Faculty & Staff Newsletter
Passings: three losses in our community…
We are saddened by the death of our friend and colleague, Nancy J. Searle. Nancy touched many lives through her work with 4-H, both in her role as a County Extension Agent, and as a volunteer leader of her own club, The Belchertown Bunnies. She began her career as a 4-H agent in 1977 and was the founder of many popular programs including the statewide rabbit workshop and the New England 4-H Dog Camp. She served on numerous boards and advisory councils and was a member of the Three County Fair Board of directors, the Hampshire County 4-H Fair Committee and the Belchertown Fair Committee. Her contributions to the 4-H program were recognized with the Distinguished Service Award for outstanding service as a 4-H agent and the Bertha L. Ezold Award for going above and beyond as a 4-H volunteer. Nancy lived her life in service to others, always putting the needs of others ahead of her own. An expert in rabbit care, she authored a book and won a national championship for one of her rabbits in 2013. We are grateful for Nancy’s friendship and steadfast support of children in the 4-H program.
Retired long-time 4-H Extension Agent Robert (Bob) Smiley, 85, passed away in mid-February. A graduate of the Stockbridge School of Agriculture and with a Master’s in agriculture from UMass Amherst, he was also the owner of his family’s orchard, Sterling Orchard. Obituary
Leslie (Les) Cromack, 85, long-time director of the “Station Services” unit of the Mass. Agricultural Experiment Station in the 1980’s and early 90’s, died on April 11. The unit he managed for the then College of Food and Natural Resources provided a suite of services to faculty and staff, including a motor pool and carpentry shop. Obituary.