Carter steps down from extension service

Published 12:14 am Friday, November 4, 2016

NATCHEZ — David Carter said leaving the Adams County Extension Service was the most difficult decision he has ever made.

“I was not looking to leave the extension service,” he said. “I never saw myself working somewhere else, but then an opportunity came up and, for the sake of my family, it would have been foolish of me to not pursue it.”

Carter was named the general manager at Great River Honda on Oct. 27. Carter said he was looking forward to the new opportunity, but said he would continue to be an extension volunteer.

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In 2006, Carter came to Natchez with his wife, Paige Carlton Carter, who is from the area. He began work as a county agent with the extension service in early 2007.

“I have been involved in the extension services since I was 9 years old,” Carter said. “I was in the leadership program, 4-H and everything extension service offered.”

Growing up in Louisiana, Carter said the extension service and two agents, 4-H Agent Bobby Fletcher and Future Farmers of America advisor Ray Core, ultimately influenced him into becoming an agent himself.

“Nobody in my family was involved in agriculture in anyway whatsoever,” Carter said. “These two men had a tremendous impact on my life and gave me something to love.

“Leaving here, I hope over time I have impacted the youth the way they impacted me.”

Carter, who went on to Louisiana State University to study agriculture education and ultimately achieved a doctorate in education, said he was the first male in five generations in his family to not work in the railroad industry.

In 2008, Carter won regional acclaim after being a finalist in a contest to tame wild mustangs and perform tricks with the horses. Carter and his horse, Silverado, became regular fixtures in the area performing tricks for school and church groups.

“A lot of folks call me the horse whisperer,” Carter said. “But it all started with 4-H.”

While Carter has been here, the service has won several state and national awards, and he said all the credit goes to his volunteers.

Beth Dudley, incoming Master Gardner president, said Carter is selling himself short. Carter was instrumental in the Master Gardner awards, she said.

“We have won because of David and his support,” Dudley said. “The projects and everything that he has helped us kick off. He has just been there for any kind of issues we might have had.”

Dudley said Carter has been wonderful to work with.

“He really is a community cheerleader,” she said. “He is not just rooting for himself, but for everyone around him. There is no way he is not going to succeed in anything he tries to do.”

Mae Stanton is a volunteer with another extension program, Mississippi Homemaker Volunteer Council. Stanton said she was going to miss him.

“I was there when he came on,” she said. “He fell right in with us and has helped us in every way.

“He was always ready to make sure we were being supported. He was very easy to work with.”

Extension Service office associate Penny Rachal has been with the agency for 17 years. She said Carter came in eight years ago and made some positive changes to how the service operates.

“He came in and brought new ideas on ways we could do things differently to enhance what we were already doing,” she said. “He really knows how to relate to people and get them more involved.

“We are going to miss him. He has impacted the whole community with his attitude and the way we do things.”