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Schurman to be Honored as Penn State's Dairy Science 2017 Distinguished Alumnus

Posted: October 16, 2017

Retired Extension Educator will be recognized by the Department of Animal Science on Friday, Oct. 27 at University Park

Retired Extension Educator Eugene Schurman of Clymer, PA, will be honored as the 2017 Dairy Science Distinguished Alumnus by the Department of Animal Science at a ceremony on Friday, October 27 at University Park. Schurman retired as senior extension educator after 34 years, having served clients in Franklin, Indiana and the Southwest Pennsylvania Extension Region.

Schurman's work with dairy producers was aimed at helping them remain profitable, improve efficiency and adapt new technology. He has always had a focus on farm safety and he is well-known throughout the state for his extensive work with youth.

Schurman received his M.S. in Dairy Science from Penn State, and his B.S. in Animal Science & Agricultural Education from Cornell University. He also has an Associate Degree in Agricultural Science from Alfred State College.

Dr. Terry Etherton, Head of the Department of Animal Science, said, "It is a special honor to recognize Gene as a Distinguished Alumnus. He has made countless significant contributions to the dairy industry, always working closely with producers to help them maximize their efficiency and their profitability. His leadership has been of great value to the dairy industry and he has inspired many young people to achieve their best."

Schurman said, "I am honored to be receiving this recognition and hope in some way that as a Penn State Extension Dairy Educator I was able to positively impact the lives of dairy producers and 4-H members by providing useful information to both. I was very grateful to work for Penn State Extension and the Dairy Team." 

Schurman developed extensive educational programs for Southwest Pennsylvania youth in dairy production and management, as well as farm, tractor and equipment safety. He served as chair of the Pennsylvania 4-H Achievement Days Safe Tractor and Skid Steer Contest Committee for 20 years. He coordinated the Pennsylvania state delegation to the National 4-H Engineering, Science, Leadership Event for 20 years.

Active in encouraging young people in their 4-H projects, he worked on the Pennsylvania 4-H Animal Science Program Policies and Guideline Committee, and served on the Pennsylvania Junior Dairy Show Advisory Committee. Well known for his leadership at statewide shows, he served for 34 years on the Pennsylvania Farm Show Dairy Committee and worked at the All American Dairy Show for 34 years where he was dairy cattle superintendent for 12 years. He continues to serve in both capacities.

Schurman has received numerous awards, including the National Association of County Agricultural Agents' and Pennsylvania Association of County Agricultural Agents' Distinguished Service Awards and Achievement Awards; the Pennsylvania All-American Dairy Show Image Award; the Pennsylvania Dairymen's Association Dairy Extension Educator Award; and the Pennsylvania Dairy Princess and Promotion Program Dairy Promoter of the Year Award. He also was awarded the Pennsylvania Honorary Keystone Farmer Degree.

Schurman and his wife Carol, who also recently retired from Penn State Extension, have endowed numerous scholarships to provide financial support to animal science students in the College of Agricultural Sciences. He said, "Carol and I are pleased that we have been able to give back to Penn State by endowing several 4-H/Animal Science scholarships for students who need assistance.  Scholarships were especially important to us when we were students and we hope these funds provide support to future agricultural industry leaders." The scholarships include: Eugene and Carol Schurman Trustee Scholarship, Eugene and Carol Schurman 4-H Scholarship in the College of Agricultural Sciences, Carol and Eugene Schurman 4-H Annual Scholarship, and the Eugene and Carol Schurman Indiana County 4-H Endowment. 

Having grown up on a small dairy farm in Clymer, NY, Schurman worked both on his home farm and on a neighboring farm throughout high school and as an undergraduate.  He served as secretary, vice-president and president of his local FFA chapter, and credits his FFA advisor for encouraging him to go to college and study agriculture. He was also an active Boy Scout.

Active in his community, he serves on the board of directors of the Pine Flats Community Hall Association; on the Indiana County Future of Agriculture Committee and the Penns Manor School District Agricultural Advisory Committee. 

He currently works as a sales representative for DuPont Pioneer and with the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture's Mid-Atlantic Secure Milk Supply Project as a Western Pennsylvania Consultant.