New county extension agent named to fill May’s position

Published 2:50 am Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Justin Ballew has been appointed as the new agriculture extension agent for Decatur County, filling the late Mitchell Mays’ position.
Ballew graduated from Clemson University with a bachelor’s degree in agriculture education in 2011 and then spent a year as an assistant with Clemson’s agriculture extension office.
He went to the University of Georgia and graduated in December 2013 with a master’s degree in plant protection and pest management. While at Georgia, he worked in plant labs that helped shape his knowledge of agriculture. Now that he has the opportunity to put his education to use, Ballew can check off a goal he’s always had in front of him.
“I’ve wanted to be an agent ever since I can remember,” Ballew said. “I love agriculture and I’ve always been really interested in it.”
Ballew’s interest in agriculture can be traced all the way back to when he was a member of the Future Farmers of America in high school.
As a people-person, Ballew looks forward to getting out and interacting with farmers in the community.
“I really love working with people and I’m excited to get out and talk to our growers,” Ballew said. “I’ve already met with some of them. I’m just trying to hit the ground running.”
Ballew is currently working on picking up the pieces left by Mays, figuring out how he ran things and deciding how to move forward with the extension office.
“He’s going to be a great asset to our office and we’re excited to have him,” Decatur County extension agent Lindsey Bell Hayes said.
The mission of the Decatur County extension office is to extend lifelong learning to Georgia citizens through unbiased, research-based education in agriculture, the environment, communities, youth and family.

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