Frank Wood retired from Extension in Marshall County after 36 years of service. The Georgiana native received B.S. and M.S. degrees in agriculture from Auburn University.
Wood began his career in 1963 as assistant county agent-4-H before beginning work in Ag and Natural Resources in 1973. He served as county agent-coordinator in Marshall County from 1977 to 1999.
“We’re here to help people,” is the best advice Wood received as a young county agent, and he credits his mother and father for being such a positive influence in his life. “My mother was a teacher and local leader, while my dad soaked up all the information his county agent gave him. My dad also assisted with Extension demonstrations,” he said.
4-H was the starting point for most agents. Wood oversaw a number of 4-H projects over the years, ranging from steer and dairy shows to the county talent show.
Wood took a particular interest in several topics over the years, including weed science and animal nutrition.
Wood counts as his major influences county agent W.L. Martin and Robert I.D. Murphy. While it is difficult to pinpoint his proudest work accomplishment, he said it was gratifying that people believed in Extension, trusted the information they distributed, and knew that Extension would step up to help whenever needed. At the end of the day, Wood understood that the most important things was to earn the trust of the clients—which might mean sorting calves—not just giving advice or providing information.
A major challenge faced by Wood during his Extension career was information technology and managing all of the new advances. With so much information available to the public today, it remains the challenge of Extension to keep people aware that the organization is the source of the most unbiased, trusted information, and that Extension always has their best interest at heart, he says.
“The most significant scientific/technological advances seen during my career was the array of new crop pesticides in my early years,” says Wood. “Later, it was information technology.”
Wood has a son and a daughter and four grandchildren.