Each year, the agricultural community of Crawford County eagerly awaits the recipient announcement for the Crawford County Ag Hall of Fame award. This award is given to the person(s) who has made the most impact on the industry of agriculture within the county that year. The recipient is decided upon by a group of the recipient’s peers from the agricultural industry within the county. This year’s co-recipients call their dairy farm in Cochranton, Pa home and attribute their receiving the award to the Crawford County 4-H program. “We really didn’t expect this at all,” Clark Duncan stated, “It came as a total surprise,” his wife, Elaine, was quick to chime in.
Clark and Elaine Duncan have been the leaders of the Cochranton Blue Ribbon 4-H Club for 31 years. “The Club is over 50 years old, but about 30 years ago we agreed to take over as leaders because the previous leaders were tired,” Elaine explained, “And now we are getting tired, so we hope that one of our three daughters will be interested in taking over soon.”
The 2008-09 Pennsylvania State Dairy Princess, LeeAnn Kapanick, of Conneautville, credits much of her success in the industry to her former 4-H leaders. “Clark and Elaine have had an impact on me ever since I was eight years old and walked into my first 4-H meeting!” she explained, “You really have to have a certain set of skills and natural ability to be able to handle children, 1200 pound animals, and keep your cool all at the same time.”
It is obvious that the dynamic duo have the inherent ability to be able to help sculpt young minds and influence their industry throughout the county. With their desire to lead, integrity and knowledge of the industry they are an absolute asset to the group that makes up the Crawford County Ag Hall of Fame.
But, was it always so easy for them?
“No way! Working on a farm like they do, there are many skills that you tend to take for granted. Like your people skills,” Kapanick explained, “When you work on a farm, with animals and away from people, many times you lack the ease of communicating. It’s not that you can’t do it, it’s just that it has to be learned. The same goes for technology. It is rare that farmers are up to date on the newest tech pieces or apps. Elaine, especially, goes out of her way to learn what they [the newest tech pieces and apps] are, so that she can stay relevant and in touch with her 4-h kids. Clark and Elaine are so deserving of this award and I am very, very proud of them!”
Duncan, C., & Duncan, E. (2016, June 03). Interview for Analyze- Part 2 [Telephone interview].
Lesson 02 Trait Approach. (n.d.). Retrieved June 05, 2016, from https://psu.instructure.com/courses/1781001/pages/l02-overview?module_item_id=20920610
Lesson 03 Skills Approach. (n.d.). Retrieved June 05, 2016, from https://psu.instructure.com/courses/1781001/pages/l03-overview?module_item_id=20920626
Northouse, P.G. (2016). Leadership: Theory and practice (7th ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE.