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Liberty Countys new Extension agent introduces herself
Extenstion Advice
Ashley Hoppers ext agent
UGA Extension Agent Ashley Hoppers.

Good day, Liberty County! My name is Ashley Hoppers, and I work with the University of Georgia Cooperative Extension Service.

I became Liberty County’s new agriculture and natural resources agent this month. I realize you may not be familiar with UGA Extension, or perhaps you have heard of it, but are not acquainted with the role it plays.

Hopefully, this article will explain UGA Extension and the services provided by your local Extension staff.

In short, UGA Extension is an organization committed to providing Georgians with free research-based information on topics that relate to agriculture and the environment, lawns and home gardens, animals, community well-being, youth, family and more. Perhaps you are wondering how it is possible for one organization to provide reliable information for all of these topics.

Extension services are made possible through funding that is provided on the county, state and federal levels.

UGA Extension is also supported by many different specialists in the school’s College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences and the College of Family and Consumer Sciences. There is no shortage of research-based information fed into Extension. With so much information being shared in so many different areas, it can be a challenge for a Georgian to find the answer to a problem. Thus, it is the duty of the county agent to bridge the gap between UGA research and the community.

As UGA public service faculty members, county agents can make this information available through programs, meetings, classes and publications. We are also qualified to offer expert advice on a number of topics.

Here in Liberty County, I’m one of two county agents. Our other agent, Kasey Bozeman, focuses on 4-H and youth development. She works with youth development specialists to facilitate programming that builds leadership, citizenship and life skills in young people.  

I am from Birmingham, AL, and my husband, Chase, is from Hartford, AL. I earned my master’s of science in horticulture from Auburn University, and while I’ve never met a plant I didn’t like, I prefer to grow plants I can eat. I love having a big vegetable garden so I can preserve the harvest by canning and making jams and jellies. But, having a garden means waging war with pests, diseases and animals that want their share of the bounty. Before earning my M.S., I gained production experience by managing a fruit and vegetable farm, so I know the pests that impact your edible crops, as well as your lawn, trees and ornamental plants. I can also assist with soil and water quality samples, if requested.

Additionally, I’m experienced in promoting community agriculture. I have served as a horticulture consultant to county and nonprofit organizations in rural East Alabama, including the Tallapoosa County Girls Ranch and PATH Lake Martin nonprofit organizations. Many of the organizations to which I offered my support had limited resources. We were used to working with what we had, and collaborated with other groups to pool resources and improve the lives of those around us. And it was by working with those groups, that I began to realize just how impactful an organization can be when there is a will to succeed and the cause worthy.

Community members, if you are part of an organization you think could benefit from the services I can offer, please do not hesitate to email me or contact our county office so we can connect with one another.

Lastly, I would like to thank those I have met so far for your warm welcome. I look forward to meeting more community members, and hopefully work with some of you in the future. If you would like to contact me, you can do so by calling the UGA Liberty County Extension Office at 912-876-2133 or come by the office at 100 Main Street, Suite 7130, Hinesville. I will take care of any questions regarding agriculture and natural resources. I hope to hear from you soon.

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