Perspectives Online

Richardson honored at retirement celebration

Dr. John Richardson (left) receives the Order of the Long Leaf Pine from Dr. Jim Flowers during the April 24 reception in Richardsonís honor at the McSwain Education Center, JC Raulston Arboretum.
All Photos by Marc Hall

More than 140 friends, family members and N.C. State University colleagues gathered April 24 to recognize the career and achievements of Dr. John Richardson. Richardson is retiring as Agricultural Programs Accountability Manager and Extension Leader in the Department of Agricultural and Extension Education (AEE) in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.

During the reception at the at the JC Raulston Arboretumís McSwain Education Center, Richardson received the Order of the Long Leaf Pine, the highest civilian honor bestowed by the State of North Carolina. Dr. James L. Flowers, AEE Department head and host of the event, presented the award in recognition of Richardsonís 40-year career of service to the state and to N.C. State University.

John Richardson hugs his granddaughter Ashlyn Stone during his retirement celebration. In background are his granddaughters Karmin Richardson (left) and Savanna Stone. Not pictured are his grandchildren Kara Richardson and Luke Richardson. Also in attendance were his sons, Byron and Troy Richardson, daughter and son-in-law, Eydie and Mike Stone, and partner Kathy Moritz.
The celebration was also occasion for the kick-off of the John G. Richardson International Study Experience Award Endowment. The endowment, created in January, will provide financial awards for professional travel opportunities to international locations for North Carolina Cooperative Extension agents who have never been out of the boundaries of the United States. Awards will support travel, registration fees, per diem and other expenses directly related to participation in international professional development opportunities of current Extension agents.

Richardson knows the value of such experience: Professional travel has taken him to 32 countries. He has delivered more than 65 scholarly papers and seminars throughout the United States, as well as in Australia, South Africa, Ireland, Hungary, Mongolia, Poland, Russia, Puerto Rico, Trinidad, Czech Republic, Ukraine and Turkey. He has also traveled to many of those countries and to Moldova in special extension training and consultant roles. One result of his travels has been his teaching AEE 740, a CALS graduate level course focusing on extension systems throughout the world

A native of Columbus County, Richardson received his 1964 bachelorís degree in agricultural education, his 1977 masterís degree in adult education and his 1987 doctor of education degree in adult education, all from N.C. State. He began his Extension career as a livestock and farm management agent in Robeson County in 1969 and was promoted to county Extension chairman in 1979. In 1986, he became a district program leader for Cooperative Extension and later an Extension Education Programs specialist. In 1995, he was named Extension Program Delivery and Accountability Leader, and in 2003 he was appointed Agricultural Programs Accountability Manager. That position encompasses both the N.C. Cooperative Extension Service and the N.C. Agricultural Research Service in the College. He became his departmentís Extension leader in 2006.

A jovial John Richardson greets friends, family and university colleagues at the celebration of his retirement from the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and the kick-off of the John G. Richardson International Study Experience Award Endowment.
Said Dr. Jon Ort, CALS associate dean and director of the North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service, ďI have always been confident and proud of Johnís excellent work at the national level as it dealt with federal reporting. Many times my colleagues have cited his work as THE model of integrated and multistate program reporting for both research and extension."

Guiding the administration of the John G. Richardson International Study Experience Award Endowment is Richardsonís own belief that foreign travel and professional touring and study provide a significant personal and professional growth that can be of value not only to the award recipients but, upon their return home, also to their clients, communities and others, while stimulating further pursuits into foreign locations for professional and personal development.

-- Terri Leith

To contribute, contact the CALS Advancement Office at 919-515-2000 or go online to