20 Under 40: New leaders, classic values

Jennifer L. Karelus, 33
Miller Spraying

Hometown: Lowville
Professional position: Office Manager, Miller Spraying, and farm owner/operator
Family: Husband, Mark
Education: Waynesfield-Goshen High School, Ohio; bachelor’s and master’s degrees, Ohio State University, Columbus
Community involvement: President, Lewis County Farm Bureau; Lewis County coordinator for Agriculture Literacy Day; involved in the Lewis County Family Farm Day and various other agricultural educational activities to help people learn where food comes from.
Last book read: “The Poisonwood Bible” by Barbara Kingsolver

A transplant from Ohio has quickly established herself as a leader in the Lewis County agricultural community.

Jennifer L. Karelus, who came to the north country in early 2004 to take a job as field crops educator at Cornell Cooperative Extension of Lewis County, now works as office manager at Miller Spraying, Lowville, serves as president of Lewis County Farm Bureau and helps coordinate several agriculture-based educational programs. Mrs. Karelus also helps her husband with the family farm, where they board heifers and raise 100 acres of field crops.

“The goal of educating people about where their food comes from can often feel like a daunting task,” she said. “Fortunately, I’ve had the opportunity to work with some really great people, and, together, we’ve been able to do some really neat things.”

It is important to continually learn new things, observe others and collaborate to get things accomplished, Mrs. Karelus said.

“The power of like-minded people cannot be overestimated,” she said. “The opportunity to work with other hard-working people who are interested in the same goals allows a few people to achieve more things than we’d each be able to achieve on our own.

Fortunately, I met lots of great people when I worked at Cooperative Extension, I have great co-workers at Miller Spraying and I continue to meet new people all the time.”

-Steve Virkler
[Editor’s note: This is a truncated version of this story. For the full version, please see NNY Business in print or subscribe.]

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