Local extension agent reaps 'huge' award

By Lil Spinks, West Nassau Correspondent
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While attending the Sept. 12 Extension Professional Associa-tions of Florida Conference at Marco Island, University of Florida/Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences Extension Agent Rebecca Jordi received an award she referred to as "really huge" - the Young Professional of the Year for 2006 award.

According to Jordi the award, presented by Farm Credit and the Florida Association of County Agriculture Agents, of which she is a member, is bestowed upon agriculture agents who have 1-5 years' experience and whose programs have made significant contributions to their local county and the University of Florida/IFAS.

The award was based upon Jordi's achievements since she was employed to serve Nassau County in May 2001, including her FACAA involvement (membership and activities; honors and awards) since 2001.

During the period of a year or more during that 5-year period, she not only maintained her membership in both the FACAA and National Association of County Agricultural Agents (NACAA), but also was present for the Education Committee annual meeting in Orlando, Registration Committee annual meeting in Orlando, Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) session as moderator at the annual meeting in Orlando, was hydroponics gardening session moderator at the annual meeting in Orlando and was the Education/Technology chair.

She also served as the mid-year meeting chairperson in Gainesville, the International Society of Arboriculture as a member and certified arborist, Florida chapter of ISA member, been elected to serve as a board member of the Education Committee, appointed to be chairperson of the Ad Hoc Spanish Translation Committee chair, an American Society of Horticulture member, was elected to be a board member of Keep Nassau Beautiful and served as chair-elect from 2003-4 and chairperson from 2004-06.

She represented the Association of Natural Resource Extension Professionals (ANREP) and the Florida Association of Natural Resource Extension Professionals (FANREP) from 2005 to the present.

Honors received included her FACAA Horticulture Search for Excellence for the "Neighborhood Stormwater/Landscape Program" in 2006 and her FACAA 4-H Search for Excellence Program for 4-H Summer Camps, "Get Buggy," in 2003.

She was recognized for her participation in development of programs for one-year increments or more, (advisory committee involvement, which included work with specialist and design teams, contributions to faculty program support such as publications, presentations, or other creative works); and her peer, university and local support (contributions to interdisciplinary projects, service to 4-H youth and schools). These programs include The Larra Wasp Project - biological control for mole crickets with Dr. Frank Howard, International Society of Arboriculture member with Dr. Ed Gilman, member of the Florida chapter of ISA, assuming the elected position as board member of the Education Committee, the appointed position of Ad Hoc Spanish Translation Committee chairperson, she trained the Trainer in Turfgrass Best Management Practices with Dr. Laurie Trenholm, the Coreopsis Wildflower Project with Dr. Gary Knox, Goal 4 Focus Team with Dr. Gary Knox, Project Learning Tree with Jennifer Seitz, the Horticulture Advisory Committee and the Nassau County Overall Advisory Committee since 2001.

Also considered was her faculty program support with many publications, presentations, or other creative works, as well as her support to peers, the university and locally in contributions to interdisciplinary projects, service to 4-H youth and schools.

Jordi received her B.S. in secondary education at Florida State University and her Master's of Education from Kutztown University in Pennsylvania. She is one of the few certified arborists in Nassau County and has served University of Florida/IFAS Nassau County Extension for the past 5 years in environmental horticulture to local homeowners.

In addition, she works in commercial horticulture with county employees, landscape maintenance professionals and pesticide applicators.

Jordi manages 35 master gardener volunteers on local projects such as Nassau County Demonstration Garden, plant clinics and monthly education programs.

She is involved with youth programming such as Ag in the Classroom, Ag Literacy, 4-H summer camps and developed an At-Risk Youth program for 16- to 18-year-olds at Nassau Halfway House.

Jordi also initiated a bi-weekly newspaper article for three local newspapers, including The News-Leader, titled "Garden Talk." She also produces a monthly e-magazine article called "Garden Zone" for Amelia Island E-Magazine. As a certified arborist, she has formulated quarterly programs for training certified arborists called Arborist Certification Education (ACE) and "ACE Lunch & Learns" in cooperation with urban forestry professionals in surrounding counties.

Jordi has been an active education board member and committee participant for the Florida Chapter of International Society of Arboriculture (ISA).

Story created Oct 01, 2006 - 09:52:42 PDT.

 

Becky Jordi

University of Florida/Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (IFAS) Extension Agent Rebecca Jordi has prepared many programs used during the 4-H Summer Day Camps, all of which were taken into consideration by the Florida Association of County Agriculture Agents before it presented her with the "Young Professional of the Year for 2006" award in September. Lil Spinks/For the News-Leader