Published on 07/17/18

Scarrow to lead Extension Southwest District

By Clint Thompson

Andrea Scarrow will lead University of Georgia Cooperative Extension’s Southwest District as director. She will oversee all three Extension program areas — Agriculture and Natural Resources (ANR), Family and Consumer Sciences (FACS), and 4-H Youth Development — in 41 counties in the Southwest District. 

Laura Perry Johnson, associate dean for Extension, announced Scarrow’s appointment to replace Tim Varnedore, who’s retiring July 31.

“The Southwest District has had many leadership changes in the past several years, so I looked for a director who would bring a calming presence and stability as well as exceptional, innovative leadership,” Johnson said. “Andrea Scarrow was the perfect candidate for this position with her experience and understanding of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Family and Consumer Sciences, and 4-H.”

Scarrow has a personal background in Georgia agriculture.

“I grew up on a farm in Colquitt County, Georgia, and was also involved in 4-H growing up,” Scarrow said. “I’ve received so many valuable leadership experiences working in Extension that have helped to prepare me for this position.” 

Scarrow will transition to the Southwest District Extension director position after spending four years as the Southwest District FACS program development coordinator.

She began her UGA Extension career in 2007 as a county agent with a split appointment between Colquitt and Tift counties. She focused on financial education for bilingual audiences. After that she was the Colquitt County FACS agent from 2009 to 2014.

“Being the FACS program development coordinator exposed me to a lot of collaboration and cross-programming efforts between 4-H and ANR. I’m excited about supporting all three program areas,” Scarrow said. “I love the aspect of growing all program areas and focusing on strengthening our partnerships with county and civic governments as well as increasing our collaborations within the university and among agency partners.”

Scarrow looks forward to contributing to the professional advancements of the agents and staff members with whom she’ll be working. 

“Our Extension workforce is relatively young, and we are building back from harder budget years when there were many early retirements and a hiring freeze. That created somewhat of a leadership gap for us,” Scarrow said. “Professional advancement for agents and staff is critical to the whole organization and to agents and staff personally. I’m really excited about supporting the faculty and staff through professional development.” 

The Southwest District under Scarrow’s leadership includes Baker, Ben Hill, Berrien, Brooks, Calhoun, Clay, Clinch, Colquitt, Cook, Crisp, Decatur, Dooly, Dougherty, Early, Echols, Grady, Houston, Irwin, Lanier, Lee, Lowndes, Macon, Marion, Miller, Mitchell, Peach, Pulaski, Quitman, Randolph, Schley, Seminole, Stewart, Sumter, Taylor, Terrell, Thomas, Tift, Turner, Webster, Wilcox and Worth counties. 

For questions related to UGA Extension, call 1-800-ASK-UGA1.

Clint Thompson is an agriculture writer based in Tifton, Georgia.

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