Dodds Receives Meritorious Service Award for Work in Horticulture

Bob Dodds, Regional Director for Iowa State University Extension and Outreach, was among three Iowans recognized and presented with the Meritorious Service Award during the Iowa Horticulture Society Annual Meeting on November 15th. The presentation was made at Reiman Gardens on the Iowa State University campus. Award recipients included Dodds; Teresa McLaughlin, Director of Reiman Gardens at Iowa State University; and Dr. Patrick O’Malley, Iowa State Field Specialist in Commercial Horticulture. The award is based on contributions to horticulture, demonstrated leadership ability, and contributions beyond the usual expectations of volunteer service or position responsibilities.
 
Dodds was recognized for his years of service and leadership to horticulture. He was instrumental in beginning the Master Gardener Program in Southeast Iowa and has assisted Iowa Corrections with the gardens at the area prison farms near Montrose and Mount Pleasant. He was also involved in bringing the Federal Farmers Market WIC program to local farmers markets in Southeast Iowa, some of the first markets in Iowa to participate. For over 30 years, he has provided leadership to the Southeast Iowa Forestry Field Day. The field day is one of the largest of such events in Iowa.
 
Dodds has provided leadership to numerous community tree planting programs such as Operation Releaf. He has also taught many programs for students in grades K through 12; raising awareness of gardening, nature, and the environment. He has written numerous articles that have been in printed in local newspapers, newsletters, state publications, and midwest gardening magazines. For nearly 20 years, he welcomed listeners on KOKX radio each Saturday morning to “Let’s Get Growing” during the growing season. During his tenure as the Lee County Extension Director, he answered thousands of questions from persons wanting to know more about horticulture.
 
Bob has written numerous grants to fund horticulture educational programs, research trials, and field demonstrations for Southeast Iowa. Most recently he co-authored a grant to begin an intern program titled “Rising Star." It is a cooperative intern program with local extension councils, Iowa State University Extension and Outreach, the Colleges of Human Sciences, and the College of Design. The program will begin this coming summer with three ISU students working in Southeast Iowa to expand local foods, health, and wellness. Bob currently serves or has served on numerous local, regional, and state committees and has been elected to numerous professional organization positions. 

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