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Schwartz receives posthumous honor from U-Md. Extension

February 21, 2006

Donald M. Schwartz Jr., longtime extension agent for agriculture science in Washington County, has been posthumously promoted to the rank of Principal Agent in Maryland Cooperative Extension, in the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources at the University of Maryland.

University President C. Daniel Mote said the honor "is a tribute to the contributions he has made to the advancement of knowledge and the service he provided to the agriculture community, the University and the State."

Schwartz, who died in January 2005 at age 53 after an extended illness, earned bachelor's and master's degrees from the University of Maryland. A native of Frederick, Md., and resident of Keedysville, he had served as Washington County's agriculture science extension agent since 1985.

The rank of Principal Agent is similar to that of a full professorship at the university, said Mary Ellen Waltemire, West Regional director for Maryland Cooperative Extension.

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Schwartz's promotion to Principal Agent was pending at the time of his death, Waltemire said. Typically, such honors aren't presented posthumously, but the university's "provost and president felt he had done exceptional work in Washington County and that honor was most deserving," she said.

"Don integrated his applied research activities into the teaching that he did both in the county, throughout the state, regionally and nationally," Waltemire said. "His educational program was as diverse as agriculture is in Washington County. His educational program focus included forage and grazing management, farm business management, nutrient management, dairy nutrition and systems management, cropping systems and agriculture sustainability issues.

"His efforts as an Extension Agent had a significant impact on the farming community, local economy and the environment."

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