Stuby receives 2024 CANR Distinguished Service Award

Sara (Sally) Stuby will receive the 2024 CANR Distinguished Service Award during the annual ANR Awards on Friday, March 1.

Sara (Sally) Stuby, of Centreville, Michigan, will receive the Michigan State University (MSU) College of Agriculture and Natural Resources (CANR) Distinguished Service Award at the March 1 ANR Awards Program.

The CANR Distinguished Service Award honors individuals or partners who have made outstanding contributions to Michigan’s agriculture and natural resources industries, and who possess high standards of integrity and character to positively reflect and enhance the prestige of the college.

Stuby earned a bachelor's degree in communications arts/education from MSU in 1966 and a master’s degree in educational leadership from Western Michigan University in 1980. Stuby began her career in education, teaching a variety of grades and subjects at Holy Angels School, Sturgis and Owosso High School. She also served as principle at Holy Angels School.

After encouragement from members of the local agriculture community, Stuby joined MSU Extension in 1993 as an agriculture and natural resources agent for integrated pest management (IPM) and field crops and later became a district Extension agent for groundwater stewardship. In 1999 she was promoted to regional director for MSU Extension’s Southwest Region, a position she held until her retirement in 2008.

As regional director, Stuby provided leadership and supervisory oversight to 17 counties for MSU Extension in southwest Michigan. She managed an organization comprising over 150 academic and non-academic staff, oversaw a $3.5 million annual budget and coordinated Extension programming throughout the region. She also served as the regional director representative to the Animal Industry Initiative, the Project GREEEN Coalition, State Technical Committee, American Distance Consortium and the MSU Extension Education Team, in addition to serving as an advocate for MSU Extension in state budgetary and economic development matters impacting southwest Michigan.

Shortly after retiring from MSU Extension, Stuby joined the Michigan 4-H Foundation Board of Trustees and served as a trustee from 2009 until September 2023. During her 14 years of service, she was an integral part of the Foundation’s work, holding many leadership roles, including terms as board president (2018-2020 and 2020-2022), vice president (2016-2018), Executive Committee member (2010-present), chair of the Personnel Committee (2016-2023) and chair of the Board Development Committee (2010-2016).

Recognized by colleagues for her “servant leadership,” Stuby’s strength, integrity and composure ensured that the 4-H Foundation was able to effectively respond to a variety of evolving challenges during her tenure on the board. A steady and empathic voice during challenging times, Stuby played a critical role during the restructuring of MSU Extension’s involvement with the 4-H Foundation. Her steady guidance helped the 4-H Foundation navigate the disruptions and difficulties created by the COVID-19 pandemic.

A St. Joseph County 4-H Alumnae herself, Stuby’s commitment to 4-H extends far beyond her service as a trustee. She is a 4-H Emerald Clover Society member and a longtime 4-H volunteer. Her service includes 14 years as the Rolling Clovers 4-H Club leader, eight years on the State 4-H International Exchange Committee, 15 years of co-leadership in the St. Joseph County 4-H Veterinary and Animal Science program and 10 years as the St. Joseph County Fair 4-H sheep superintendent. In 2008, she earned the Michigan 4-H Emerald Clover Society – outstanding 4-H alumni recognition and in 2018 she received the 2018 Michigan 4-H Citation Award, the highest recognition bestowed by Michigan 4-H. She has volunteered as a coach for 4-H/FFA livestock and meat evaluation teams competing in state and national competitions. She continues to make her mark as a 4-H grandparent, an ongoing 4-H volunteer and a committed donor to Michigan 4-H.

In 2014, Stuby and her husband Dale joined nine other couples as part of the 4-H Leadership 10. This group of leadership supporters serve as public advocates for the Campaign for Michigan 4-H’s Future. As members, the Stuby’s have encouraged others to help build the county 4-H endowment match pool. They helped lead the St. Joseph County 4-H Endowment campaign, garnering local support to help raise $50,000 to build this perpetual fund in St. Joesph County, and have been recognized as Michigan 4-H Foundation Cornerstone Society members for their lifetime giving to 4-H.

Outside of her lifetime commitment to 4-H, Stuby co-owns and operates Stuby Farms, a 1,000-acre crop farm in Constantine, Michigan. She has served in various leadership roles with the Centreville FFA Alumni Association, St. Joseph County 4-H Leaders Council, St. Joseph County Pork Producers, St. Joseph County Farm Bureau and Michigan Tel-Farm Program. She also served on the Centreville Public School Board of Education and has been active with the Centreville Public Schools Alumni Association and the St. Joseph County Intermediate School District Ag Advisory Board.


Did you find this article useful?