COLUMBIA, Mo. – Linda “Jo” Turner was honored by the Missouri 4-H Foundation with the Nelson Trickey 4-H Bridge Builder Award on Friday, Oct. 7, in Columbia. Turner has had a lifelong career in extension and 4-H, working to extend the reach of the program and strengthen opportunities for young people throughout Missouri and beyond.
“I am humbled and honored to receive the Nelson Trickey 4-H Bridge Builder Award,” said Jo Turner. “In my career, Nelson was a role model, adviser, coach and friend who exemplified the best of Missouri 4-H. This award, created in his honor, exemplifies his lifelong commitment to ‘hands to larger service.’ My goal is to live up to his legacy.”
Turner began her professional 4-H career in the Meramec area as a 4-H youth development specialist. In 1996 she became the state 4-H program leader for the University of Missouri Extension 4-H Center for Youth Development. During that time, she significantly expanded the resources for Missouri 4-H by establishing partnerships with the Corporation for National and Community Service and the MU Office of Student Financial Aid. As a testament to her dedication and leadership, she was asked twice to serve as interim vice provost and director of extension during two critical transitions for the MU campus.
Prior to her retirement, Turner served as a member of the resource development team for the National 4-H Council, where she helped raise $6 million to bolster 4-H programming in STEM, agriculture and healthy living. She also raised nearly $2 million to address poverty and hunger in sub-Saharan Africa by strengthening 4-H programs in Tanzania, Kenya, Ghana, Liberia and Zambia.
Throughout her career, Turner has generously supported numerous Missouri 4-H Foundation programs and initiatives. In 2014, she and her sisters, Carol Turner and Anne Elkins, established the Waldo and Mary Belle Turner 4-H Youth Futures Scholarship in memory of their parents. Through her generous commitment to the 4-H Youth Futures program, Turner has helped numerous deserving young people pursue their dream of a college education.
“Jo’s passion and compassion for youth development knows no boundaries,” said Ina Linville, director of the MU Extension 4-H Center for Youth Development. “From Missouri to Africa, Jo has been a catalyst to make sure all youth have an opportunity to grow and thrive through positive youth development experiences branded with the 4-H clover.”
The Nelson Trickey 4-H Bridge Builder Award was established in 2002 in honor of former Missouri 4-H Foundation trustee Nelson Trickey for his efforts to build bridges that create positive connections for Missouri 4-H members. It is presented to individuals or organizations for their exceptional service bridging youth and communities.
About the Missouri 4-H Foundation
For more than 65 years, the Missouri 4-H Foundation has been managing funds for the MU Extension 4-H Youth Development Program, providing higher education scholarships and recognizing 4-H volunteers. MU Extension 4-H is a community of more than 260,000 youths from across Missouri learning leadership, citizenship and life skills.