Former Ag Commissioner Receives Extension Award
Writer: Casey Saxton, USU Extension public relations assistant
Blackham Receives Friend of Extension Award
Utah State University’s Iota Chapter of Epsilon Sigma Phi recently presented the 2014 Friend of Extension Award to former Utah Commissioner of Agriculture and Food Leonard Blackham. Blackham has been a supporter of USU Extension and its programs for most of his life.
“I greatly appreciate the people who work in Extension and the effort they make to help the people of Utah,” said Blackham. “I was very honored to be recognized by Extension.”
Blackham was born and raised in Moroni, Utah, the son of a turkey producer and the grandson of a crop and sheep farmer. As with thousands of Utah’s youth, Blackham became familiar with Extension through the 4-H program.
“My first involvement with Extension happened when I was 12 years old when I joined 4-H with a turkey project,” he said. “I still remember the Extension people in Sanpete County. It was a great experience and these people became role models for me because of their dedication to the program.”
Blackham has had countless interactions with USU Extension during his professional life as a county commissioner, chairman of the Utah Association of County Commissioners, Utah state senator and as commissioner of the Utah Department of Agriculture and Food. He credits Extension for being a key knowledge and management resource for the farm community.
“USU Extension helps build the economy, especially in rural Utah, and helps develop good citizens,” he said.
Ken White, vice president for USU Extension, has nominated Blackham for the National Friend of Extension Award on behalf of USU’s chapter of Epsilon Sigma Phi. White described Blackham as a tremendous partner and supporter of Extension.