A New Chapter

— Written By Christy Strickland and last updated by
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Seventeen years ago, Everett Davis introduced me as the newest Extension agent in the County;  I was beginning my role as a Family and Consumer Sciences (FCS) Agent with North Carolina Cooperative Extension, Robeson County Center. On July 1, 2015, I began a new role as County Extension Director (CED) for Robeson County. At that time, I wrote an article to introduce myself and shared a little about my family. Not much has changed since writing that introduction, except for the number of people in my family. I now have four wonderful grandchildren. This little change is important to note as you continue reading.

Today, I share with you the beginning of a new chapter in my journey! On August 31, 2021, I will become the latest retired County Extension Director of N.C. Cooperative Extension, Robeson County Center. As I begin this new journey into retirement, I can’t help but reflect on the years I have worked with Extension. I have had some of the best coworkers anyone could ask for in a career – compassionate, caring, capable, dedicated, and even challenging are all words I would use to describe them over the years. My current team of staff and those I have worked with since becoming CED can only be described as incredible! They have survived me as their boss, two devastating floods, and now a pandemic. Even through all of that, they always rise to the occasion to further Extension’s mission throughout the county and make me proud to call them my staff. But they are not just my staff; I am honored to call them friends and think of them as family.

I would also like to take this opportunity to thank the leadership that has guided and supported me on this journey:  the Extension leadership team, led by Dr. Rich Bonanno and my District Director, Keith Walters, along with County Manager Kellie Blue and her team, who have given me support and encouragement all along the way. The collaboration between the county and the land grant 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 some of the most meaningful of my 30-plus years of work. It has been my honor to follow a long line of CED’s and Extension professionals who have carried the mission of the land grant universities and Extension throughout this county. I hope in some small way I have done my part to make them proud!

Although I am stepping down, I am pleased to share with you I am leaving you in very capable hands. Duncan “Mac” Malloy, who currently serves as the Field Crops Agent in the county, will serve as the Interim CED beginning September 1, 2021. Mac has worked with Extension since 2011 and is well known throughout the agricultural 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 N.C. 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 close 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, along with gardening, crafting, and much, much more. Although I am looking forward to all of these things, I will dearly miss my staff, and the work of N.C. Cooperative Extension. I will always be a supporter of Extension and the great work being done. Somewhere along the way I wrote an article entitled “What I love about Extension.”  I described many of the great things we do as Extension professionals and how I loved everything about my job. The great thing is, I still feel that way. I love Extension! Thank you for a great chapter!