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Kratzer Wins USDA Secretary's Honor Award

LAS CRUCES -- Connie Kratzer, family resource management specialist with New Mexico State University, received the U.S. Department of Agriculture 2002 Secretary's Honor Award for her work as a member of the Money2000 and Investing for Your Future project teams.

Connie Kratzer, family resource specialist with New Mexico State University, received the 2002 Secretary's Honor Award from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Kratzer was honored with team members from six universities and two agencies for work on financial education projects to help Americans save money. (07/17/2002) (NMSU Agricultural Communications Photo by J. Victor Espinoza)

Agriculture Secretary Ann M. Veneman presented the award to team members from six universities and two government agencies July 8 at a ceremony in Washington, D.C. The department's highest honor, the award recognizes the team for outstanding contributions to agriculture, consumers and the American public. Barbara O'Neill, Money 2000 group leader, said that the programs have improved the net worth and financial literacy of thousands of U.S. families.

Kratzer said that her work in family resource management excites her because of its potential to help families find ways to build up personal savings and manage debt.

Through the Cooperative Extension Service at land grant universities nationwide, Money2000 has worked to help low to moderate income American families build personal savings, reduce debt, and set personal savings and debt reduction goals, saving American families $20 million over a five-year period.

Susan Wright, consumer education specialist with NMSU initiated Money 2000 in New Mexico. Kratzer developed Investing for Your Future, an 11-unit home study course and study guide to wise investment.

Kratzer, who joined NMSU July 2000, has been a faculty member at Virginia Tech, Northeast Missouri State University and Michigan State University's Okinawa Community Services Project. She has served as the treasurer of the Association for Financial Counselors and Planning Educators.

She won the 1998 Research Article Award from the Certified Financial Planner Board and the 1996 emerging leaders award from Michigan State University.

Kratzer is the current president of the New Mexico Association of Family and Consumer Sciences. She received her bachelor's degree in home economics from Iowa State University, her master's in management and family economics from the University of Kentucky, and her doctorate in family ecology from Michigan State University.