Rutgers Cooperative Extension of Cape May County Advisory Council is proud to announce that Nancy Rothenbiller is the recipient of the 2022 Cape May County Extension Advisory Council Leadership Award for her volunteer efforts with the 4-H Youth Development Program and her dedication to animal health in Cape May County. Rothenbiller was presented the award during the 2022 4-H Fair.
Each year the Rutgers Cooperative Extension Advisory Council presents the award to an individual or organization in Cape May County that has demonstrated outstanding support and contributions to one of the three program areas within Rutgers Cooperative Extension – Agriculture and Natural Resources, Family and Community Health Sciences, and the 4-H Youth Development Program. This year, Nancy Rothenbiller received the annual award in recognition of her tireless efforts as a dedicated volunteer and supporter of the 4-H Youth Development Program and the Equine 4-H Health Clinic in Cape May County for over forty years.
Rothenbiller started in 4-H, at the age of 9, as a member of her mother’s Lower Township Pony Driving Club and the Trailblazers 4-H Club, in addition to horses, she showed bunnies, grew vegetables and did cooking and sewing projects. As 4-H alumni, she first served as a club leader and 4-H volunteer.
In 1981, Rothenbiller took over the operation of the 4-H Equine Health Clinic with her sister Marge and has organized and run the clinic continuously each year to-date. The clinic was originally twice a year, once in the fall concentrating on parasite control and rabies vaccinations and once in the spring offering Coggins blood tests and a full range of immunizations, including Eastern and Western Equine Encephomyelitis and West Nile Virus, both highly contagious and deadly diseases to horses. One significant change made by Rothenbiller was to have the vets go to every farm. It was a huge service to the horse community that horses did not have to be transported. Today, the clinic continues to go to horse owners’ doorsteps, and participants do not have to be 4-H members to take advantage of the reduced-price clinics.
When asked why the vaccination clinic is so important, and why she has stuck with it for over 40 years, Nancy did not hesitate. “These vaccinations have saved many equine and even human lives. Encephomyelitis can be transmitted to people. With one shot we can stop a truly awful disease that causes brain damage and a horrible death.”
Rothenbiller has worked tirelessly to expand and improve the equine clinic through the years. Linda Horner, Cape May County 4-H Program Coordinator fondly recalls clinic days, “Nancy’s alarm clock sounds off way before daylight on 4-H Equine Health Clinic days. She is already waiting in the parking lot by 6:30 a.m. for the rest of the volunteers to shuffle in. Before the end of the day, Nancy, her volunteers, and Equine Veterinarian Dr. Tanya Hanyi, will have poked, prodded, and otherwise annoyed over 100 horses from one end of Cape May County to the other.” Horner added, “The program is what it is today because of Nancy’s efforts.”
The Rutgers Cooperative Extension Advisory Council salutes Nancy Rothenbiller, and thanks her for her decades of leadership and service in this crucial animal health area.
The Extension Advisory Council members are volunteers who help to advise the faculty and staff who direct the three program areas of Rutgers Cooperative Extension of Cape May County. Extension education programs are offered to all without regard to race, religion, color, age, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, or disability.
For information about programs offered at Rutgers Cooperative Extension of Cape May County, please call 609-465-5115 or visit our website capemay.njaes.rutgers.edu.