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UW Extension announces 2022 award recipients

Organizer of “Heart of Gold” Livestock Show recognized for diversity and inclusion efforts

At an annual conference in Casper last month, the University of Wyoming Extension recognized educators across the state for outstanding service in 2022.

For her efforts to extend the 4-H experience to district students who might not otherwise have access to livestock events, Crook County educator Sara Fleenor earned the Diversity Enhancement Recognition Award.

The livestock show, now in its second year, connects 4-H and FFA members with students enrolled in special education programs in local public schools. More than 100 students participated in the fall 2022 event at the Crook County Fairgrounds.

4-H and FFA participants taught students how to move safely around livestock, how to care for them and, finally, how to show them. The event culminated in an animal parade through the barn.

For student mentors experienced in livestock handling, the show was an opportunity to practice leadership skills and compassionate peer coaching. For participants, the event was a fun and educational opportunity to engage with animals and supportive peers.

“I have been amazed at [Fleenor’s] talent to include every kid in every event! She is a natural when it comes to finding every kid a place to excel,” wrote one community member.