Mike McQueen was raised in Excel, Alabama where he developed a great appreciation for plants and nature at an early age. Weekly visits to his grandmother’s flower garden set him on a career path to agriculture/horticulture. McQueen obtained his Bachelor of Science degree (Landscape/Ornamental Horticulture) from Auburn University in 1980. He would return to his alma mater years later to obtain a Master of Education (Adult Education) in 2010.
After receiving his undergraduate degree , McQueen was self-employed as a landscaper for 21 years. McQueen joined the Alabama Cooperative Extension System in 2002, as a 4-H Agent assistant in Monroe County. In 2004, he began working as a Home Grounds Regional Agent serving southwest Alabama which is where he served out the balance of his Extension career. Over the years he served Baldwin, Butler, Clarke, Conecuh, Escambia, Mobile, Monroe, and Washington counties.
McQueen recalls that probably the best advice he received was from Gloria Musson, Consumer Science Agent. At the start of his career with Extension she said, “there are going to be a lot of opportunities with Extension, don’t try to do everything all at once; PACE YOURSELF.” Giving advice to a young agent today he would say: be consistent in everything you do.
McQueen chose his career path because he loves helping people and Extension’s mission is to share knowledge and tools for a better quality of life. What makes him most proud about his time with Extension was being able to help people and make new friends in the process. Of course, it wasn’t always easy getting people in some of the rural counties to attend programs, but it was worth the effort.
McQueen has been pleased to watch how Extension has become innovative in developing new programs and program delivery methods. He notes that many people are unaware of Extension and the great wealth of research-based information it has available.
Since retiring, McQueen has worked part-time with the Monroe County Extension Office. He enjoys gardening and working on projects around the house. Most important to him is spending time with his wife, mother, children, five grandchildren and their dog, Penny.