Three Wallowa County ag supporters were recognized last week at the Annual Oregon State University Conference. More than 200 attendees had gathered from around the state.
First off, Kane and Nancy Maasdam, longtime 4-H supporters from Enterprise were recognized as the OSUEA Cooperators of the Year.
“This is a very high level honor for extension volunteers,” said Debera Warnock, Wallowa County OSU Extension College of Public Health & Human Sciences leader.
Warnock had prepared an extensive recommendation document for sheep breeders Nancy and Kane Maasdam of Alder Slope. It had to be extensive because the Maasdams don’t know the meaning of the word “moderation” when it comes to supporting youth.
They have been supporters of the Wallowa County 4-H program more than 30 years. They sponsor fair awards, are reliable chaperones for livestock or leadership events, manage volunteers, and more. Nancy has served as the Sheep superintendent for over 20 years, where she is in charge of tracking all 4-H and FFA members that will be bringing sheep to the Wallowa County Fair. She organized the weigh in, the shear day, and then the show at the fair. Nancy also served as the secretary of the Livestock Committee for almost 30 years.
Her husband, Kane, works with all species and has spent hundreds of hours at the fairground throughout the year building and repairing the animal stalls and grandstands.
“If we use the latest national figure for value of volunteering ($23.07/hr.), Nancy has donated $138,420 worth of time working with our 4-H youth,” Warnock wrote in her recommendation application.
Nancy leads one of the largest 4-H Clubs in the county, the Golden Arrow 4-H Livestock Club, and has assisted more than 800 youth in developing social skills, record keeping, financial skills, goal setting, self-motivation, responsibility, volunteerism, community service, and decision making.
Kane has served as the overall Livestock Superintendent for the Wallowa County Fair for more than a decade, and served as Wallowa County 4-H Association president for two terms. In addition to his volunteer work with the 4-H program, he is treasurer of the Enterprise FFA Alumni, and President of the Blue Sky Investment Club.
He also works with the Wallowa County Grain Growers advertising committee and coordinates many of the Fat Stock Sale purchases at the fair, and at the Eastern Oregon Livestock Show. He has developed a marketing program with his suppliers that allow him to purchase 10-15 animals at the County Fair livestock auction through the Wallowa County Grain Growers.
He was selected as the Wallowa County 4-H Outstanding Alumni in 2013.
They take their work home, too. They have allowed youth that live in town to keep their projects at their house, but have high expectations that they will uphold their responsibilities. When the youth are at their house, they help them with their showmanship skills.
The second top award to a Wallowa County youth supporter went to a surprised Debera Warnock. She received the OSUEA Experienced Professional Faculty Award.
Warnock was nominated by Carole Smith, 4-H Specialist for Grant County with strong support from retired Wallowa County OSU Extension Agent John Williams, State 4-H Program Leader Pamela Rose of Corvallis, and retired 4-H Youth Development and Home Horticulture Coordinator for Union and Wallowa Counties Janice Cowan.
Smith praised Warnock for her 22 years in the Oregon State 4-H Program and her leadership model, outlining many of the ways Warnock had led the way with new programs.
Warnock has been instrumental in developing programs including working with the state 4-H Volunteer Specialist to develop curriculum and programing to help other teachers and volunteers learn how to design the 4-H experience to support the needs of youth with disabilities. That program was recently shared at a volunteer conference in Georgia and continues to spread.
Warnock is also a partner in planning the Tri-County 4-H Camp with Union and Baker counties as well as Eastern Oregon Leadership Retreat for six counties. She assisted in writing or revising curriculum for Junior Leader and 4-H Archery, and was a team member in developing the 4-H Survivor Camp curriculum.
She has taught workshops at state, regional and national professional conference as well as the International Camping Congress in Quebec City, Canada and is an active member in the National Association of Extension 4-H Agents.
The list of her accomplishments goes on and on as does the list of her volunteer efforts outside of her “day job.” She volunteers for half a dozen events here in Wallowa County including Hell’s Canyon Mule Days, Wallowa County Fair Board, and Chief Joseph Days Rodeo.
“It was a pleasure meeting Kane and Nancy Maasdam in Corvallis and seeing them honored for their dedication to Wallowa County 4-H and their community,” said WC OSU Extension Agent Peter Schreder. “I am also very happy for Debi Warnock as she was the recipient of the Experienced Professional Faculty award, honoring her for her hard work and dedication to her program, community and the university. (These people are) prime examples of what makes rural Oregon such a great place to live.”