Dr. Joe Zublena, director of the North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service at N.C. State University, recently received the Friend of the Counties Award from the North Carolina Association of County Commissioners (NCACC).
The award recognizes individuals and organizations not directly associated with North Carolina county government or the NCACC for their “significant actions that advance the interests of counties and the association,” according to the NCACC. Any person or organization in North Carolina or the Unites States who or which is not directly associated with North Carolina county government or the NCACC is eligible to receive the award.The award was presented to Zublena in August at the NCACC annual conference in Buncombe County.
“We’re proud and honored to have this opportunity to recognize Dr. Zublena and his contributions to counties across the state. NCACC and NC State Cooperative Extension have had a century-long partnership that Dr. Zublena continues to build through his efforts and the guidance he and his staff have given to all 100 counties,” said David F. Thompson, NCACC executive director. “We are grateful for his service and excited about the future of our partnership.”
Zublena came to N.C. State in 1988, as professor and Extension leader for the Soil Science Department, where he was also a specialist in waste management and utilization.
Since then, he has served numerous roles with Cooperative Extension, including associate state program leader for natural resources and community and rural development (1995-96), assistant Extension director and director of county operations (1996-2000), associate Extension director and director of county operations (2000-2010), and interim associate dean and director of Extension, associate Extension director and director of county operations (2010). He was named Extension director in December 2010.