County Cooperative Extension director begins a new chapter in his life

LUMBERTON – Seventeen years ago Everett Davis introduced me as the county’s newest extension officer; I was starting my role as a Family and Consumer Science Officer with North Carolina Cooperative Extension, Robeson County Center.

On July 1, 2015, I started a new role as the County Extension Manager for Robeson County. At that time, I wrote an article to introduce myself and shared a bit about my family. Not much has changed since this introduction was written except for the number of people in my family. I now have four wonderful grandchildren. This small change is important to note as you keep reading.

Today, I share with you the start of a new chapter in my journey! On August 31, 2021, I will become the last retired County Extension Manager of NC Cooperative Extension, Robeson County Center. As I begin this new retirement journey, I can’t help but reflect on the years I worked with Extension. I have had some of the best coworkers you could ask for in a career – compassionate, caring, capable, dedicated and even empowering are all words I would use to describe them over the years. My current team and those I have worked with since becoming DEC can only be described as amazing! They survived me as a boss, two devastating floods and now a pandemic. Even through it all, they still live up to the opportunity to advance Extension’s mission throughout the county and make me proud to call them my staff. But they’re not just my staff; I am honored to call them friends and to regard them as family.

I would also like to take this opportunity to thank the leaders who have guided and supported me on this journey: The Extension leadership team, led by Rich Bonanno and my District Director, Keith Walters, as well as the County Director. Kellie Blue and her team, who have supported and encouraged me along the way. The collaboration between the county and the land-funded universities, North Carolina State University and North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University, is unique and an incredible resource in this county.

The past 17 years have been among the most significant of my 30+ years of work. I have had the honor of following a long line of CEDs and extension professionals who have carried out the mission of land grant and extension universities throughout this county. I hope in some way I did my part to make them proud!

Although I am retiring, I am happy to share with you that I am leaving you in very competent hands. Duncan “Mac” Malloy, who currently serves as the County Field Crop Officer, will serve as the interim CED effective September 1, 2021. Mac has worked with Extension since 2011 and is well known in the farming community, both personally. and professionally. He holds a bachelor’s degree in agronomy from NC State University and a master’s degree in agricultural education from NC A&T State University. I know you will join me in welcoming and supporting Mac as he does his part during the interim to lead this incredible team.

As I wrap up this chapter and begin the next part of my journey, I look forward to a new chapter that includes more time with those four grandchildren I mentioned earlier, plus gardening, l ‘crafts and much more. While I look forward to all of these things, I will greatly miss my staff and the work of NC Cooperative Extension. I will always be a supporter of Extension and the great work done. Somewhere along the way, I wrote an article titled “What I Like About The Extension”. I described many of the great things we do as extension professionals and how I liked everything about my job. The good thing is that I still feel that way. I love the extension! Thanks for this great chapter!

Follow us on Facebook at North Carolina Cooperative Extension, Robeson County Center. You can also visit our website at http://robeson.ces.ncsu.edu for informative articles, links to resources and information, and upcoming events.

For more information, contact the NC Cooperative Extension, Robeson County Center, at 910 671-3276, or visit our website at http://robeson.ces.ncsu.edu.

Christy Strickland is the Director of North Carolina Cooperative Extension, Director of the Robeson County Center. She can be reached at 910-671-3276, or at [email protected]

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