State senator receives Friend of Extension award

University Park, Pa. -- State Sen. Michael Waugh, who represents the 28th District in York County, has received the Friend of Extension Award from the Pennsylvania chapter of Epsilon Sigma Phi, a national organization dedicated to fostering standards of excellence in the Cooperative Extension System and developing the Extension profession and professional.

The award is the highest recognition presented by an Epsilon Sigma Phi chapter to a non-Extension (lay) person, company or organization and is designed to recognize outstanding support and personal involvement in Extension efforts. Waugh was honored for being a "continuously strong proponent for Penn State Cooperative Extension in York County."

In nominating Waugh for the award, Jeffrey Myers, extension director in York County, pointed to "the advocacy he has done on our behalf, acknowledging that his breadth of influence goes beyond York County to the entire commonwealth. His passion for agriculture and youth serves as the foundation for his support of Extension's programmatic efforts."

Waugh has represented York County since 1999 and currently serves as the Senate's majority caucus chair. He is vice chair of the Senate Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee, which he previously chaired for six years. He also serves on the Pennsylvania Farm Show Commission and the Chesapeake Bay Commission. He and his wife, Wanda, raise and train Percheron horses on their Glen Ridge Farm in Shrewsbury Township.

"Senator Waugh has provided his support for Cooperative Extension in part through grant funding that has greatly expanded our educational outreach efforts," Myers said. "Department of Community and Economic Development grants supported the York County 4-H Center, a York County urban 4-H and youth position, and agricultural-emergency classes."

Myers said the county 4-H Center is used almost daily for 4-H camps, meetings and other youth educational activities. "The grant for the urban 4-H and youth-development position has resulted in expansion of our urban youth outreach," he added. Those efforts include urban gardening programs that teach youth about plant science, environmental principles and healthy food choices, while supplying fresh produce for local food banks.

Waugh secured an agricultural-emergency grant that was used to design classes for emergency responders to familiarize them with agricultural emergency scenarios, according to Myers. "More than 50 emergency responders participated in seven Department of Homeland Security approved classes," he explained. "Topics included tractor entrapment, machinery entanglement, farm-chemical emergencies, confined-space awareness, and operations and feed-mill dangers."

Myers also cited Waugh's support, on a personal level, for Extension's equine and emergency-management programs through his own interest and ownership of Percheron draft horses. "The senator has hosted the York County 4-H Horse Judging at his home, Glen Ridge Farm, and also provided horses for our 4-H Draft Horse Clinic," he said.

"In addition, he has served as an instructor and provided the horses for the York County Animal Response Team to teach first responders how to handle horse emergencies. It is this hands-on, direct involvement that clearly demonstrates the senator's deep dedication to Penn State Cooperative Extension and our programs."

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Last Updated March 21, 2011