Farm Credit of Central Florida Marketing and Governmental Affairs Director Ron O’Connor was named a National Friend of Extension earlier this month at the 2015 National Epsilon Sigma Phi Conference.
Every year, the ESP recognizes up to four volunteers from across the country who go above and beyond to help Extension professionals carry out the land-grant mission. O’Connor was nominated by Sumter County Extension Agent Martha Maddox. The nomination was endorsed by Florida ESP and the University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences Extension.
“A native Floridian and graduate of the University of Florida, Ron O’Connor is deeply devoted to the Extension family and plays a vital role in supporting the total Extension program,” Maddox said. “Ron is one of the Extension supporters we can truly always count on for support whether monetarily, advisory or in lobbying efforts on Extension’s behalf.”
For over 25 years, O’Connor has provided scholarships for extension programs including 4-H youth activities, has devoted time to mentoring future agricultural leaders and photographed hundreds of extension events. O’Connor has served on local and statewide boards, including the Florida Agriculture Hall of Fame, the Florida Agriculture Institute and many more.
“I was honored to receive this award at the national level,” O’Connor said. “I accepted this award on behalf of the three Florida Farm Credit Associations and the hard working, resilient member-borrowers. They provide me the resources that allow me to work with the wonderful professionals in UF/IFAS Extension at both the state and county levels.”
Farm Credit of Central Florida is a Member-Owned cooperative serving 13 Central Florida counties, including, Polk, Hillsborough, Pinellas, Citrus, Hernando, Pasco, Sumter, Lake, Seminole, Orange, Osceola, Volusia and Brevard. Part of the nationwide Farm Credit System established in 1916, Farm Credit of Central Florida provides loans, leases and crop insurance to over 1,000 farmers, ranchers, growers and rural homeowners.