UACES Facebook Cooperative Extension Service recognizes excellence among its own
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Cooperative Extension Service recognizes excellence among its own

By Ryan McGeeney
U of A System Division of Agriculture
Dec. 14, 2017

Fast Facts:

  • Conference updates employees on state-wide efforts of Cooperative Extension Service
  • Employees recognized for time in service to CES, best efforts across state 

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LITTLE ROCK – The University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture’s Cooperative Extension Service recognized the efforts and excellence of employees at both the state and county levels last week during the service’s Annual Faculty and Staff Conference.


The Dec. 4 conference was attended by CES agents, agronomists, professors and other classified and non-classified employees from around the state. Rick Cartwright, Associate Vice President for Agriculture-Extension, updated those in attendance on accomplishments made within the service during 2017.

“As we continue to move forward into the 21st century, we will adapt, learn, and meet all challenges,” Cartwright said during a prepared address. “We will get better, faster stronger. We will use technology appropriately and effectively. We will continue to carry out our mission. We will remain the best and most effective force for positive change in this world.”

Many members were recognized for their length of service with the CES, from those who have worked with the organization for five to 30 years. Additionally, individuals and teams wee recognized with Excellence Awards in several categories:

County Team Award: Lawrence and Randolph counties. Team members include Heather Akins, Mike Andrews, Bryce Baldridge, Katrina Causey, Herb Ginn and Sandra McGinnis

State Team Award: The Dicamba Research & Educational Effort. Team members include Tom Barber, Jason Davis, Mary Hightower, Jason Norsworthy, Julie Robinson, Jeremy Ross, Bob Scott and Ples Spradley.

Classified Employee Early Career Award: Phalon Montgomery, administrative specialist III.

County Extension Faculty Early Career Award: Jennifer Caraway, Miller County agricultural agent.

State Extension Faculty Early Career Award: Heidi Ward, Assistant Professor and veterinarian.

Project/Program Administrator Early Career Award:  Amy Cole, program director for the Office of Information Technology.

Employee of the Year: Kerry Rodtnick, extension videographer with the Department of Communications.

“Kerry exemplifies the gold gold standard, the best of extension,” Cartwright said. “His work ethic, innovation and creativity. That’s what the employee of the year award represents to us: Going above and beyond expectations.”

To learn about the Cooperative Extension Service, contact your local Cooperative Extension Service agent or visit


About the Division of Agriculture

The University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture’s mission is to strengthen agriculture, communities, and families by connecting trusted research to the adoption of best practices. Through the Agricultural Experiment Station and the Cooperative Extension Service, the Division of Agriculture conducts research and extension work within the nation’s historic land grant education system.  

The Division of Agriculture is one of 20 entities within the University of Arkansas System. It has offices in all 75 counties in Arkansas and faculty on five system campuses.   

The University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture offers all its Extension and Research programs to all eligible persons without regard to race, color, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, national origin, religion, age, disability, marital or veteran status, genetic information, or any other legally protected status, and is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer.

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Media Contact: Mary Hightower
Dir. of Communication Services
U of A System Division of Agriculture
Cooperative Extension Service
(501) 671-2126

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