CDI friend and ally Jim Wadsworth has been named the 2017 Unsung Hero Award recipient for his work at the USDA as an agricultural economist in Cooperative Programs. He has spent years in co-op education as a researcher and is a shining example of the many government employees whose work provides the background information necessary for rural cooperatives to succeed. “We have all been the beneficiaries of his co-op education writings and continuation of ag co-op statistics during a lapse in personnel,” USDA Cooperative Development Specialist Margaret Bau noted by email. “Jim’s behind the scenes dedication to the cooperative movement is inspiring.”
Jim’s award was given with the following commendation:
James Wadsworth, an agricultural economist in Cooperative Programs, is recognized for his unselfish attitude and dedication to ensuring that Cooperative Programs meets the mandates set forth in the Cooperative Marketing Act of 1926. In 2014, Jim voluntarily agreed to take on the preparation, oversight and implementation of the agency’s annual survey of agricultural cooperatives. This is a major annual activity conducted by Cooperative Programs and is a highly visible project among the cooperative community across the United States. Mr. Wadsworth has since led a team to successfully carry out all requirements of this project in timely fashion while having limited access to personnel and technical resources and support.
Mr. Wadsworth has over 25 years of service in USDA supporting Rural Development and cooperatives and has been a prolific author of reports and articles on cooperative education, board and manager training, and cooperative development. Additionally, Jim has been an advocate of supporting youth and young farmer education and regularly participates in Future Farmers of America (FFA) events. Jim has worked tirelessly to provide the highest level of support and service to the nation’s agricultural cooperatives and rural communities. Mr. Wadsworth never seeks the spotlight and lets the results of his work serve as his recognition.
As an exemplary employee with a strong commitment to rural America, Mr. Wadsworth merits recognition as an Unsung Hero in Rural Development.
The Unsung Hero Award is given to USDA employees who have demonstrated extraordinary effort in performing tasks, who have unselfishly shared their time and expertise, and consistently and willingly extended a helping hand.