Ag Extension has new staff members
Created to develop prosperity for all North Carolinians through research-based agricultural, food and 4-H programs, the NC Agricultural Extension service relies on its local staff to deliver these programs to communities statewide.
In recent months, a number of new faces are working at the Stanly County offices, located at the Agri-Civic Center on Newt Road in Albemarle.
Michaela Vick, Extension Agent, 4-H Youth Development
Growing up as a 4-H participant was a factor in Vick’s decision to pursue a career in agriculture.
“I really enjoyed my time in 4-H and wanted to give back to a program that means so much to me,” says Vick, “and being a 4-H agent has been a great way to do that.”
Vick is a native of Nashville, N.C., a graduate of Southern Nash High School and N.C. State University, and is an owner of three quarter horses, one of which she shows at equestrian events. While at NCSU, where she majored in Animal Science, Vick worked in the Extension Horse Husbandry Office with the NC 4-H Horse Program.
A resident of Stanly County since February 2020, Vick’s responsibilities are to plan, execute and evaluate 4-H programs that are effective and comprehensive, while enabling local participants in these groups to reach their full potential through fun and impactful activities.
“I like that this job gives me a variety of things to do,” she said. “Sometimes I’m working at a livestock show, sometimes hatching quail chicks as part of an embryology project, or traveling to Raleigh for state 4-H Congress. Being a 4-H Agent means that no two days are ever exactly the same.”
Katelynn Stegall, Extension Agent, Agriculture – Livestock
A Wadesboro native, Katelynn Stegall is responsible for educating livestock producers as well as the citizens of Stanly County in the areas of pasture management, pesticide education and livestock management.
“I graduated from NC State in 2019 with a bachelor’s degree in Animal Science and a minor in Agricultural Business Management,” said Stegall. “I’m currently working on a master’s degree in Agricultural Extension and Education.”
Stegall has been involved in agriculture her entire life, growing up on a small dairy farm (Brown Creek Creamery) in Anson County.
“I loved working with the cows, and knew that working with animals and farmers was something that I wanted to do for work,” she said. “I also worked at an animal hospital prior to college, and helped with some animal science research projects throughout college.”
Married to Lucas Stegall since October 2020, the Stegalls live in Anson County near her childhood home, where they raise beef cattle.
“My favorite part of this job is getting to interact with so many different people,” she said.
Chelsea Barber, Nutrition Program Assistant
As the newest member of the Stanly Extension staff, Chelsea Barber coordinates the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program-Education (SNAP-Ed), which educates eligible and low-income individuals about the importance of consuming healthier food items and staying physically active throughout the day.
“My passion for nutrition started through my grandmother, who had type 2 diabetes for many years,” Barber said. “I was able to help her portion out and weigh some of her meals while assisting in reading the recommendations from her dietitian to help control her blood sugar levels. I saw how important the counseling, meal recommendations, and encouragement she received from her registered dietitian were.”
A New London native, Barber is a graduate of Stanly Community College and Western Carolina University.
She continued her education with a dietetic internship through Meredith University, and is studying for her exam to become a registered dietitian.
“I love that I can go out in the community that I grew up in and educate others on ways of living a healthier lifestyle through fun and interactive activities,” she said. “I will be working closely with the youth in our school system, and my programs will get the participants up and out of their seats as well as being able to taste healthy food items through cooking demonstrations. I hope these programs will be the reason someone would want to choose a healthier lifestyle.”
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