UMaine Extension faculty honored on national stage for local impact

Two University of Maine Cooperative Extension specialists were recently honored with several awards from a national organization recognizing the impact their work and research has had on Maine agriculture.  

At the 2023 National Association of County Agricultural Agents (NACAA) annual meeting in early August in Des Moines, Iowa, Glenda Pereira, UMaine Extension dairy specialist and assistant professor of animal science, received a National Achievement Award for Excellence in Extension Programming. Pereira was recognized for her applied research program integrating precision dairy management technologies and her work to define how per-and polyfluoroalkyl substances, or PFAS, affect dairy animals.  

UMaine associate Extension professor and state livestock specialist Colt Knight was also recognized as a national award finalist in the Search for Excellence in Livestock Production category for his workshops about raising pastured pork. Additionally, Knight was presented with a Regional Communications Award for his “Alternative Fencing Method” video. 

“NACAA is the national professional development organization for Extension county agricultural agents and educators. And because of that, these recognitions are something we take great pride in,” says UMaine Extension Dean Hannah Carter. “Each one shows an actual, real-world impact that our educators have made in their communities.”

NACAA is composed of members from state agricultural agent associations for the purpose of promoting professional development, recognizing professional excellence and representing professional interests of its members.

This year’s annual meeting featured tours that focused on animal science, horticulture and sustainable agriculture. It included professional development in the form of seminars, as well as oral and poster presentations.

“I found the meeting extremely beneficial. Getting involved in a national organization like this one provides great opportunities to learn from colleagues across the country and bring new ideas back to farmers here in Maine,” says Knight.