Board of Directors & Advisory Committees

People support decisions they help to make, and Cornell Cooperative Extension believes strongly in shared leadership through locally elected Boards of Directors and active program development committees.

Cornell Cooperative Extension Schoharie and Otsego Counties is governed by a 12 member Board of Directors that consists of 12 elected community volunteers; 2 voting members appointed by the Schoharie County Board of Supervisors, and Otsego County Board of Representatives and a representative from Cornell University. It includes people from towns throughout Schoharie and Otsego Counties who bring their knowledge of community needs and concerns to the governance of this organization. Our board sets policy, hires staff, prioritizes educational programs and works with Extension's educational staff to ensure program effectiveness.

Program Committees for each of our Program areas guide the direction of the workshops, classes,and other services that we offer the residents of Schoharie and Otsego Counties, and review the effectiveness of our efforts. Our programs have evolved over the years to reflect changes in values, ethics, community norms, family structures, mobility, and the economy in direct response to this grassroots community involvement.

Cornell Cooperative Extension of Schoharie and Otsego Counties is delighted to have active and diverse Board of Directors and Program Committees, which are key to achieving strong and meaningful community impacts! If, as you read more about how we are governed, you believe you have a contribution to make to our programming as a volunteer, please get in touch! We welcome your input and ideas!

Name / Board Role / Professional Affiliation

Board of Directors 2023

James Bryant / At-Large Director/ Attorney at Law

Tina Douglas / At-Large Director, Vice President/ Small Business Paralegal

Lynn Dunn / Program Director, 4-H/ Retired Professor of Animal Science, SUNY Cobleskill

Deborah Gansinger Hall / Program Director, FCS / High School FACS Teacher

Danielle Hautaniemi / Appointed by CCE Director / CCE State Specialist, Cornell University

Betsy Jensen / Program Director Ag/Hort , President / USDA Meat Lab Manager, SUNY Cobleskill

Lesley Judd / At-Large Director, SecretaryAssociate Professor of Plant Science, SUNY Cobleskill

Wes Laraway / Schoharie County Representative / Middleburgh Town Supervisor

Shelby MacLeish / Program Director, FCS / Education Specialist at OCCA

Andrew Marietta / Otsego County Representative / Special Assistant to the Chairman, The Clark Estates, County Legislative Board of Representatives

Carol Phelps / At-Large Director / Master Gardener Volunteer

Tom Pullyblank / At-Large Director, Treasurer / United Methodist Church Minister

Steve Sinniger / Program Director, 4-H / Farmer, Crops/Hay

Mahla Zare / At- Large DirectorAssistant Professor in Agricultural Business Management, SUNY Cobleskill

Ag Program Advisory Committee

Carmen Fagnani / Teacher at Middleburgh Central School and Licensed Veterinary Technician

Betsy JensenUSDA Meat Lab Manager, SUNY Cobleskill

Karli Johnson Committee Chair / Farmer, Muddy River Dairy

Mary Leonard / Carefree Gardens

Pete Nichols / Schoharie County Soil & Water, District Manager

Family Consumer Sciences Program Advisory Committee

Deborah Gansinger Hall / Committee Chair / High School FACS Teacher

Lindsey Garner / Health & Wellness Coach

Jessica Hill / Head Cook/Manger at Cobleskill-Richmondville Central School

Shelby MacLeish / Education Specialist at OCCA

Theresa Russo / Acting Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs at SUNY Oneonta

Tristin Sharratt / Family Nurse Practitioner 

4-H Program Advisory Committee

Lynn Dunn / Professor of Animal Science at SUNY Cobleskill

Cindy Powers / Committee Chair / Retired School Teacher

Bridgette Shepardson

Steve Sinniger / Farmer, Crops/Hay

Debbie Stanton / Real Estate Broker, Howard Hanna

Lydia VanEveraFarmer, Windcrest Farm

Last updated July 17, 2023