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Barry Named County Extension Director
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MICHAEL BARRY - photo by Photo by Reed Vanderpool
DeKalb County’s UT Agricultural Extension Service has a new man at the helm.Michael Barry has taken the top position at the agency after the retirement of long time director Steve Officer, who retired from the position effective July 1.Ron Rogers, who also served as a local county extension agent for several years, has also retired.Barry began his career in 1994 at the White County Extension Office, serving there for three years before transferring to the Warren County office, where he served for fourteen years.Barry is a native of Whitehouse, earned his Bachelor's degree at MTSU, and his Masters at UT-Knoxville.Barry will be working with adult and 4-H agriculture programs, and has his work cut out for him, as lean economic times have led to cuts at the agency.Barry will replace both Officer and Rogers, as one of the agent positions has been eliminated permanently.“Sixty positions have been cut across the state,” Barry said. “Hopefully we will be able to maintain what has been going on with the local programs, we have good 4-H participation in DeKalb County, and It’s just agent April Martin and I doing 4-H now.”The agency, consisting of Barry and Martin, who’s responsibilities include family and consumer science areas, as well as adult and 4-H work, local TNCEPT coordinator Mary Sanders, and Administrative assistant Jo Ellen Huffman, will be moving into the new county office building within the next few months.