Thursday, January 26, 2023

Yellowstone County Extension Agent Roni Baker Wins Billings Chamber Ag Excellence Award

by Brett McRae

The Billings Chamber of Commerce announces that Roni Baker, Yellowstone County 4-H/Youth Development Extension Agent, has been selected as the Billings Chamber 2022 recipient of the Award for Agriculture Excellence.

With 25 years of commitment to serving others through 4-H and Extension Service in Yellowstone County, across Montana, and nationally, Baker truly embodies this award. Presented by Stockman Bank, this award recognizes an individual, business or organization that has made outstanding contributions to the Billings agricultural community with a nod to their demonstrated excellence in their involvement in agriculture, leadership ability, and participation in civic, service and community organizations.

The recipient is nominated by their peers and selected by the Chamber Ag Committee and Board of Directors. The dedication that extension agents have for their job and their community is unmatched by most, and they are essential in supporting agriculture and youth. Baker embodies this and more as she is known for her selflessness, kindness, organization, and leadership, all wrapped up in a servant’s heart.

Baker has shaped countless lives in her career and even generations of people as they participate in 4-H as youth, start raising families of their own, and enroll their children in the program. She unites rural and urban 4-Hers and helps develop our next generation of leaders.

“For many years, Yellowstone County has been fortunate to have one of the top 4-H Extension Agents in the state of Montana, in Roni Baker,” states one of her nominators. “There are few leaders in Yellowstone County who have impacted as many people as Roni through her work with 4-H.”

A never-tiring advocate for agriculture and youth, Baker was the catalyst behind renovating the Sage Center into the new 4-H building at MetraPark. Each year, she plays an instrumental role in the 4th Grade Ag Ed Program at NILE—connecting the dots to where food comes from through the livestock station. She rose to the occasion when the COVID-19 pandemic hit and spearheaded efforts to ensure that the 4-H youth were still able to participate and show their projects at the fair.

Baker will be honored during the 2023 Billings Chamber Ag Celebration Banquet on January 27th, 2023 from 5 P.M. to 9 P.M. at the MetraPark Pavilion. Tickets for this event can be purchased at BillingsChamber.com.

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Kelsi Gambill, Billings Chamber

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