Kelley replaces Farrior at County Extension Service

Published 5:41 pm Saturday, January 15, 2011

Ken Kelley was heavily influence by 4-H agents in his youth, and now he has an opportunity to help students through the program.

Kelley, a native of Pleasant Home, is the new coordinator of the Escambia County Extension Service, replacing former director Olin “Buck” Farrior.

“I’ve always loved ag, and I love helping people,” said Kelley, who started his job on Jan. 1.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

Kelley went to Auburn University with the intention of becoming a veterinarian, but after he earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in animal science, he had an opportunity to work with the Alabama Farmer’s Co-op.

From there, he became an agent with the Alabama Extension Service through Auburn University.

“I learned a lot through 4-H,” he said. “The opportunity to go back and do that was something I couldn’t turn down.”

While Kelley’s background is in agriculture, he emphasized that he enjoys other areas of the extension’s services — and he hopes others will take advantage of the resources offered.

“We’re not just ag, we’re there to help everybody,” Kelley said. “Our doors are always open.”

In addition to ag services — such as helping with outdoor land management and water quality issues — the Extension Service has resources in family and consumer sciences, such as diet and nutrition, and personal finance resources.

In addition, Brewton’s Hope Place, which offers parenting help for at-risk families, is also an arm of the Extension Service.

And 4-H — the organization that provides ag and service training for students — is part of the Extension Service.

“We really want to expand 4-H,” Kelley said.

Several schools in the area have 4-H programs, but Kelley said it is not necessary for the schools to sponsor it.

“We just need volunteers who want to work with us,” he said.

Ken Kelley