Liz Dawley logged her last day with the University of California Cooperative Extension in Colusa County on Monday, June 29, 2015, capping a successful career, but by no means signaling the end of her life in agriculture.
The longtime 4-H Youth Development Program Representative said that she looks forward to traveling, quilting and finally organizing her quilting room, and after a year of relaxation she plans to return and Volunteer with the 4-H organization.
“The 4-H program is a wonderful program for children and adults,” said Dawley, “it provides a great opportunity for individuals to learn life and leadership skills.”
4-H has been a huge part of Dawley’s life. Growing up on her family farm in Biggs, California, her father was the sheep and community club leader.
“I participated in market lambs, home economics, and sewing,” said Dawley.
Dawley started as the Youth Development Program Representative for 21 years ago after substitute teaching.
“I was substitute teaching at Egling Middle School when a teacher told me about the position,” said Dawley, “I didn’t know what a Youth Development Program Representative did.”
Dawley commented that she almost didn’t show up to the interview because she may have found another job – but showing up to the interview was the best decision she ever made.
“Liz was the first one to interview that day, and at the end of the interview we knew who we wanted,” said Mike Murray, former UCCE Colusa County Director, “We made a great decision and Liz has been a great advisor. I wish her the best on a very successful retirement.”
As a group of Dawley’s coworkers mingled at a small retirement party held on Thursday, June 25, many great memories were shared.
“I learned how to cook and how to sew from Liz,” said Leslie Pingrey, “she is a wealth of knowledge and if she doesn’t know she knows how to find the answer – I don’t want to let her go but I wish her the best in retirement.”
“Even through her last days of employment, Liz has never lost her drive,” said current UCCE Colusa County Director, Luis Espino, “She brings a great deal of excellence and experience in the program. I have always admired her dedication and her wealth of knowledge.”
“It has been my sincere privilege to work with Liz for eight years, she is a true example of diligence and hard work in action,” said former UCCE employee Angelika Terry, “She is also one of the most talented people I’ve had the opportunity to meet and she generously shares this knowledge with others. I wish her only the best in her retirement.”
In her time serving as the Youth Development Program Representative, Dawley has implemented the Food Stamp Nutritional Program in Schools which enabled teachers to promote health and well-being and good nutrition in the classroom.
“When I started the program with the schools, one of the incentives was that the class would make whole wheat yeast bread,” said Dawley, “It was a blast.”
She also serves as a board member of the Colusa County Farm Bureau and is a supporter and promoter of AG in the Classroom.
“I have really enjoyed working with the 4-H as the Youth Development Program Representative and have made many great friends over the years,” said Dawley, “all I can say is thank you all for a wonderful 21 years.”