News Flash Home
The original item was published from 9/1/2022 8:12:13 AM to 9/1/2022 8:12:21 AM.

News Flash

Riley County Home Page

Posted on: September 2, 2022

[ARCHIVED] Sharon Bairow-Riffey is September's Employee of the Month!

man presenting woman with certificate

September’s Employee of the Month could be called a human encyclopedia. Sharon Bairow-Riffey has been the front office professional/receptionist for the Riley County Extension Office for the past 28 years and she can help you do your taxes, tell you how to test your soil, and steer you away from major mistakes in home canning.

Sharon was nominated by her supervisor, Gary Fike, for her excellent customer service, especially for the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program. This year, she fielded more than 500 phone calls and messages during tax season. (Sharon will tell you it was 535, not including call backs, but who’s counting?)

Sharon grew up in Kansas. Her family had a farm in Pottawatomie County, and she participated in 4H where she learned a variety of skills that translated to her life as well as her career. 

“My parents inspired me; they were really good examples and very organized people. I watched them teach others, take care of problems, and help people, and I wanted to do the same,” said Sharon.

Sharon’s educational background is in family and consumer science, and she originally planned to be a teacher. Her career took a different path, and she credits her time as a telemarketer in the collision repair industry with teaching her excellent customer service skills. In that role she learned to talk to people all across the country and discovered the importance of staying positive. Sharon says she chose to stay at Riley County because of the people, the positive environment, and because she gets to help others. 

“The Extension Office is a nice place to spend the day,” says Sharon. “Every time I pick up the phone it’s something different. All Extension Offices are amazing – you can come here to find answers and get help with all kinds of different problems. Across the nation, if you know about Extension, then you know those people have the answers.”

Sharon had many examples of strange and interesting questions she’s heard over the years. Once, someone came into the office with a blue pumpkin that had somehow been cross-pollinated with another kind of plant. Folks often call wanting to know what ingredients can be substituted in a recipe, and several people have called to find out if it’s safe to can food in the oven instead of in a water bath (it is absolutely NOT safe to do that). Sharon often has to convince people that just because they read something on the internet, doesn’t mean it’s true. 

In her free time, Sharon enjoys baking, gardening, and being with her family. Sharon is married with stepchildren, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. While she has never figured out how to get rye bread to turn out right, she makes delicious breads, cakes, and cookies. 

Sharon is an asset to Riley County and a great example to follow. If you have questions, she’d love to visit with you and help find the answers. 

office professionals posing in front of a mural

Facebook Twitter Email

Other News in Riley County Home Page

commuity lagoon in Leonardville

CORRECTION: Keats Sewer Update

Posted on: November 3, 2023
photo of construction equipment with text Public Works Update

9/20/2023 Public Works Project Update

Posted on: September 20, 2023
Riley County office building with logo, blue filter, and text 2024 budget information

2024 Budget - true vs false

Posted on: September 11, 2023
game day traffic map

Gameday Traffic Notice

Posted on: September 8, 2023
stone office building with high archways

Riley County 2024 Budget Update

Posted on: August 29, 2023
sun and thermometer drawing to represent dangerous heat

Safety Tips for Excessive Heat

Posted on: August 18, 2023
commuity lagoon in Leonardville

Keats Sewer Project Update

Posted on: August 7, 2023
bivalent covid vaccines now available

Bivalent COVID-19 Doses at RCHD

Posted on: May 1, 2023
volunteers in orange vests processing paperwork for testing patients in cars

Volunteer for the Medical Reserve Corps

Posted on: February 7, 2023
photo of house with blue shapes and Riley County logo

Legal Time Trend Publication

Posted on: February 2, 2023
Man in dark suit raising hand, audience in background - Commissioner John Ford

2023 Swearing-In Ceremony

Posted on: January 9, 2023
wildland firefighters, flames, and tall grasses

4/11/2022 Carlson Road Fire Update

Posted on: April 8, 2022

Board of County Commission Meetings

Posted on: January 1, 2022

Road Construction & Closures

Posted on: February 4, 2011