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Indiana Farm Bureau's Hovde Award presented to Purdue Extension educator Karen Richey

Karen Plaut, the Glenn W. Sample Dean of Purdue College of Agriculture, left, presents Extension educator Karen Richey with the 2021 Frederick L. Hovde Award of Excellence in Educational Service. (Purdue University photo)WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — The Indiana Farm Bureau’s (INFB) 2021 Frederick L. Hovde Award of  Excellence in Educational Service to the people of Indiana by a Purdue staff member has been awarded to Extension educator Karen Richey.

Karen Plaut, the Glenn W. Sample Dean of the Purdue College of Agriculture, paid tribute to Richey’s numerous contributions: “For 31 years, Karen has made an impact at local, state and national levels while also mentoring numerous educators throughout Indiana. She is renowned for her expertise on food, nutrition and food safety, has provided statewide leadership on numerous boards and task  forces, and was instrumental in creating the Purdue Extension food safety team. She is deeply deserving of this honor.”

The award was presented at the annual INFB convention, held in French Lick on Dec. 9.

“Rural communities are the cornerstone of our membership. Since 1972, it’s been an honor to support Purdue University educators, like Karen Richey, who showcase outstanding service to our members across rural Indiana,” said Randy Kron, INFB president.

Nominated by three fellow health and human sciences educators, Richey’s nomination also was supported by colleagues such as Amanda Deering, clinical associate professor in Purdue’s food sciences department.

“Karen has a natural ability to connect with people and explain difficult concepts in a way that people can easily understand,” Deering said. “Not everyone can do that well, and I think it’s wonderful that she uses these abilities to serve our Indiana stakeholders through Purdue Extension. Her devotion to providing food safety education is inspiring, and she should be viewed as an example of what all Extension educators strive to be.”

In accepting the award, Richey praised the colleagues with whom she has worked during her three-decade Purdue Extension career. “I am truly honored to receive the Hovde Award. I am the one accepting this honor, but the award belongs at least equally to the great individuals and teams that I have had the good fortune to work with at various stages of my career.”

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