By COLLIN BROOKS
Anthony Shelton has barely had enough time to kick the mud off his boots as he enters the meetings he attends as the new Director of the University of Tennessee / Washington County Extension Office.
Shelton has grown up with a passion for agricultural and that had led him to a decade of service as an extension agent. He took the post of director on August 18 and things haven’t really slowed down since he started.
“It’s kind of learn as I go,” Shelton admitted. “I’ve had a number of training sessions and will continue to train and will have monthly meetings and monthly reports that I will be responsible for.
“I know there are going to be challenges and things of that nature, but I have enjoyed being a Washington County Extension Agent and this is just an addition to what I am already doing here at the extension office.”
Shelton serves as a liaison between the county and the University of Tennessee to oversee the everyday needs of the office structure and he has certain goals that he would like to accomplish in his new position.
“I want to increase the visibility of the extension office in the community,” Shelton said. “We cover ag (agricultural) and natural resources, helping the farmers and producers in the county. We also have family and consumer sciences and of course, 4-H that a lot of people are aware of. So we want to elevate all of that as far as advertising.”
The new director has been a lifelong resident of East Tennessee, having grown up in Greeneville and he feels his experience as an extension agent for the past decade will help him immensely.
“It will help tremendously,” he said. “I would think that knowing the governmental leaders, as well as the different businesses and our folks out in the community, I think that is all important.”
Shelton said that Washington County is top 10 in beef cattle numbers every year in the state of Tennessee and the agricultural production is also somewhere in that vicinity. So the farm life is much more important than some people might think.
“There is a lot more production ag in this county, more than many may see,” Shelton said. “I understand the importance for agricultural for this community and I want to be able to lend our resources to anyone that might need them.”
For more information about the extension office and what they offer call them at 753-1680.