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July 29, 2008

National ag agents conference held in Greensboro

Fred Miller
Catawba Extension Director Fred Miller, right, is arrested by 'Barney Fife' during the barbecue dinner at the Dixie Classic Fairgrounds in Winston-Salem. (Photo courtesy of Wick Wickliffe)

More than 1,500 participants from 46 U.S. states were in Greensboro as the North Carolina Association of County Agricultural Agents (NCACAA) hosted the 93rd Annual Meeting and Professional Improvement Conference (AM/PIC) of the National Association of County Agricultural Agents (NACAA) from July 13-17.

The conference received high praises from participants, administrators and sponsors for its professional development opportunities, relevance of topics and speakers to the needs of county staffs, as well as the organization and hospitality the North Carolina agents shared with their co-workers from across the nation. Participants enjoyed and commented on many parts of the program.

Speakers included General Hugh Shelton on “Leadership that Leaves a Legacy” and Ralph Otto, USDA CSREES, on “Sustaining Agricultural Productivity,” Dr. James Johnson, director of Urban Investment Strategies Center, on “How the World is Changing.” Dr. Marshall Stewart served as Master of Ceremonies for the 4-H Talent Review which highlighted the great talents and accomplishments of 4-H'ers from several southern states. On Wednesday of the conference, 30 tour buses led by North Carolina agents crossed the state, highlighting the importance and diversity of the state’s agricultural industry, as well as numerous Cooperative Extension programs and projects.

The conference also recognized 66 agents from across the nation with the association’s top honor, the Distinguished Service Award. Five of these award winners were from North Carolina: Nelson Brownlee, Jeff Carpenter, Ron Hughes, Diana Rashash and Charles Young. The conference was lead by Fred Miller, Catawba County Extension director and NACAA president. Fred is the first ever North Carolinian to serve as NACAA president. He was praised during the conference for his personal character, engaging leadership style, deliberate and thorough examination of all view points on critical issues.

Pictures from the conference can be found at www.nacaa.com/ampic/2008 which has two selections for AMPIC pictures; one by conference participants and the other by the conference photographer, AT Industries.

Posted by Natalie at July 29, 2008 10:24 AM