Jennifer Feusner Leach: Outstanding Alumnus 2013

Jennifer Feusner Leach received her B.S. degree in Animal Science in 1979, and a M.S. degree in Adult and Continuing Education in 1984–both from Washington State University (WSU). Since 1980, Jennifer has been proactively serving agricultural constituents of Washington State, primarily through outreach (Extension) activities.

Jennifer has served as 4-H Program Assistant (Cowlitz County); Area 4-H Youth Extension Faculty (Wahkiakum County/Cowlitz County); Project Coordinator, Drug Free Communities Grant (Longview Police Department); Wahkiakum County Extension Director and Area 4H Faculty; and presently is the Interim 4-H Equine Specialist (0.10 FTE) and a WSU Extension Faculty (Cowlitz County 4-H Youth Development and Leadership/Community Development).

While one might suggest that in her position as a WSU Extension Professional, service to Washington State is expected, what is not so easily defined is how much “above and beyond” Jennifer has taken her duties/career. Through the years, Jennifer has been responsible for Extension-oriented grants/gifts exceeding $1.3 million. Jennifer has served on > 70 Washington committees/boards/clusters/networks and commissions, and on > 20 regional/district/national groups. Throughout the years, Jennifer Leach has been heavily involved in the horse industry–serving as coach/advisor/instructor and judge of individuals, shows and State/Regional/National committees and/or advisory groups. Jennifer has served on the WSU faculty senate, as a Washington State 4-H Foundation trustee, on the Longview School Board (as a Board Member, Vice President and as President), and in many community committees in both Cowlitz and Wahkiakum counties that focus on family and youth development and prevention. Jennifer Leach has impacted the youth of Washington State in > 100 programs, many of these “after (school) hours” activities serving youth in communities impacted by poverty. It is evident that Jennifer cares about and for children at all levels/ages/and without regard to their socio-economic status.

For her collective (life) efforts, Jennifer Leach has been the recipient of a variety of local, state and National awards. She has received the Highlands Neighborhood Association Community Partner Award; the Cowlitz Drug Free Communities Award “Essential Piece” for support of the Strengthening Families Program; the Outstanding Service to Community Mobilization Against Substance Abuse, Cowlitz Substance Abuse  Coalition; the Community Leadership Award, Youth After Hours, Washington Association of State School Administrators; the Washington Kids Count–Outstanding County Youth Program, Youth After Hours; the Governor Lowry’s FACE It Award for Outstanding Prevention Program, Youth After Hours; the Leave A Legacy for Women’s Sports Award, Washington State University Athletics; and the Women in Leadership Award, Washington State University (2006). Moreover, Jennifer has received the Achievement in Service Award, Washington State 4-H Association and the De Witt Wallace Reader’s Digest Youth at Risk Recognition Award for Extension Staff. Jennifer Leach has been named an Outstanding Young Women of America as recognition for accomplishments and service to the community. Today, Jennifer Leach is also being recognized as the 2013 Outstanding Alumnus of the Department of Animal Sciences at Washington State University.