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Paula Burke

Paula, born and raised in Upstate New York, grew up owning horses and was a 4-H horse club member as a youth.  As a teenager, she worked at local dairy and horse farms and the local horse tack shop.  Her horse interest led her to go to college for equine studies at the State University of New York at Cobleskill where she earned her Associate’s degree in Equine Studies and a Bachelor’s degree in Animal Science. 

Prior to 2012 working as the UGA Extension Carroll County Extension Coordinator and Agricultural and Natural Resources Agent, Paula worked for Cornell Cooperative Extension in Saratoga County, New York.  Starting in 1993, her career in Extension began as a summer college intern which lead to her being hired full time as a 4-H Program Assistant.  In time, her positions changed to 4-H and Adult Livestock Agent and then finally to Ag Economic Development Agent for a two-county area.  During this time, Paula received her Master Degree from State University of New York at Plattsburgh in Administration and Leadership.

Today in Georgia, Paula’s agriculture educational programming in Carroll County has been numerous and diverse in the areas of livestock production, helping farmers develop their businesses, and local farm and food promotion.  Some examples include hosting the UGA Master Cattlemen program, West Georgia beef management tour, hosting hay, grazing, and stocker cattle state conferences with UGA beef specialists, the Journeyman Farmer Certification Program (both small ruminants and fruit and vegetable programs), backyard Poultry series, West Georgia Equine Symposium, and Southern Winegrape Symposium.  An Ag Career Expo for high school students to learn about careers in agriculture was started in 2016.  The fourth edition of the Farm and Food Resource guide will be published in 2020 which promotes local farms in Carroll, Heard and Haralson Counties (a collaboration with Tanner Health System). 

The Farm and Food Resource guide was a National Ag Agents Association National Finalist for the Communications Publication award in 2019.  Paula has also been named the 2017 Outstanding Agent of the Year by the Georgia Cattlemen’s Association and won the Georgia Fruit Industry Education and Research Award for her winegrape research work in 2017.

Paula serves as the Carroll County Department Head for the Carroll County Ag Center, member of the Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors and Agribusiness committee, past secretary for the Georgia Association of County Agricultural Agents, is the Carroll County Cattlemen’s Association secretary, and is the Southern Region Vice Chair for the Recognition and Awards committee for the National Ag Agents Association.

She and her husband (who is an Ag Agent with Alabama Cooperative Extension) raise a small flock of Katahdin hair sheep on their 90-acre farm.  She enjoys training her Labrador retriever Stormy to do dog obedience, AKC tricks and Canine Biathlons.