Richmond to retire after 45 years with Extension service

Dr. Mary Frances “Fran” Richmond will be retiring after 45 years with K-State Research and Extension, effective October 2020. Fran began her career in 1975 as a home economist in Osage County, where she shared responsibilities with the 4-H youth development program and later served as county director.

Dr. Mary Frances “Fran” Richmond

In 2010, Fran was instrumental in helping to form the Frontier Extension District and has served as the district’s director since then.  The district includes Osage, Franklin, and Anderson counties.

Over the years, Fran has developed and presented countless educational programs on a variety of topics in the areas of family and consumer sciences, 4-H youth development, and community vitality.  She has also chaperoned hundreds of 4-H youth to a variety of activities and statewide events including 4-H camp at Rock Springs Ranch, judging team competitions, and the Kansas State Fair.

Some highlights of her career have included starting the Citizenship Washington Focus program in Osage County, which has allowed nearly 600 youth to travel to Washington, D.C., and participate in hands-on workshops to see citizenship in action.  And, in 2005, Fran led a delegation of 4-H youth from the North Central Region States to Finland for six weeks through the IFYE Ambassador program.

Additionally, Fran helped to develop the Leadership Osage County program for high school youth and adults to learn about leadership, how government works, and featured a trip to visit the Kansas legislature.

Throughout her career, Fran was active on the state level and served on many organizational committees and task forces in addition to being an assigned mentor for new extension agents.  As a certified True Colors presenter, Fran routinely presented the “True Colors in Personality Types” workshop during training sessions for new extension agents.

Fran also participated in the National Extension Leadership Development program and the Kansas Agriculture and Rural Leadership program, which culminated in a two week visit to India in 2009.

In addition, Fran continued to be active in the Kansas Extension Association of Family and Consumer Sciences and Epsilon Sigma Phi Extension Fraternity, having served as the state president and receiving the national distinguished service awards for both associations.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, a face-to-face retirement reception will not be held.  Instead, the Frontier Extension District is hosting a card shower to celebrate Fran’s dedication, service, and leadership throughout her career. Cards and well wishes are requested by Sept. 25, and can be sent to the Frontier Extension District office in Lyndon at PO Box 400, Lyndon, KS 66451.

Information thanks to Chelsea Richmond, Frontier Extension District.

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