It was a full house for the 2016 Employee Awards.

The annual celebration, which coincides with Public Service Recognition Week, honors the dedication and innovation of a select group of Multnomah County employees.

Multnomah County Chair Deborah Kafoury and Commissioners Jules Bailey, Loretta Smith, Judy Shiprack and Diane McKeel were on-hand to present awards to the winners, who were chosen from among more than 91 nominations, representing 400 employees.

The second of two Superior Public Service to External Customers Awards was given to Jerry Hunter from the Office of Sustainability. Hunter works as an urban agriculturalist and spends many of his workdays on county-owned farmland in Troutdale to manage the CROPS Program.

In the last year alone Hunter’s accomplishments include: growing more than 17,000 lbs of fresh produce for families in need; working with the Department of Community Justice to secure more than 2,700 hours of restorative labor at the farm from men and women on parole or probation; and providing fresh produce (picked the very same day) for cooking demonstrations at the Health Department’s Rockwood Community Health Center.

“I can’t tell you how much it’s been a blessing to be able share gardening skills and life skills  with the people who come in contact with the farm,” said Hunter upon his accepting his award.

Meanwhile, members of the Office of Sustainability stood up during the ceremony, holding up five pieces of paper to spell out “J-E-R-R-Y,” in support of their colleague.