June 7, 2017
Utah State University Extension was recently recognized with a Best of State Award for its work in adult education. The Best of State Awards are designed to recognize individuals, organizations and businesses in Utah.
The program uses three weighted criteria to judge candidates:
• 50% for achievement in the field of endeavor, producing superior results and outcomes
• 30% for innovation or creativity in approaches, techniques, methods or processes
• 20% for contributions to the quality of life in Utah
In the release announcing the Extension honor, Ken White, USU Extension vice president, noted that USU Extension has offered research-backed education for more than 100 years.
White commented that having an Extension office in 28 counties in Utah allows the organization to reach a wide range of people and their various needs with "research-based, unbiased information."
The department offers noncredit courses in a variety of areas, including agriculture and natural resources; gardening; home, family and food; and Utah 4-H and youth. In addition, Extension operates the Ogden Botanical Gardens; Swaner Preserve and EcoCenter; the USU Botanical Center; and has partnerships with several other centers and gardens around the state.
A solid example of the work done by USU Extension is in Moab, where a community permaculture design initiative called Bee Inspired Gardens mimics the patterns and relationships found in nature. The initiative was formed as a partnership, including USU Extension and small-scale educational nonprofits. Several hundred volunteers participated in designing, implementing and learning about the gardens and their focus on water conservation, pollinator health, and perennial food and forage systems.
Roslynn Brain, sustainable communities Extension specialist, attributed the high participation in the program to a rising interest in resilient regenerative living, as more people want to move away from "the burdens of consumerism."
White said this is just one of hundreds of USU Extension programs that are teaching important life skills and helping improve the quality of life in the state.
“Our programs include everything from financial management, relationship education, and nutrition to water conservation, small business development and pest management,” he said. “We also endeavor to reach an ethnically diverse audience. We are a relevant resource for people of all backgrounds and interests, and we are truly honored to be recognized for our programs with this prestigious Best of State Award.”
As a 2017 Best of State winner, USU Extension was recognized at an awards gala held May 17 at the Salt Palace in Salt Lake City. For further information, visit bestofstate.org.
Source: Utah State University Extension
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