The ONLA announces 2014 ONLA Educator and Public Service Award

Posted On 05 Feb 2014
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untitledWESTERVILLE, OH: The Ohio Nursery & Landscape Association (ONLA) is pleased to announce the 2014 Educator and Public Service Award Recipient, Joanne Kick-Raack. The award was presented during the Central Environmental Trade Show (CENTS) at the ONLA Luncheon & Business Meeting held January 14, 2014 at the Greater Columbus Convention Center, Columbus, Ohio.

The ONLA Educator & Public Service Award recognizes outstanding educators and/or public service employees. Candidates are those who have given their time and/or talents to benefit the Green Industry in one or more of the following ways: outstanding classroom teachers who have also served the adult community through outreach programs; researchers who have worked in areas of major industry needs; extension personnel who have consistently taken an active role in Green Industry activities; garden writers and radio and television personnel who have been complimentary to the objectives of the industry; government employees who have assisted the industry in preventing or solving potential problems, and arboreta and botanic garden employees who have served the industry in a variety of ways.

Kick-Raack grew up on a dairy farm in Dalton, Ohio and then moved to Loudonville in northeast-central Ohio. She then went to the Ohio State University’s Agricultural Technical Institute in Wooster. Her extensive experience and geographic range soon developed as an exchange student in Quito Ecuador and her first college major was in Spanish. Following an early internship at the FMC Company in upstate New York, agriculture returned to her portfolio. She attended New York’s land-grant university, Cornell, received a B.S. degree, majoring in plant pathology, working on the nematode Ziphinema americanum, an important vector of fruit tree viruses. She also processed nematode samples in the Cornell plant disease clinic.

Returning to FMC after graduation, she continued research on nematodes. Her next career move was to Abbott Labs in north Chicago as a regional manager and technical advisor in their agricultural chemical division, covering an area from western New York to Kansas and Nebraska, then back to Ohio as technical support in Chemlawn’s Agvantage division as an agricultural consultant, before becoming the assistant manager at the Chemlawn Diagnostic Laboratory near Delaware, Ohio.

In her next invention, she worked as a project manager at AT&T, where she met her husband, Jerry. For Joanne, plants again beckoned and this time it was again the Green Industry. From 1989 until 2013, Joanne was the State Program Director for the Pesticide Safety Education Program at The Ohio State University, with stints as the interim national program director for pesticide education with the United States Department of Agriculture and with several other assignments overseas.

Joanne also pursued and received a Master’s Degree in agricultural education, minoring in Integrated Pest Management at Ohio State. Her diligent efforts at pesticide safety, working with the nursery and landscape industry and the overall agricultural community brought her the well-deserved Agriculture Woman of the Year Award from the Ohio Department of Agriculture in 2013 and now this ONLA Educator and Public Service Award from ONLA. The ONLA is pleased to present Joanne Kick-Raack with the 2014 Service Award.

The ONLA’s annual convention, the Central Environmental Nursery Trade Show (CENTS), is scheduled for January 7-9, 2015, at the Greater Columbus Convention Center and Hyatt Regency Hotel, Columbus. The trade show is open to persons in the nursery and landscape industry.

The Ohio Nursery and Landscape Association (ONLA) leads, promotes and facilitates the success and growth of green industry businesses. ONLA is a non-profit trade association, incorporated in the State of Ohio, representing the interests of the state’s nursery, garden center and landscape industry. Membership is comprised of nursery stock growers, landscape contractors and maintenance firms, garden centers, arborists and allied suppliers. With over 1,300 members, ONLA seeks to enhance the environment and quality of life for all.

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