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Ag agent a problem solver for farmers in need

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By Alix Mattingly

 

Traci Missun has become indispensable to the local farm community.

“Generally when I have a problem I call Traci, and if she doesn’t have the answer, she finds it,” Caldwell Willig, president of the Oldham County Cattlemen’s Association, said. “She’s done a lot for me as a farmer. She’s very supportive in a lot of ways in terms of our farm.”

That determined focus earned Missun the title of Outstanding Agriculture Agent for District Three, which consists of Louisville and northern Kentucky. Missun is the agriculture and natural resources agent at the Oldham County Cooperative Extension Service. The service, sponsored by the University of Kentucky’s College of Agriculture, is an outreach program that provides research based-information to communities.

Missun’s award comes from the Governor’s Office of Agriculture Policy. To be a candidate for the award, an agriculture agent has to be nominated. Missun is unsure of who nominated her, but was humbled by the experience, she said.

“From my standpoint, working with farmers is what I like to do. Helping them get information and doing my best for them makes me happy. I don’t know if I really did anything special,” she said.

One of Missun’s nominations came from Henry County extension agent, Steve Moore.

“Traci is a rising star in the ranks of county extension agents in Kentucky and is a great team player with her Oldham County staff and the agriculture agents in this extension district,” Moore said. “Personally and professionally, it is a pleasure for me to work alongside Traci as an agriculture educator.”

Missun has been a farm girl all of her life. Raised on a tobacco and cattle farm, Missun’s family grew forage crops and vegetables to make their farm nearly self-sufficient.

“I learned a long time ago that it’s not just me teaching farmers, I learn a lot from them,” Missun said.

Her upbringing gave way to a master’s degree in agriculture from Murry State University. After graduation, Missun worked with the Princeton Extension office where she became interested in becoming an agriculture agent.

“I come from a farm family and to be able to help farmers be more successful and to be able to help people who are like my family (is why I become an ag agent),” Missun said.

Assisting farmers in deciding if the cost-share program is a viable resource for their farm is a key part of Missun’s job. By serving as an educational liaison between UK, the Governors Office of Agriculture Policy and the community, Missun has become a valued asset for Oldham County.

“We have a talented group of cattle farmers here, focused on doing things the right way and producing a quality product for consumers and themselves,” Missun said in an email. “I am glad and fortunate to work with them.”

Email us about this story at amattingly@oldhamera.com.