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'Total surprise': Second woman to receive Billings Chamber Ag Excellence award

'Total surprise': Second woman to receive Billings Chamber Ag Excellence award
Posted at 5:56 PM, Dec 28, 2022
and last updated 2022-12-29 11:11:17-05

BILLINGS — The Billings Chamber of Commerce announced Thursday that Roni Baker was selected for the 2022 Award for Agriculture Excellence.

Baker is the Yellowstone County Montana State University 4-H Extension Agent and has held the position since 1994. Baker says it's an important role that she has held for years.

“To me the people are the most important part of the program,” Baker said Wednesday.

She spends her time advocating for, encouraging and educating the children in the Yellowstone County 4-H Program. Baker was selected by the Chamber Ag Committee and Board of Directors and says she was very surprised when she found out she was the recipient.

“It was a total surprise,” she said. “There’s others that have received this award in the past that I truly respect and admire. And so to be part of that is very humbling for me.”

Baker has impacted thousands of lives throughout her career, including Katherine Pfau and her daughter Kersten Luhman.

“I was under Roni when I was in 4-H years ago…. And then I had kids and when my kids were old enough to join 4-H, we now have them in 4-H,” Pfau said.

Pfau and her daughter both agree Baker is a well-deserving recipient of the award and goes above and beyond for the 4-H Program.

“I think Roni has taken this program to just a whole different level,” said Pfau.

Baker is the second woman to receive the Excellence Award.

“When those honors come, they’re surprising and pretty humbling," Baker said.