By Alan Sorensen
WASHINGTON Havre's Nancy Peterson was awarded the Farm Service Agency's Distinguished Service Award in Washington, D.C. last week.
Peterson's award, presented personally by Farm Service Agency (FSA) Administrator Keith Kelly on Oct. 10, is the agency's highest award and is presented to just one person in the United States each year. The recipient is selected from among FSA employees and farmers and ranchers across the country.
The award was made in recognition of Peterson's seven years of outstanding service as the Montana Farm Service Administration (FSA) State Committee chairman.
"It is awesome," Peterson said Tuesday about the award and her position with FSA. "What a challenge, but it is an opportunity to have a voice for agriculture, and I take that very seriously."
Peterson attends monthly committee meetings, usually in Bozeman, and assorted meetings with other agriculture and farm groups as they arise.
She also sits on two national FSA committees: the National Equal Employment Opportunities and Civil Rights (EEOC) advisory council and the Non-insured Assistance Program (NAP) Task Force. Those groups meet in Washington.
"Peterson has constantly demonstrated outstanding service to the producers of Montana and to FSA," Kelly said in a press release announcing the award. "She has professionally and personally shown the highest spirit of public service. This award is our recognition of Nancy's hard work, dedication, and accomplishments on behalf of our customers and our employees."
Peterson was recruited, too, to sit on the state committee core group that was formed last year. She is one of eight FSA state chairs across the country who meet in conference calls regularly to discuss various issues.
Peterson was born and raised on a family farm and ranch operation in north central Montana.
In addition to her duties as a relief ticket clerk/agent for Amtrak in Havre, Peterson raises wheat, canola, mustard, peas, lentils and flax on a 4,500 acre farm at Havre. She also served on the Havre High School Board of Trustees for six years and operated a private grain grading lab. She plays piano and organ at her church's worship services.
Peterson is a past 4-H member and leader.
Peterson has two sons, Kody and Kyle; a daughter-in-law, Kodi, and a 3-year-old grandson, Payton.