Kimberly Fabrizius, director of the Colorado State University Cooperative Extension office in Gunnison, received the Visionary Leadership Award, given by Epsilon Sigma Phi, the professional fraternity for Cooperative Extension. The award honors individuals how have served Colorado State Cooperative Extension with exceptional drive and leadership in their field. Fabrizius received the award at a ceremony on Thursday, Sept. 22.
She has traveled to Africa to volunteer in Kenya, where she supports economic expansion through developing agriculture and resource acquisition. Fabrizius helped local farmers and livestock producers develop their first livestock auctions and shows. She also taught local farmers new technologies and provided them with information to help them improve the quality of their livestock and become more competitive. Back in the states, Fabrizius teaches the importance of American investment in foreign agriculture.
As director of Cooperative Extension in Gunnison County, Fabrizius administers a wide array of programs ranging from farm and ranch management to theft prevention. Fabrizius also developed the "lease-a-goat" program, targeted to help non-traditional, high-risk youth in communities where they are often culturally isolated and economically disadvantaged. The program focuses on teaching responsibility, teamwork and optimism among the adolescents by providing youth with an opportunity to care for a goat.
Fabrizius also is a past recipient of the Colorado State Cooperative Extension Diversity Award. Last year, Fabrizius was awarded the Early Career Award for her work in Colorado 4-H programs. The Early Career Award honors members with less than 10 years with Cooperative Extension who have contributed exceptionally to the organization.