seal  Purdue News

October 27, 2003

Extension awards given to 4-H youth development educators

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Three Purdue University Cooperative Extension Service educators were presented awards in 4-H youth development on Tuesday (10/21) during the annual Purdue Extension professional development conference on the West Lafayette campus. The awards were sponsored by the Indiana Extension Educators Association.

• Kenneth Penrod, of Crawford County, received the 4-H Youth Development Junior Award for introducing students to gardening and teaching them how to improve the environment. He implemented the Junior Master Gardeners program in his county, which he called Science Friday. Purdue Extension personnel present a science related topic each Friday to students. Interest in this program led to the Children's Garden and Learning Center where youth can interact with their surroundings. An after-school program also started incorporating the Master Gardeners curriculum, and 15 junior high students became official Junior Master Gardeners. These students then established three public gardens. Penrod also introduced the Junior Master Gardeners program to 69 elementary students through gardening lessons at Patoka Elementary School.

• Doug Keenan was awarded the 4-H Youth Development Innovator Award for his efforts to reach the increasing Hispanic youth population in Noble County. He established a Hispanic 4-H Club, promoted 4-H to Hispanic youth through the school system and served on the Celebrate Diversity Committee in Noble County. Keenan also works with after-school programs for Hispanic youth and developed professional relationships with Hispanic leaders.

• Alan Ader, of Parke County, was honored with the 4-H Youth Development Career Award for 27 years of commitment to the 4-H programs in Parke and Noble counties. He reached 1,700 youth through local 4-H clubs and special programs. Ader started the Youth in Government Day, Ag Day, Professor Popcorn, training sessions for first-year members and the mini 4-H program. He generated more than $400,000 in grants and gifts to make improvements to the 4-H fairgrounds, including upgrading the sewer system and electrical hookups. Ader procured scholarships for 4-Hers from Parke County organizations and pursued grants for enrichment and special interest programs in schools.

Writer: Michelle Betz, (765) 494-8402,

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

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

NOTE TO JOURNALISTS: Publication-quality photographs of the Extension award winners will be available today (Monday, 10/27) at

* To the Purdue News and Photos Page