Ray named extension agent
By Stephanie Johns
Lucy Ray, currently the Agriculture and Natural Resources agent in Jasper County, will begin serving as Morgan County’s Agriculture and Natural Resources agent on March 15, according to Bobby Smith, program development coordinator for Agriculture and Natural Resources at the University of Georgia.
“She’s a very good individual who has done good work in programming and needs assessment,” he said. “She’s a quality person for Morgan County.”
Ray also will serve as the county Extension coordinator in the coming year, Smith said.
He explained that the coordinator position, a yearly designation, comes from Northeast District Executive Director Norman McGlohon.
As coordinator, Ray said she will serve as liaison between the Extension Office and Morgan County commissioners and management.
Smith, who resigned from his position as Morgan County Agriculture and Natural Resources agent effective last Sept. 1, said he has worked with Ray on past projects.
“She has a good knowledge base and a good work ethic,” he said. “As for the trust factor, I’ve known her and she’s developed a good program down there (in Jasper County).”
Ray holds a Bachelor’s degree in Animal Science from Berry College and a Master’s of Science degree, also in Animal Science, from the University of Georgia.
Ray started as an Ag and Natural Resources agent in Jasper County after teaching animal science courses at Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College. She has served Jasper County for the past five years.
During her time in Jasper County Ray said she has provided courses on egg candling, weed management, reproductive management for beef and dairy producers, and seminars on estate planning for farmers. Last year she helped put on a Horse Pasture Field Day.
“I’ve tried to provide programs that the citizens of Jasper County needed,” she shared via e-mail.
Ray said she has helped put on regional programs as well: the Northeast District Beef Cattle Short Course, a Locally Produced Meat Workshop, and a Master Goat Farmer Program, all in Athens. She also helped with a Master Cattlemen’s course in Madison.
When asked why she sought this position, Ray said, “It was just a great opportunity!”
“Morgan County has a tradition of outstanding Extension Agents that have served here, so I will try to maintain that high level of service,” she shared.
Smith said that Morgan County has a history of long-serving extension agents: Smith served 12 years, Carolyn Ainslie served 30 years, and Wayne Tankersley served 15 years.
Smith added that while Ainslie served Morgan County her entire career, Tankersley also served Early County for a time.
As for Ray, Smith added, “We hope she’ll be with us a long period of time to make sure people are taken care of.”
Ray said she plans to use an agricultural advisory group called a Program Development Team made up of Morgan County citizens. She noted that this group assisted Smith in the past.
“I will utilize the group to clarify programs needed and Extension focus for the county,” she wrote.