into rural public schools in the state.  

Marvel has always been a strong supporter of Delaware Cooperative Extension as evidenced by his involvement with on farm extension demonstrations, his input and overall vegetable science extension and research programs, and current and past membership on the UD and Delaware State University County Extension Advisory Boards.  

Marvel is a graduate of the first Delaware LEAD Class organized by Delaware Cooperative Extension and has assisted with recruiting and training with subsequent classes. Marvel also served on the UD CANR advisory committee that provided input in the selection of the dean, Mark Rieger.

Delaware Cooperative Extension Director’s Leadership Award

The Delaware Cooperative Extension Director’s Leadership Award was given to Katy O’Connell, Michele Walfred, Adam Thomas, Christy Mannering and Troy Darden. 

Rodgers cited their collective work on the successful rollout of the Cooperative Extension “Ask an Expert” service as the catalyst for the award. 

Photos by Evan Krape

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