Clemson Extension agents earn national recognition

CLEMSON — Clemson University’s Millie Davenport and Paul Thompson received the 2015 Achievement Award and Distinguished Service Award, respectively, at the National Association of County Agricultural Agents annual meeting in Sioux Falls, S.D.

8-12 Page 2B.indd[cointent_lockedcontent]The peer-elected awards recognize excellence in extension programming.

The Achievement Award, which is given to one extension professional in each state, recognizes agents with less than 10 years of service to the Cooperative Extension Service.

Davenport, who has served Clemson Extension for nine years, is a consumer horticulture agent and Master Gardener coordinator for Anderson, Pickens and Oconee counties. She also manages the popular Home and Garden Information Center, where she has written many fact sheets and voiced countless educational videos. She is co-creator of Clemson Extension’s Sustainable Small Farms and Backyard Program. Davenport currently serves as the treasurer of the S.C. Association of County Agriculture Agents.

The Distinguished Service Award, which also is given to one extension professional in each state, recognizes agents with more than 10 years of experience.

Thompson has served Clemson Extension for 20 years and currently is an area horticulture agent serving York, Chester and Lancaster counties. He works with the landscape industry and offers tips on consumer horticulture. He also serves as the Master Gardener coordinator for the area. Thompson writes a monthly gardening column for YC Magazine and a quarterly column for South Carolina Farmer magazine. He collaborates with fellow agents with statewide programming. He co-hosts a weekly call-in gardening radio show and is a frequent guest on SCETV’s “Making it Grow.”

Thompson and Davenport were elected for the awards by the S.C. Association of County Agriculture Agents.

“We congratulate Millie and Paul for this well-deserved national recognition. Both have dedicated many years of service to Clemson Extension and the citizens of South Carolina and are highly respected by their clientele and their peers, as evidenced by their selection for these awards of professional excellence,” said Cory Tanner, past president of the S.C. Association of County Agriculture Agents.

The Clemson University Cooperative Extension
serves as the university’s public outreach arm, providing unbiased, research-based information to help improve the quality of life in South Carolina, a core responsibility of a land-grant university such as Clemson. The extension’s goal is to improve the value of the state’s $42 billion agriculture and forestry industries, strengthen families and communities, improve stewardship of natural resources and the environment, strengthen connections between people and their food and expose South Carolina youth to opportunities in agriculture, science, technology, engineering and math.[/cointent_lockedcontent]