Pat Cobb is a veteran Extension specialist who served the state of Alabama for 20 years. She is a native of Prattville, Alabama, with a bachelor’s degree in biology, a master’s degree in entomology and a Ph.D. in entomology. During her tenure with Extension, she served as an extension specialist on the state staff and an Extension entomologist and professor in the Auburn University Department of Entomology and Plant Pathology.
Cobb chose a career in Extension because it allowed her to continue her passions for teaching and research, and she loved that Extension work was with “real people.” She says the greatest piece of advice she ever received was, “Remember—you’re in the people business; you’re just doing it through entomology.”
Cobb’s passion for teaching and empowering others through education is evident through her proudest accomplishment. Though she has received numerous awards for her service, including winning the “Distinguished Service Award” at the 1998 National County Agricultural Agents Meeting, she claims her greatest professional moment to be when a former student followed in her footsteps to become an Extension specialist. In Cobb’s words, “No award or plaque I ever received could top that!”
Cobb believes that one of the biggest challenge’s Extension faces today is having the time necessary to fulfill all the needs for information and problem-solving in Alabama agriculture.
Cobb thinks it is necessary for Extension and all aspects of the Land Grant System to be open to change. She hopes that all university administrators fully realize the importance of the county Extension professional’s outreach and that they are the “face of Auburn” to many citizens in the state.
“The biggest challenge today is identifying and funding programs that address real needs within the parameters of our Land Grant mission. Let’s listen to what County/District personnel perceive as needs,” she says.
Since retirement, Cobb continues to live in the Auburn-Opelika area with her husband, Dick. She spent her first two years as a turfgrass entomology consultant and has recently published a book tracing her early years, career path and working years.
Cobb has two sons, seven grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.