Outgoing UNH Extension Belknap County Advisory Council Chair Ralph Rathjen Reflects on his Experience

Ralph Rathjen has served on the council for six years
Ralph Rathjen

After nearly six years of service to the UNH Cooperative Extension Belknap County Advisory Council and three of those years serving as chair, Ralph Rathjen, owner at KREBS farm in Sanbornton, is finishing out his final term this August.

Ralph came to the council in 2014 and has served as a leader to many citizen volunteers during his tenure. Belknap County and other Extension offices across the state have continued to meet the needs of local communities during the COVID-19 pandemic by moving traditional in-person services and offerings to virtual settings. Adjusting this delivery of programs has meant moving in-person workshops to online webinars and creating at-home opportunities for 4-H programs such as “4-H to Go” kits for youth and families to help lessen screen use time and get families outside.

Statement from Ralph Rathjen, Chair, UNH Cooperative Extension Belknap County Advisory Council

“While I was originally introduced to UNH Cooperative Extension through agricultural offerings, I was immediately impressed by the other services that Extension provides for this county. In my role on the council I learned about the ways Extension is making a significant impact for the people in Belknap County — between the nutrition programs for youth and families through Eating Matters and 4-H programs to online guides that educate local communities about where they can purchase local farm products – Extension really has a helping hand extended to each facet of our greater community.”

Statement from Kelly McAdam, Belknap County Office Administrator and Agricultural Business Management Field Specialist, UNH Cooperative Extension

“I have had the pleasure of working with Ralph for the past six years and have always been thankful of his tireless dedication to Extension. Between his commitment to sharing the value of UNH Cooperative Extension within his community and referring fellow farmers to our services, he’s been an unwavering champion and leader of our Belknap County Advisory Council.  Aaron Lichtenberg, owner of Winnipesaukee Woods Farm in Alton Bay, NH, will replace Ralph as the chair of the UNH Extension Belknap County Advisory Council at the start of September.”

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