December 1, 2021 | By: Jordan Strickler
Lexington, Ky.

University of Kentucky Cooperative Extension Service was recognized on a national level when four individuals brought home awards from the annual Epsilon Sigma Phi conference held in Savannah, Georgia. Epsilon Sigma Phi is one of the oldest and largest organizations of extension professionals in the nation.

Patsy Kinman from Grant County brought home the Friend of Extension award for her dedication to the Master Clothing Volunteer program. Kinman put in many hours as a volunteer making clothing and training other volunteers to work in the program. Sally Mineer, extension specialist for professional development, received the Distinguished Service Award. Mineer served 27 years as a family and consumer sciences extension agent in Lewis County before taking on her current role in UK Family and Consumer Sciences Extension. She has served as president for Kentucky's Epsilon Sigma Phi chapter and is a recent graduate of the ESP LEADS leadership program.

Jennifer Bridge, extension agent for family and consumer sciences in Meade County, received the Visionary Leadership Award for creating positive change in the state’s extension system for her efforts with improving community programs, most notably helping military families, which are now reaching larger audiences in the area due to her work. Jennifer Hunter, assistant extension director for family and consumer sciences, received Visionary Administrator honors. Hunter has held primary appointments in the three principal extension-programming areas and has achieved significant accomplishments that have led to improved programming across the entire system. As a specialist, Hunter developed a nationally recognized program dedicated to promoting sound financial behaviors and improving financial stability.

“We are really proud of our professionals and volunteers here in Kentucky,” said Laura Stephenson, director of the UK Cooperative Extension Service. “They have really made some wonderful contributions to the state’s extension program. We’re lucky to have the quality people we do putting forth their time and effort.”

The Epsilon Sigma Phi organization was established in 1927 in Bozeman, Montana and is part of the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, a division of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The club is dedicated to fostering standards of excellence in the extension system and developing the extension profession and professional. A yearly conference brings together agents and university officials from all over the country and highlights the nation’s top agents. The next conference will be held in Branson, Missouri.


Melinda McCulley,

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