Mason County resident Ann Porter recently received the national Friend of Extension-Volunteer/Lay Leader award during the annual Epsilon Sigma Phi session in Colorado Springs, Colo.
The award came months after Porter was named the winner of the award at the state level in February.
Porter said she was surprised and excited to have received the award.
“I was shocked,” she said. “Last February, I got a call saying I had won the state award. The state association can pick one person to nominate for the national award. When I got the call about winning the national award, I couldn’t believe it. The ceremony was so nice. My family was able to make it and I received a standing ovation — something I’ve never had before.”
According to Porter, there is only one volunteer in the United States selected for the award each year and she was the 2019 recipient.
Porter said she feels like the extension office should be the ones receiving awards and not the other way around.
“I shouldn’t be getting awards,” she said. “They should be the ones getting the awards. I started 4-H when I was nine years old and I’ve developed all of my leadership skills and interests through the extension. I’ll never be able to repay the extension services for what they provided to me.”
Nellie Buchanan, Morgan County extension agent for family and consumer sciences education was the one who nominated Porter for the award.
“She not only leads local efforts, but many extension professionals look to her as a mentor,” Buchanan said.
Porter is active in the local community, serving or having served on many boards.
She currently serves as the president of the state extension council and the district representative for the board, president of the Mason County Extension Council, president of the Licking River Area Homemakers and sits on the state homemakers board. She is president of the Mason County Homemakers and the Fernleaf Homemakers and was the only lay person chosen by the University of Kentucky to decide on the new director of extension. She is president of the Eastern District of Retired Teachers, president of the Mason County Retired Teachers Association, on the state retired teachers board, past president of the Mason County Alumni Association and recording secretary for the Beta Sigma Phi. Porter is active in her church as a choir and bell choir member, Sunday School and Youth teacher and also works in the Mason County Visitor’s Center, located in the Cox Building.