Courtesy University of FloridaMongi Zekri, a multi-county citrus agent based in LaBelle, received two awards from the University of Florida for providing exemplary service to his grower clientele.The University of Florida has recognized several county Extension agents or state Extension specialists, including two from Hendry County, for excellence in serving their grower clientele.
Mongi Zekri, a multi-county citrus agent based in LaBelle, received the 2013 Dallas Townsend Extension Professional Enhancement Award and the 2013 UF Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences Award for Excellence in Internationalizing Extension.
Gene McAvoy, a multi-county vegetable agent, was honored with the Wells Fargo Extension Professional Award/Program Enhancement Grant.
Zekri received his masters and doctorate degrees in citrus production and physiology from the University of Florida before spending 5 1/2 years as a research associate at the Citrus Research and Education Center in Lake Alfred.
From there, he was director of research for the Jack M. Berry Co. in LaBelle before eventually being named a multi-county citrus agent in 1997.
The Dallas Townsend award recognizes a county Extension Agent as well as a state Extension specialist for outstanding planning and implementation of programs that address the needs of their clientele.
To be eligible, candidates must spend at least 70 percent of their Extension programming in agriculture.
The Award for Excellence in Internationalizing Extension is designed to recognize county faculty for their contributions to building an international dimension into the Extension mission.
The Wells Fargo award recognizes a state or county Extension member who has a distinguished record of Extension programming. He or she also has implemented creative, innovative educational programs and educational products.