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Emerson Retires from LaGrange Extension

Published: Friday, January 12, 2018

The LaGrange County Extension board planned a special ceremony last month to recognize retiring county Extension director John Emerson.

At an open house event on Dec. 21, State Sen. Sue Glick presented Emerson with the Distinguished Hoosier Award for Emerson's 19 years of service to LaGrange County. Also on hand for the presentation were Kelly Heckaman, interim district director for Purdue University Extension; Steve Engleking, LaGrange County Extension director; Stan Clark, LaGrange Extension board president; and Larry Miller, president of the LaGrange County commissioners.

According to Emerson, the presentation came as a surprise.

"I was totally without words," he said. "It was pretty humbling. This type of recognition is almost always a reflection of people working together, and I accept it as a benefit of being placed in a great county."

Emerson, who also held the title of 4-H educator, said that working for LaGrange County Extension was "a great fit." Prior to his service with Purdue, he was employed as a manager and field consultant with the Indiana Family and Social Service Administration, where he worked in child protective service.

During his nearly two-decade career in Extension, Emerson saw many youths who participated in the 4-H program, then returned as adult volunteers. This stands out as a major highlight, along with seeing the impact that technology has had on Extension programs.

Now that he has stepped down, Emerson said he plans to enjoy fishing, winter sports and reading. He also intends to spend time with three young granddaughters.

Filling the vacancy as county Extension director is Steve Engleking, who also continues on as county Extension agriculture educator. Both Engleking and Brittney Schori, health and human sciences educator, will handle the 4-H educator responsibilities until a new 4-H educator is hired.

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