COLUMBUS - K-State Research and Extension comprises of 17 districts and 57 independent counties. From those units Cherokee County K-State Research and Extension received the Outstanding Local Unit Award. According to K-State Research and Extension they received the award because they demonstrated excellence in personnel, programming and financial management.

The staff includes Katrina Elliott (4-H agent), Christina Holmes (FACS agent), Dale Helwig (Ag Agent), Julie Thomas (Program Assistant), and the late Pat Smith (Office Professional). They received the award based on their approach to programming. They intentionally moved from providing one-time programming for community groups to identifying community issues, building partnerships, training others, and employing educational strategies that have resulted in a direct impact to the residents of the county. Because of their team approach to programming 4-H enrollment for the 2016-2017 year increased 12 percent. By collaborating with other community partners, area organizations obtained grants of $22,000 in 2017 for programming activities throughout the county.

In addition to being named Outstanding Local Unit, Cherokee County Extension received Healthy Workplace Recognition and secured the Katey Walker Extension Development Fund. This money will provide Better Brains for Babies training for childcare professionals. The training will bring awareness of the activities that can impact the brain growth and development of a child. Funds will help offset some registration costs and will be used to purchase brain models, curriculum binders, and DVDs containing all materials and presentations. After the training, a monthly presentation will be given at Family and Child Together event. It will target young families and provide nutrition and youth development education. The Better Brains for Babies training will occur February 9 and 10. More information about the event will be forthcoming.

K-State Research and Extension is an equal opportunity provider and employer.