Utah's commissioner of agriculture was named "Friend of Extension" by Utah State University.

Cary G. Peterson, appointed to the state's agricultural commission post last January by Gov. Mike Leavitt, is no newcomer to agriculture. He was born and raised on a family farm and ranch in Cedar Fort, Utah County. He operated his own farm and ranch in Nephi for more than 30 years.Peterson has always been involved in community and civic affairs and has received special recognition from several agricultural groups for his leadership, said Georgia Lauritzen, who presented the award during USU Extension's Annual Conference recently.

He has been a state legislator for 20 years, serving as majority leader in the Senate at the time of his commission appointment.

HONORS: A Utah program, Early Intervention for Students At-Risk, recently received an innovation award from the Council of State Governments during an awards ceremony at its annual meeting in Phoenix.

Each year the award goes to eight state programs, selected from hundreds of entries across the United States, based on their creativity, applicability and success. State Rep. Nancy Lyon, R-Bountiful, accepted the award on behalf of the state.

During the 1993 legislative session, Lyon was the sponsor of HB39, "The Early Intervention for Students At- Risk Program," which was designed to address the needs of school-age children (K-3) and their families through the development of an integrated system of school-based services.

MORE HONORS: M. Dane (Duke) Picard, professor of geology and geophysics at the University of Utah, has been named an honorary member of the American Association of Petroleum Geologists, which is the world's largest geological society.

Picard was selected for his career contributions to the field of petroleum geology. His research includes topics ranging from Martian geology to trace fossils to ephemeral streams.

The association has 40,000 members, but carries only about 75 honorary members.