PVGA Life Member – Jeffrey Mizer
Jeffrey Mizer, horticultural extension agent for Snyder, Union, Northumberland, Montour and Columbia counties retired in 2009 after 35 years of service in Penn State Cooperative Extension. At his retirement dinner in August 2009, PVGA President Kenneth Martin presented him a certificate of Life Membership in the Association in recognition of his longstanding record of extraordinary service and dedication to the growers of the Central Susquehanna Valley and the Association. Martin presented him with the official Life Membership plaque at the Annual Fruit and Vegetable Growers Banquet on February 2 at the Mid-Atlantic Fruit and Vegetable Convention in Hershey.
Mizer received his Bachelor of Science degree in Agriculture from the Ohio State University in 1974 and began his dream career as an horticultural assistant extension agent later that year in Snyder County with responsibilities for Northumberland, Union and Montour counties as well. He was promoted to associate extension agent in 1982 and also earned his Master of Science degree in Extension Education. In 1991 he was promoted to full extension agent and three years later received the prestigious Distinguished Service Award from the National Association of County Agricultural Agents (NACAA).
Besides his usual extension activities – grower meetings, newsletters, farm visits – Mizer also wrote a periodic gardening column in the local newspaper that reached thousands of residents in his area. He especially enjoyed working with growers “one-on-one” to help them solve their pest problems or otherwise improve their operations. He feels the growth of Internet and its use to provide extension agents with access to vast amount of information, either from Penn State main campus specialists or online resources, has had the most far-reaching effect on the work of an extension agent.
Besides working with commercial fruit and vegetable production, landscaping and home gardening, Mizer was also involved in the 4-H program as teen council advisor, camp organizer, and 4-H Foundation advisor.
Mizer has a long record of volunteering for various projects – including the PVGA Farm Show and Ag Progress Days Food Booths. He is a regular church volunteer and has been involved in several disaster relief projects helping with mass feeding and chain saw work. He spent several weeks with the Red Cross feeding rescue workers at Ground Zero after the World Trade Center attack.
He and his wife Kay live in Paxtonville and have three married sons and one daughter and grandchildren.