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Centre County 4-H Leader Receives Carolyn Blum Memorial PA Poultry Youth Service Award

Posted: May 8, 2013

Centre County 4-H leader is recognized for her years of service and outstanding success in working with the 4-H poultry program.
Sandra receiving the Carolyn Blum Memorial Pennsylvania Poultry Youth Science Award.

Sandra receiving the Carolyn Blum Memorial Pennsylvania Poultry Youth Science Award.

Sandra Haagen, Howard, a leader of the 4-H Cluckers and Quackers of Centre County, received the Carolyn Blum Memorial Pennsylvania Poultry Youth Service Award at the Youth Poultry 101 seminar in April. An active volunteer leader for 25 years, Haagen has coached four Avian Bowl teams and helped coach two poultry judging teams at the national level.

The award is presented annually by Penn State's Department of Animal Science to recognize someone who has made contributions to local poultry youth programs through innovative educational programs and activities, and who has been involved with youth shows and contests on local, regional, state and national levels. First awarded in 2009, the award is now named in memory of the first recipient, Carolyn Blum, Montgomery County, who died unexpectedly last year. 

In the award presentation, it was noted that Haagen's influence on youth went far beyond their club projects, extending to post-secondary education and young adulthood. "She has opened her love of knowledge and encouraged many children to alight upon a pathway of their own love and appreciation... With masterful intention and endless patience, she motivates and inspires youth to aspirations they never considered."  She has shared her expertise not just in poultry but also in dairy and cooking.

Haagen has been involved with the Centre County poultry program since her family helped get it started in 2004.

In nominating Haagen for the award, 4-H member Kaitlin Rogers said, "Sandy encouraged, motivated, and directed many hours of skills and user-friendly sportsmanship. She made special effort to instill the element of competition in a serious yet warm-hearted environment where friendship and sportsmanship was as important as winning."

Phillip Clauer, Penn State Poultry Specialist, said, "This award was established to recognize outstanding contributions of an adult volunteer to the youth poultry program. Sandy Haagen has provided exceptional educational leadership, instilling a desire to excel. Sandy puts in countless hours preparing practice questions and working with the youth in preparation for the state and national contests."

Mary J. Park, a parent whose daughter was part of an avian bowl team, added, "Sandy Haagen is an outstanding youth leader. Her knowledge of and dedication to the poultry programs makes her a very deserving candidate for the Carolyn Blum Memorial Pennsylvania Poultry Youth Service Award. Sandy has a way of bringing out the best in her "students."

Haagen has coached many 4-H'ers, leading them to success on the state level and nationally. She coached winning Avian Bowl teams at the national level, placing third in 2011, and fifth in 2007, 2010 and 2012.

In 2008 she helped coach a team that placed first in the state and in the national poultry judging competition. In 2012 four 4-H members who had trained under Haagen competed at the national poultry competition in Kentucky and placed 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 9th individually. The team, coached by her son Jacob, was number one overall, sweeping all the team divisions.

Hannah Park, a member of the 2012 Avian Bowl team, said, "Sandy is a caring and dedicated person. ...she was a dedicated teacher, friend, and role model. Sandy had high expectations for our team. Her drive, dedication, and caring personality made it easy to try to meet those expectations."

Anne Fisher, program assistant for Centre County Extension, was part of the 2008 winning poultry judging team, and said, "Sandy is the epitome of what an educator wants their leaders to be. She never complains, is always positive and is always willing to do whatever it takes "To Make the Best Better."