In Her Own Words ...
While pursuing my AES degree at the UGA Tifton campus, I tried several different jobs that interested me; I worked for the UGA Tifton campus cotton breeder, I worked in a greenhouse, and I job-shadowed a county agent. After seeing what a county agent does, I decided that it was the career I wanted to pursue. As graduation grew closer I applied for open County Extension Agent positions. I even interviewed for one but did not get the job. During a job fair, I met representatives from Gold Kist Poultry in Douglas. They were looking for someone to join their Quality Assurance (QA) Team. I began working for them 2 months before graduation in a trainee program. My time with Gold Kist lasted a year and I worked with QA as well as serving as their Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) coordinator. Then I got a call from UGA Extension about a 4-H position in Wheeler County.
I began working there in July of 2006. I enjoyed 4-H but really missed working directly with agriculture. After 5 years I transferred to Montgomery County Extension as both the Agriculture and Natural Resources (ANR) & 4-H Agent. For a time I covered Montgomery and Treutlen Counties. In my role as an ANR Agent, I began putting in test plots and working with UGA Extension Specialists on projects with growers. Cotton plots and collaborations on insect surveys and vegetable issues gave me the opportunity to help my farmers and gain knowledge on emerging issues. I enjoyed gaining knowledge and experience about growing and protecting crops and wanted to find my niche, or area in which I could become the local “expert”. In 2016 I transferred to Jeff Davis County as the ANR Agent. This allowed me to focus on a single county and production agriculture. Soon after that, I began to work with other county agents and UGA Extension Specialists on a project that uses soil moisture sensors to schedule irrigation in cotton. This project enabled me to educate the farmers in my county on the use of soil moisture sensors and irrigation scheduling. After 14 years in Extension I still don’t think I have become an “expert” on any one thing but I have learned a lot about irrigation and crop water needs. In cooperation with an agent from a neighboring county, in 2017 we began a Hayfield Irrigation Project. There are so many things to learn about how best to schedule irrigation for each crop! I am now beginning a new chapter with a peanut research project.
One thing that I really enjoy about my job as a county agent is that I do something different and interesting every day. Getting to know the hardworking farmers of this great state and helping people are the two most rewarding aspects of my job. I am glad that I attended the UGA Tifton campus and got to know my professors who are now the colleagues and on whom I rely on each day to get the information that I pass on to the farmers I serve.