Rutherford Weekly

September 28, 2023

Rutherford Weekly - Shelby NC

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Growing up in the Six Points community, Tracy Davis was a huge fan of Betty Feezor. In fact Tracy will go so far as to say Feezor was her hero. Tracy watched the home economist on WBTV-Char lotte as often as possible. During the summer, Tracy would watch Feezor's segment everyday at noon. She later learned Feezor's father was an Extension Agriculture Agent and that Feezor also worked as a home economics agent before joining WBTV. "I was pretty sure I wanted to be a home economist, too," Tracy said before her retirement that offi cially starts October 1. As it came to be, nearly three decades ago Tracy became the Extension Agent, Family & Consumer Sciences director at the NC Cooperative Extension Service for Rutherford County, following close in the footsteps of her hero. Tracy grew up in the Six Points community and she was one of four children. Her parents were self- employed. Tracey attended Cliffside Elementary School, Chase High School, Isothermal Community and UNC-Greensboro. As a student at Chase High School, Jeanne Ware was the Extension Home Economics agent for Rutherford County. "I remember her fondly as someone who encouraged others," Tracy said. "She was willing to meet with me as a teenager to talk about my interests and aspirations and share about her career. Ms. Ware, along with my high school home economics teacher, Denise Greene Frazier, infl uenced my decision to pursue a degree in Home Economics. After college, Tracy received a degree in Home Economics, now called Family & Consumer Sciences and she worked 11 years in senior centers in Rutherford and Cleveland counties. "The opportunity to work in my fi eld of study with Cooperative Extension in my home county came when Shirley Arledge retired," Tracy said. During her 28-year career at Cooperative Extension, a good day for Tracy was when she "saw the light blub" come on in someone's eyes. Whether they had learned a new skill, a different strategy, or just a helpful tip that made life better, it was worth the time and effort," Tracy said. As with any job, Tracy said there were some bad days when it seemed everything went wrong. "But fortunately there have been many more good days than bad." Tracy said as a Cooperative Extension agent, it was her job to to extend research-based knowledge to help people transform science into everyday solutions. "As a Family & Consumer Sciences agent, I've had the opportunity to share some amazing educational programs related to housing and environmental issues, fi nancial management, parenting and caregiving, food safety, nutrition and cooking," Tracy said. "Regardless of the topic, I hope those who attended were inspired to try something new or discovered something that improved their life in some way." In her job, Tracy had the privilege to travel to most of all the 100 counties in North Carolina and several states in the United States. "I'm looking forward to traveling for fun in retirement," Tracy said. Tracy said she always admired her parents and her siblings for their character, their work ethic, accomplishments and willingness to help others. "Our parents valued education and made sure each of us could attend college. As the youngest child with siblings much older than me, I benefi ted greatly from their wisdom, experience, and most of all, their support," Tracy said. During her career Tracy said she had the opportunity to participate in Cooperative Extension's centennial in 2014. "I learned so much about Extension's history from that experience. We've come a long way from traveling by horse and buggy to visit farm families or meet at community centers to teach about canning, mattress making, furniture repair, caring for livestock, gardening and farming practices. We don't work with just farm families. We strive to reach all county citizens and how we do that has changed a lot," Tracy said. "Of course, technology has been the biggest change," Tracy said. "The tools we use to communicate and deliver educational programs have evolved from Overhead Projectors with transparency sheets and Vis-a-Vis pens to Powerpoint to Virtual Reality experiences. While we still mail printed information to those who request it, most of our educational publications are shared electronically. Like every other organization or business, administrative tasks are accomplished electronically too with very few paper reports or paper fi les. That has probably been the harder change to make for me. I still like hard copies," Tracy said. Would she do her career all over again? "Absolutely! This has been an awesome career." The best part of my job has been all the wonderfully amazing people I've worked with both in Extension and in our county. I am grateful to have been surrounded by caring co-workers, supportive community partners, and incredible volunteers. Tracy's last day at her offi ce is Friday (tomorrow) September 29 and after cleaning out her offi ce and saying goodbye to co-workers and friends from across the county and state, she'll go home and begin her offi cial retirement on October 1. What is Tracy going to do now? "All those things I always said I didn't have time to do." YOUR COMMUNITY NEWS SOURCE! YOUR COMMUNITY NEWS SOURCE! ISSUE NO. 39 • September 28, 2023 ISSUE NO. 39 • September 28, 2023 • • • 828-248-1408 • 828-248-1408 N.C. TRACTOR & FARM SUPPLY 299 Railroad Ave., Rutherfordton • 828-288-0395 Mobile: 828-429-5008 • SALES SERVICE PARTS PROUDLY SERVING RUTHERFORD, CLEVELAND, GASTON, LINCOLN, POLK COUNTIES AS THE AREAS HOMETOWN MASSEY FERGUSON DEALER. IF YOU BUY ANYWHERE ELSE IF YOU BUY ANYWHERE ELSE YOU WILL PAY TOO MUCH! YOU WILL PAY TOO MUCH! GREAT SELECTION GREAT SELECTION EARLY BIRD TICKETS UNTIL SEPT. 27TH FREE SHOWS WITH ADMISSION Our 31 st Year • Over 25,000 Weekly Readers Article by Jean Gordon. Extension agent Tracy Davis retiring Extension agent Tracy Davis retiring BETTY FEEZOR WOULD BE PROUD Tracy Davis teaches a class in canning vegetables. Tracy Davis. Staff members are shown with Tracy Davis (third from right) Jeff Bradley, Laura Ponder, Tracy, Sthefany Flores Fuentes, Cynthia Robbins, Terry Walker at a reception in Tracy's honor last Thursday. Jean Gordon photo. Tracy Davis gets a hug from Angie Francis at her retirement reception. Jean Gordon photo.

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