Janet L. Schmidt: Outstanding Alumnus Award 2020

Janet L. Schmidt is a WSU alumnus who received a BS in Animal Sciences in 1979 and a MS in Adult and Continuing Education in 1981. Caring and compassionate, the WSU Extension faculty member is a long-time advocate of 4-H youth and livestock producers in the state of Washington.

Schmidt began her career with WSU Extension in 1984, serving Wahkiakum, Cowlitz, and Clark Counties in positions including: 4-H Agent, Area Livestock Agent, and County Chair. In 1995, she moved to Whitman County and was a 4-H Youth Educator until 2004 when she added County Director to her resume. Now she melds mentorship with administration of the WSU Extension Program in Whitman county.

To support the vision and mission of 4-H youth development and Extension, Schmidt routinely solicits and secures funding for innovative education programs such as 4-H and FFA Youth livestock field days, 4-H youth robotics camps and other STEM programs, and the Pacific Northwest Sheep & Goat Judges School and Show Management Conference. Schmidt’s techniques and examinations of the successes of such programs have been published in peer-reviewed journals and Extension publications and presented internationally, nationally, and locally at conferences, forums, and other events. Her expertise in pasture management has been called upon every semester since 2014 as she disseminates her knowledge to students in the Animal Sciences Equine Management course.

Schmidt’s devotion to supporting 4-H youth and educating livestock producers in Washington have not gone unnoticed. Her contributions as an individual and as a member of a team resulted in numerous honors and awards from the National Association of 4-H Agents and the National Association of County Agricultural Agents. In addition, she was named Faculty of the Year in 2015 by the WSU College of Agricultural, Human, and Natural Resource Sciences.