AGRICULTURAL EXTENSION SERVICE AND 4-H CLUB HISTORY
4-H Clubs in Dade County were organized through the University of Georgia, College of Agriculture .The Agricultural Extension Service has played a large part in the lives of Dade Countians.
The Agricultural Extension Service is represented in the counties by County Agents and Home Demonstration Agents. Over the years changes have been made and Home Demonstration Agents are now called Home Economist.
Miss Annie Dempsy of Cedartown, Ga. Was the first extension person in Dade County. She organized girls in the “Tomato Club” which was the forerunner of the present 4-H Clubs as we know them.
The first county agent in Dade County was John R. McDaniel. Howard Baker was the next one to come to Dade County. O. G. Arial succeeded Mr. Baker. Then along came L. C. Adams, who was the msot outstanding county agent to work in our county. He spent some 25 years as County Agent and saw many changes take place in Dade County as well as in the Extension Service. Much of the time he served without the assistance of a Home Demonstration Agent. Some of the time he had an Assistant County Agent who was paid by TVA to work with Unit Test Demonstrations. Mr. Adams was very good with working with 4-H Club members and young people. He was fortunate to have several Master 4-H Club members. Many of his former Club members will tell you today that his training in leadership was one of the most valuable lessons they ever learned.
After Mr. Adams retired at the age of 60, George Jones came to Dade County and served as County Agent for several years. Lanier Jordan came next and at present time Ray Burden is County Agent.
Home Demonstration Agents came and went. The first one, Miss Annie Dempsy, married the School Superintendent, Mr. S. J. Hale, of Trenton. Miss Kathryn Berryman was the Home Demonstration Agent here when Mr. Adams came to the county as County Agent. After she left there was Ms. Patty Boswell, Clara Moss, Patsy Standfield, Atha Lee Vestal, Naomi Hubble, Marian Mahaffey, Burt Shepard, and Betty Gass. Mrs. Gass now has the title of County Extension Chairman due to her tenure. At one time the County Agent and Home Agent were equal in authority, but in the last few years of Mr. Adams’ tenure he was County Extension Chairman. Mr. Adams was very proud of Mrs. Betty Gass and her work. She was the only Home Demonstration Agent that he had hand picked for the job.
Extension Clerks have played an important part in the Extension Program in Dade County. Miss Edith Simpson was the first one. Mrs. Carl Scruggs was the clerk when Mr. Adams became County Agent. Mrs. Electa Wilson served in this capacity for a number of years and was succeeded by Mrs. Virginia S. Konrad who served as Extension Clerk and Extension Secretary for 15 years. Those who followed were: Miss Debra Craze, Mrs. Becky Vann, Mrs. Ben Hill, and the present secretary, Mrs. Burrell Hill who has served for the past eight years. (used by permission, HISTORY OF DADE COUNTY, GEORGIA, Retired Senior Volunteer Program, 1981)