Coite receives Distinguished Service Award

Eileen Coite, Cooperative Extension Director, received the Distinguished Service Award.

The North Carolina Association of County Agricultural Agents recognized Eileen Coite as a recipient of their Distinguished Service Award on June 17 at their annual meeting in Greensboro.

This award recognizes excellent performance of agents with more than 10 years of service who are active in the business of this association.

Coite has worked with NC Cooperative Extension for 15 years and is the Extension Director for Sampson County. Prior to her being the Sampson County Extension Director, Coite was the livestock agent for Wayne County for 13 years.

Coite’s Extension livestock program in Wayne County included both youth and adult education. An extensive amount of her Extension career has focused on the development of the youth livestock program and the coordination of major events and educational opportunities that support the program. One such component has been the Wayne County Junior Livestock Show and Sale and its many educational workshops.

The “Show and Sale” is a yearly program that extends across a four-month educational period for the fifty or more youth involved. The event gives young people opportunities to learn responsibility, management of resources, animal husbandry, marketing, animal selection, showmanship, and sportsmanship.

In addition, Coite coordinated the Wayne Regional Agricultural Fair livestock shows, which served as a host location of youth livestock showmanship circuits for beef cattle, lambs, and meat goats at the fourth largest fair in North Carolina. Coite also led efforts to establish the first swine showmanship circuit in North Carolina for youths and in 2012, this new and exciting venue began to complement the annual showmanship circuits for other species of livestock.

Coite coached the Wayne County 4-H livestock judging, skill-a-thon, and stockman’s bowl team, earning high team honors across many species in judging, while coaching multiple top 10 individuals in both judging and skill-a-thon over her 13-year tenure. Two Wayne County youths coached by Coite represented North Carolina on the national level in the livestock skill-a-thon competition.

In 2009, after a push from local youth participants, she led efforts to create a state level Stockman’s Quiz Bowl contest to be held in conjunction with other state 4-H livestock contests. With her county 4-H’ers hosting the inaugural contest instead of competing, she coordinated the contest with their help.

In the following years of competition, her team members were reigning champions and in 2012, after coaching the winning Stockman’s Quiz Bowl team at the state contest, she co-coached the North Carolina team to win the national title at the Ak-Sar-Ben Livestock Exhibition in Nebraska. This was North Carolina’s first time competing in the national contest.

Through this award, Coite will be able to attend the 2015 National Association of County Agriculture Agents meeting in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. By attending, Coite will be able to network and learn new ways to help her clients. She will also be recognized as a recipient of the Distinguished Service Award at the evening banquet for her many accomplishments.