A University of Wyoming Extension educator received the Friend of Agriculture award given out by the Wyoming Department of Agriculture at the Wyoming State Fair and Rodeo in Douglas Friday.
Hannah Swanbom was presented the honor from the WDA’s Natural Resources and Policy Division. The award is given to a person who goes above and beyond to promote sustainable agriculture, said Derek Grant, WDA public information officer.
Swanbom, a community development educator, is based in Natrona County and also serves Converse and Niobrara counties.
“Hannah is an outstanding extension educator, so I was not surprised when she was recognized by WDA,” said Kelly Crane, UW Extension director and associate dean.
Swanbom’s work with the facilitation of the Thunder Basin National Grasslands Prairie Dog Working Group, her willingness to co-mediate on a variety of issues and co-host a basic training in Lusk was a great boost to the program, commented Grant.
Crane commended her for exceptional group facilitation skills and commitment to identifying collaborative solutions to resolve complex natural resource issues.
“Her partnership and enthusiasm for promoting mediation and training is enabling the program to reach new audiences in Wyoming,” said Grant.
She committed to working with the WDA and Forest Service on six months of meetings to help facilitate an emotional and controversial subject matter of prairie dog management. She ensured meeting goals were accomplished and was able to manage numerous and sometimes conflicting personalities and viewpoints of the group.
“She did an amazing job, and the WDA could not have completed this effort without her,” said Grant.