USLGA Distinguished Service Award

The Distinguished Service Award is given to those who have had a long-term relationship with the USLGA as a member and volunteer and have made such major contributions to the profession and association.  The Distinguished Service Award acknowledges their significance, influence, and contribution. Qualifications: Five years of continued service

In celebration of long-term service and major contributions to the United States Lavender Growers Association.

Julie Haushalter, 2023 Distinguished Service Award

Julie, a Charter Member, has been at the forefront of the USLGA conference organizing since the beginning of USLGA's conferences. She worked with teams of people over three conferences, missing the last one due to a sudden and severe illness. But that didn't stop her. After she recovered enough, she picked up her USLGA activities and has been serving as Vice-President of the Board of Directors, and as retreat facilitator for the annual Board retreats. Her work has shaped the direction of USLGA in the past and is continuing to do so in the future.

The lavender venue she and her family have developed is a world-class site. They have created a place that the public can enjoy in many ways including wine tasting of the lavender wines that they partnered with a local winery to develop. It is not easy to make a good-tasting lavender wine, but White Oak Lavender has achieved that.

Julie leads by example and by using her considerable people-management skills to get things done. She is always there with gentle wisdom and guidance. She says "Yes" when asked to help. She is thoughtful in her leadership and brings honesty and kindness with her wherever she goes.

- Presented at the Annual Member Meeting, January 2023

Sarah Richards, 2023 Distinguished Service Award

Sarah Richards was a pioneer in starting national and regional lavender organizations. Starting in 2005 she, along with a few others, met in person, by phone, and through email to get a national organization started. 

In 2011 at the Southwest Lavender Conference held in Kerrville, Texas, she stepped up to be part of what would be known as the ‘Founders’ of the United States Lavender Growers Association, or USLGA. Sarah served as USLGA's first Secretary before and once the USLGA was officially launched on April 27, 2012, at the International Lavender Conference in Sequim, Washington. She has also been instrumental in helping establish the Northwest Lavender Association, now known as Lavender Northwest which encompasses Washington state and Oregon.

Since those initial efforts, she continued to help develop much of the website and content along with serving as chair for multiple committees. Sarah is completing yet another term on the Board of Directors and the Executive Committee as Treasurer. Sarah is also the current chair of the Finance Committee and the Technology Committee. She helped in the hiring process for me, your Executive Director, setting up a payroll system for USLGA employees, and many other efforts benefitting the organization.

Without her efforts, USLGA would be a much lesser organization as would our whole lavender community within the U.S., our neighboring countries, and overseas. Her work has been instrumental in helping establish the “accepted norms” for many of the growers in the lavender community.

- Presented at the Annual Member Meeting, January 2023