UMaine Cooperative Extension presents annual awards

4-H Youth Leadership in Action Award recipient Alia Parsons of Bucksport (center) is pictured with (from left) Lee Sargent, 4-H leader, Audra Porter (Alia’s mother) and 4-H staff members Carla Scocchi and Rosemarie Evans.

ELLSWORTH — Three annual awards were presented at the Hancock County Extension Association’s annual meeting on Sept. 27.

The 2018 Leadership in Action Award for a local nonprofit was presented to Kitty Barbee, representing Eastern Maine Development Corp. (EMDC).

EMDC is now in its 51st year, and is the largest economic development district in Maine, with offices in Bangor, Ellsworth, East Millinocket, Dover-Foxcroft and Machias and a professional staff of 30.

Louis Bassano, extension educator, has served on EMDC’s Loan Review Committee for 15 years. Over the last 12 months, more than $7 million in loans have been infused into the local economy, creating or retaining 28 jobs.

EMDC has partnered with UMaine Extension in other activities such as the Hancock County Business Conference, individual business consultations and small business workshops.

The 2018 Annette Valenoti Leadership in Action Award was presented to Dorcas Corrow and Eva Eicher of Sweet Haven Harvest for Hunger Farm in Seal Cove.

Both spend the winter months planning and growing hundreds of seedlings for the garden in their home. They work with volunteers for 25 weeks, May through early November, growing crops on their farm and delivering their produce to people of limited means on Mount Desert Island.

Over the last eight years, they have grown and donated 11,500 pounds (nearly 6 tons) of fresh produce to community members with limited resources.

Dorcas is also a Master Gardener Volunteer through UMaine Extension in Hancock County.

The recipient of the 2018 4-H Youth Leadership in Action Award is Alia Parsons of Bucksport.

Parsons has held many leadership positions in and out of 4-H, and is an active participant and supporter of the Hancock County 4-H programs such as STEM programs, Public Speaking and more.

Recently, Alia made Maine 4-H history by receiving the New England Sportsmanship Award at the 2018 Eastern States Exposition 4-H Horse Show.

For more information about UMaine Cooperative Extension in Hancock County, visit

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