LISBON, Ohio – Columbiana County Commissioners paused Feb. 28 from their normal weekly business agenda to help honor a Salem woman for a lifetime of volunteer work.
Commissioners and representatives of Ohio State University Extension saluted Jean Rhodes, Woodsdale Road, Salem, who has volunteered with the OSU Extension agricultural, 4-H youth and homemakers’ programs for more than 45 years.
Rhodes recently received one of four Ohio Extension Agents Association Appreciation Awards presented statewide for 2000 and the commissioners joined the association in its praise of Rhodes’ community service efforts for nearly a half century.
“You don’t do it alone,” Rhodes said during the commissioners’ meeting, thanking her family and friends for support. “You get back what you give.”
Rhodes and her husband, James Rhodes Sr., became involved with Ohio State’s outreach and educational programs through a young farmers’ group organized in the early 1950s by the late Floyd Lower, longtime extension agricultural agent in the county.
Since then, she has contributed to extension and farm programs on the county, district, state and national levels, serving 30 years on the county’s extension advisory committee.
A 4-H club adviser for 20 years, Rhodes also served on the county 4-H advisory committee.
Many of Rhodes’ contributions came in extension’s programming in the home economics area, now called family and consumer sciences. A 40-year member of the county Extension Homemaker’s Council, Rhodes served as the county president twice and held all other local offices. She has received the county’s Homemaker of the Year award.
She was a northeastern Ohio district director for the Ohio Extension Homemaker’s Council and served on the Canfield Area Extension Advisory Committee.
Rhodes served as state treasurer and president of the Ohio Extension Homemaker’s Council and was a delegate to the National Extension Homemakers for many years, attending national conventions to represent Ohio homemakers.
Locally, she has also participated in hearings with commissioners on behalf of extension budgets and worked with state legislators on behalf of OSU Extension and Ohio State University budgets.
An active member of the local Buckeye Dairy Boosters, Rhodes is a past treasurer of the state Buckeye Dairy Boosters.
She is an active member of the Winona Volunteer Fire Department auxiliary and the Beta Theta Sorority, a community service sorority.
A 30-year member of Catholic Daughters of America, she was elected Ohio State Court Regent and deanery president of the diocesan council of Catholic women. She also serves on the Catholic Charities advisory board and served on the diocese’s former domestic violence board.
She was named Outstanding Woman of the Year by the Youngstown Diocese Council of Catholic Women and recently received papal honors from the Diocese of Youngstown.
She has been active in the United Local Schools, as PTO member and officer and band booster member and officer. Rhodes received United’s Eagle Award for service to the school district and was named to the United Schools’ Wall of Fame for her contributions to the school district for more than 25 years.
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