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Source: National 4-H Council news release

National 4-H Council honored board trustee Dr. Thomas Coon at its most recent Board of Trustees meeting on Thursday, November 14. Dr. Coon was presented with the Gary L. Davis award for his leadership at Michigan State University, being active in 4-H locally in the state of Michigan and nationally, and his work on National 4-H Council's Board of Trustees from 2007 to 2013.

Dr. Coon is director of Michigan State University Extension (MSUE) and professor in the Department of Fisheries and Wildlife at Michigan State University. He is responsible for providing leadership to an organization that has over 800 staff and faculty both on campus and in each of Michigan's 83 counties and an annual budget of over $70 million.

MSUE provides research-based education programs designed to address community, family and industry needs in agriculture, natural resources, families, youth and community/economic development.

"Tom Coon has advanced the 4-H movement in exceptional ways through his mentoring and many contributions to the state of Michigan," said Donald T. Floyd, Jr., National 4-H Council president and CEO. "For more than five years, he has demonstrated exemplary service to the Board of Trustees, and we are proud to honor him with this prestigious award."

Dr. Coon's expertise in aquatic ecology and aquatic ecosystem management spans 25 years of university level teaching, advising hundreds of undergraduate students in fisheries and wildlife curricula. His research on fish population responses to environmental change has been funded by state, federal and international agencies, and he has mentored 19 graduate students as major advisor and dozens more as a committee member.

The Gary L. Davis Award honors volunteers who have consistently demonstrated a significant commitment of time and resources, made a measurable impact to 4-H at the state and national level and ultimately have set new standards of excellence. Recipients receive a grant for the community of their choice to build 4-H afterschool programs within their state.

The esteemed award is named for former Board of Trustees Chairman Gary L. Davis whose experience with 4-H began in Texas while leading the Texas 4-H Foundation. His national leadership role as chairman began in 1996 and his commitment to 4-H spanned well over a decade.

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