Extension Service will ‘absolutely’ fill county coordinator opening

The University of Georgia Cooperative Extension Service does not have any plans to leave Burke County without a local Extension Coordinator.

Lannie Lanier, district Extension director, said that the position, which was left vacant by Will Duffie, will “absolutely” be filled.

“We have no plans to leave the position vacant for a long time,” Lanier said, though acknowledging that the hiring process would take several months. “The county is very cooperative. They don’t have any problem with funding their part.”

While the county coordinator is an employee of UGA, the county pays a supplement to fund the position.

Burke County Administrator Merv Waldrop said the county is ready to move forward in finding a replacement for Duffie.

“I know it’s going to take some time, but we look forward to getting someone in here as quickly as possible,” he said, noting the importance of the county coordinator’s role in the local agricultural economy.

Some county agent positions in other parts of the state have either been eliminated or consolidated with other positions in surrounding counties due to budget cuts in the Extension Service. Waldrop said he believes the importance of agriculture in the local economy makes it necessary for Burke County to maintain the position.

Lanier said he has already begun the hiring process, and the position should be advertised within about three months. The search for candidates will be open nationwide, as opposed to an internal search. The position calls for a strong background in row crops and a bachelor’s degree in agriculture. Lanier said a master’s degree in some area of agriculture, such as horticulture, entomology, plant pathology or animal science is preferred.

“We want another Will,” he concluded.

For more information on the position, contact Lanier at 912- 681-0177.

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