WINNSBORO — The Clemson Extension Office in Fairfield County has a new way to earn the respect of the community as it serves people with agricultural concerns.
Dwayne Earn has been hired at the group’s new program assistant. In that role he serves as the front door to the Fairfield Extension office. He is not an agent for Clemson Extension but he is a liaison who can contact agents. Earn takes his role as a facilitator of educational efforts very seriously.
“People have to eat or they can’t earn a living or defend this country. That’s why agricultural education is so important. Even in a rural county like this, a lot of children don’t understand where an egg comes from,” he said.
Earn grew up in rural Chesterfield County and believes that experience will help him relate to the needs in Fairfield County. He said the school system and the demographics there reminded him of Fairfield County, so this job felt like home. He studied agriculture at Chesterfield High School under E.B. Earl and said he was involved in the agriculture in the area, particularly growing peaches.
“My dad grew up on a small farm,” he said. “As a teen I worked in a peach packing shed, so when it comes to the agricultural life, I have lived it.”
He studied political science and economics at Francis Marion University. He did wage surveys and calculated unemployment rates for DEW, as well as recorded demographics and statistics for the bureau of labor and statistics program. Earn moved to Columbia in the early 1990s while working for the Department of DEW as a statistical analyst.
At age 47 he had his years in and retired, but he had an itch to try something else.
“I enjoy being with people and helping people,” he said, “and I like to give back to this community that is very similar to my hometown.”
The role with Clemson Extension seemed like a great fit for the avid gardener.
His wife Tricia of 13 years works at Midlands Technical College and is a pediatric nurse practitioner. In his free time he enjoys gardening and planting on his three-acre property and he also likes the collecting of rare financial documents.
“I have found everyone in the county so far who has come through our doors to be super friendly and supportive,” Earn said, “and I am happy to be serving in this county.”
His office is located in the J.B. Floyd Building at 96 U.S. 321 South. He joins a staff including Deon S. Legette, regional lead agent with food safety and nutrition; Marlyne Walker, state EFNEP specialist; Brian Beer, area extension agent, livestock/forages; Ryan Bean, area extension agent, forestry/natural resources; and Angela James, county extension agent, 4-H and youth development.
The office is open from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Thursday.
Contact Kevin Boozer at 635-4016 ext. 14 or firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter at @kevinboozer.