sealPurdue News

November 6, 2002

Valynnda Slack wins distinguished Extension educator award

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Valynnda Slack, a Purdue University Cooperative Extension Service educator in Whitley County, was the recipient of this year's Paul B. Crooks Distinguished Extension Educator Award. She received the award during the annual Extension conference on Purdue's West Lafayette campus in October.

Slack is active in land use teams, 4-H activities and other programs at the state and local level. Some of those programs include: assisting farmers in developing manure management plans; creating presentations about farming, neighbor relations and land use issues; and organizing the county fair livestock auction.

This year, for the first time, the Crooks Award was given to an educator based on work they had already completed. In previous years educators applied for the award to fund a project they wanted to undertake, said David Petritz, director of Purdue Extension.

Educators who won the award under the old guidelines also may win under the new rules, said Floyd Branson, assistant director of Extension. Slack, a two-time Crooks Award winner, first received the honor in 1994.

The Crooks Award is a $2,500 cash endowment, for personal or professional use, given to an Extension educator who has at least 10 years of experience. The recipient must be active at the state, regional or national level within their discipline. The award recognizes educators who show improvement in their area of assignment, teamwork and collaboration while modeling exceptional Extension performance.

The award was named for Paul Crooks, who was an Extension educator in Benton, Fountain and Morgan counties. He served as associate director of Purdue Extension from 1962 to 1982. The memorial award was first given in 1985.

Writer: Kay Hostetler, (765) 494-6682,

Sources: David Petritz, (765) 494-8489,

Floyd Branson, phone (765) 494-8490,

Ag Communications: (765) 494-2722; Beth Forbes,;

Purdue News Service: (765) 494-2096;

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