sealPurdue News

October 21, 1999

Purdue honors 4 'Friends of Extension'

Source: Floyd Branson, assistant director, Cooperative Extension Service, (765) 494-8490;

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Four people who have championed the Purdue University Cooperative Extension Service mission were honored as "Friends of Extension" at the annual Extension banquet Tuesday, Oct. 19. The honorees are Jerry A. Abbott of Boone County, Jeff Nalley of Owensboro, Ky., and Craig and Pam Sherbahn of Whitley County.

Jerry Abbott, Boone County

Abbott was nominated by Boone County Extension staff for his contributions to the community and long involvement with Extension. A 4-H member in his youth, he spent three years as a Boone County 4-H fair board member followed by a two-year term as fair board vice president. He also has served as both chairman and vice chairman for the Area 6 Purdue Council for Agricultural Research, Extension and Teaching. He also is past president of P-CARET and has been secretary for the P-CARET State Executive Committee.

A banker until his recent retirement, Abbott was as a member of the Indiana Banking Association's Legislative Committee and was involved in state and federal legislative initiatives. He also was the director and president of the building corporation for the Eagle-Union Community School Corp. In 1983, the town board of Zionsville appointed Abbott to its Citizen's Advisory Committee, where he helped complete a master plan for the town. He also has been a long-time member of Traders Point Christian Church, working on various committees as well as being a deacon.

Abbott manages and maintains farms in Boone, Hendricks and Montgomery counties and raises and trains horses. His daughter, Deborah Anne, is an alumna of Purdue's Agricultural Communications and Animal Sciences departments and works as a media relations specialist for the Ohio Department of Agriculture.

Jeff Nalley, Owensboro, Ky.

A farm broadcaster for WBKR radio in Owensboro, Nalley is well-known in the southwest Indiana listening area. He also is an acknowledged supporter of Purdue Extension programs and was nominated by the Area 3 Agriculture and 4H/Youth Educators, who said Nalley does not let the Ohio River stop him from regularly attending Extension activities.

According to the nomination, Nalley works diligently to keep the farm audience informed and the non-farm public aware of how agriculture affects them. One example is the extra effort he made to publicize the most recent Purdue Farm Management Tour in Posey, Gibson and Vanderburgh counties. In addition to numerous broadcasts, he also did separate mailings to his listeners, advising them to take advantage of this showcase of modern farm management methods and innovations. Still, it was his personal qualities of integrity, work ethic and positive attitude that the educators said led them and nominate him for the award.

Craig and Pam Sherbahn, Whitley County

The Sherbahns have supported the Whitley County Extension program for more than 20 years.

Craig has been president, vice president and secretary of the Whitley County 4-H Clubs, Inc. He has also served as the livestock chairman and supervised the planning and construction of the small-animal barn. He also helped lead a campaign to raise more than $60,000 to renovate the 4-H Center on the fairgrounds.

Pam served two terms on the Whitley County Extension Board as secretary and now is president. Craig also served two terms on the board. Both have been involved in the Premier Stockman Livestock Show and judging contests for more than 16 years. It gives more than 500 youths in the Midwest an opportunity to participate in an open show. The program provides scholarships to high school students throughout Indiana, and the Sherbahns help conceive, organize and run the program.

They also serve on the Hoosier Beef Congress committee each year. Craig is on the steering committee and is in charge of the judging contest. He is a nationally respected livestock judge and was youth chairman for Beef Congress for five years. He currently is breed manager of the Indiana Dorset Association for the State Fair Sheep Show. Pam also is an officer and organizes the State Dorset Show. They coordinated the Great Lakes Regional Dorset Show the past two times it was held in Indiana. Pam helped plan and oversee a buffet dinner during the county 4-H livestock auction for the buyers, saving the fair board hundreds of dollars. Both Pam and Craig are active members of the South Whitley United Methodist Church. They have two children, Ted, who completed 10 years as a 4-H member, and Cari, who just completed her third year of 4-H.

Writer: Chris Sigurdson, (765) 494-8415;

Purdue News Service: (765) 494-2096;

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