A new director of the local UT Agricultural Extension Agency will take over on Jan. 4.
County mayor Tim Stribling announced at a recent meeting of the county commission that Johnny Barnes will take the position held by Michael Barry since 2011. Barry has reportedly accepted a position with the agency in Davidson County.
Stribling said Barnes was chosen by the county agriculture committee. "The UT Extension/ Agriculture Committee, consisting of County Commissioners Mason Carter, Betty Atnip, and Jeff Barnes, met a couple of times and conducted interviews for director of the extension service along with Mark Willoughby and Jim Stewart, who is the regional director for the central region of the extension service," the mayor shared.
"Former Director Michael Barry took a position with the Extension Service in Davidson County," Stribling continued. "That left an opening here. Requirements were that you had to have an agriculture degree and a masters degree. They interviewed and then the extension service met on Dec. 8. They again met with Jim Stewart and they have hired Johnny Barnes as the agriculture agent and extension director."
Barnes, who is a DeKalb County native and lives in Alexandria, has worked as a 4-H agent in Wilson County for the last ten years