Dale Cantonwine was honored as a Friend of Extension at the Extension's annual meeting on November 30, 2010. This award is well deserved because Cantonwine is a valued volunteer to the Extension. Cantonwine has been a member of the Putnam County Extension Board and is a Gold Member Master Gardener. Becoming a Gold Member Master Gardener means he has completed over 1000 hours of volunteer work for the community. He also has taught many of the Master Gardener Classes, been president of the Master Gardener Association in Putnam County, and has judged at the local county fair.
Cantonwine is a life-long Putnam County resident and has been involved with extension since he was a youngster. He was a 10-year 4-H member and a Junior Leaders member. He was involved in FFA in high school. He has continued his involvement in agriculture and the community by being a member of several organizations such as the Suffolk Breeders Association, Putnam County Sheep Breeders, Simmental Breeders Association, Jersey Breeders Association, National Junior Horticulture Association, and National Junior Vegetable Growers Association.
He has remained active with the fair as a Putnam County Fair Board member and Dairy Superintendent for two years. He also served as a 4-H Garden Superintendent. He has served on the Extension Board for six years and has been president for two of those years. He has spent years volunteering in the Harris Hall Horticulture program at the fair, where he has been Agriculture Superintendent and has also been Top Gardening Open Class Exhibitor at the Fair 3 times.
Cantonwine is most proud of his family. He has been married to his wife, Velvet, for 40 years and they have two children, Becky and Robert. Becky is married to Marvin Voyles and Robert is married to Heather. They have two children, Micah and McKinley. Cantonwine never passes up an opportunity to have his family help out. They all have been volunteering in community activities around the county. His two granddaughters have exhibited in Harris Hall.
It has been a great honor to get to know Dale Cantonwine. He is an outstanding citizen of Putnam County. He has been a great help to me in my position as Agriculture Educator for Putnam County. The Friend of Extension Award is well deserved and I want to thank him for his service and the outstanding character he models for our community.
Master Gardener Awards
This past year has been a great year for Master Gardeners. We have had several great achievements that merit recognition.
To become a Master Gardener you must participate in the 13-week training classes and then finish 35 hours of volunteer time. After finishing 35 hours you become a full-fledged Master Gardener. This may seem like a lot of time, but most of the class participants can finish their hours within a year. It doesn't take long for the volunteer hours to add up. When participants have reached Master Gardener Status, volunteer hours accumulate to help participants achieve Advanced Master Gardener Status. To achieve Advanced Master Gardener Status participants need to complete a total of 60 volunteer hours and 45 education hours. While there is no set time frame for achieving any of the other levels of Master Gardener status, participants are surprised at how quickly volunteer hours add up.
Beyond Advanced Master Gardener Level Status there are the Bronze Level Status that requires 200 hours of volunteer time and 60 hours of education time, the Silver Level Status which requires 500 hours of volunteer time and 75 hours of education time, and Gold Level Status which requires 1000 hours of volunteer time and 100 hours of education time.
Because of the effort it takes to achieve the various levels, when someone achieves one of these levels we like to celebrate it! This year we have had an unusually high number of volunteers making some of these status levels. Ester Hurst, Patricia Livvix, Anna Harris and John Garner are to be congratulated for reaching the Master Gardener Level. John Kessinger, Annette Meyers, Billi Richert and Peggy Wood are to be commended for reaching the Advanced Master Gardener Level. Ginny Jones, Sallie Bartlett, Jerry Hayes and Judith Cloe are to be recognized for their Bronze Level awards. Finally, Cyndi Blocher, Karen Staub, and Linda Lumsdon have persevered to gain the Silver Level awards. Well done! Thanks so much for all of your time and dedication. At this time Howard Sharder is also congratulated for finishing this year's Master Gardeners Class. His name was inadvertently left off of the completing class members' list in a previous article.