Two Pacific Northwest National Association of State Department of Agriculture employees were recently honored with national awards.
Shirley Eklund of Mattawa received one of three Supervisory Enumerator of the Year Awards given nationally. Larry Panasuk of College Place received was presented with one of five national Field Enumerator Awards given this year.
Enumerators gather information on the types of crops being grown, amounts harvested, document the results and report it to the National Agricultural Statistics Service.
Once a year a handful of NASDA employees are chosen for the awards based on outstanding performance during the past year.
Eklund and Panasuk received their plaques in an awards ceremony held Dec. 11 in Olympia. The ceremony was live-streamed from the NASS/USDA Washington, D.C., awards ceremony.
Eklund has worked for NASDA for nine years — eight of those as a supervisor. She is supervisor for Benton, Franklin, Walla, Columbia and half of Adams counties. She’s received awards for her work in the past from the Northwest Region, but this is her first national award.
Panasuk has worked for NASDA for six years and has received several recognition awards since 2010.
It’s a high honor. To put the significance of these awards in perspective, there are more than 3,500 NASDA employees across the U.S., wrote Christopher Mertz in a press release. Mertz is director of the National Agricultural Statistics Service Northwest Region.
“It is fortunate to have outstanding individuals like (Eklund) and (Panasuk) helping agricultural producers tell the story of Northwest agriculture,” Mertz wrote.
The fieldwork and public relations efforts done by NASDA enumerators are key to the National Agricultural Statistics Service’s ability to serve the nation’s agricultural producers by providing timely, accurate and useful information, Mertz wrote.
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