Green-Holley announces retirement

Published 7:19 pm Saturday, August 16, 2014

GATESVILLE – Reba Green-Holley is a firm believer in the old saying that when you find a job you love doing, you’ll never work a day in your life.

She also has an understanding of when the time has arrived to retire.

Last week, the Director of the Gates County office of North Carolina Cooperative Extension Agency announced her retirement after a 33-year career in the county.

“I started work here on April Fools Day in 1981 and my retirement date is Halloween (Oct. 31) of this year,” Green-Holley joked as she broke the news to the Gates County Board of Commissioners at their regularly scheduled meeting on Aug. 6.

“It’s been wonderful; I’ve worked with some wonderful people over my career. I’ve done what ya’ll told me to do over these years. It’s bittersweet for me, but I can no longer afford to work for ya’ll,” she added with a chuckle.

“We thank you for your service, and we hate to see you go,” stated Commission Chairman Henry Jordan.

For Green-Holley, she is the first female and the first African American to hold this key position within a county that thrives on agriculture. Prior to her promotion to the Director’s desk in 1995, that position had been dominated for decades by white males.

“All things change somewhere along the line; they changed here in Gates County and it took a while for me to be accepted in this role, but once they learned how sincere I was, this office was, about the general health of agriculture here, the old guard began to warm-up to my role as a leader,” Green-Holley said in a 2013 interview.

While most think Cooperative Extension is all about meeting the needs of the agricultural community, the work is much broader than what meets the eye. In addition to agriculture, the Gates County office extends its umbrella to cover Family Consumer Science (FCS), 4-H and Youth Development, and Community Resource Development.

There are shared resources among Gates, Chowan and Perquimans counties to offer Aquaculture, Commercial Horticulture/Water Quality/Forestry, Livestock, and Consumer Horticulture.

Green-Holley got her start in Gates County Cooperative Extension in 1981. She was hired as the 4-H/Youth Development Agent. That position is currently handled by Keli Boone, a product of GatesCounty who grew up through 4-H.

She is also involved with several area organizations, serving on the boards of the Roanoke-Chowan Foundation, Albemarle Foundation, Community Benefits Board, First Citizens Bank Board, State ENC Board, Roanoke-Chowan Partners for Progress, and the Juvenile Crime Prevention Council.

She and her husband, Guy, have been married for nearly 30 years. They are the parents of two adult sons, Armond and Tarvaris.

A native of Greensboro, she obtained her BS degree in Home Economics from North Carolina A&T State University in 1976. There she was on the Dean’s List for each of her four years and a member of the Alpha Chi Honor Society.

In May of 1979, Green-Holley earned a Masters of Science degree in Home Economics-Clothing and Textiles from UNC at Greensboro. After a brief stint as an employee of NC A&T, she found her way to Gates County in the spring of 1981.

About Cal Bryant

Cal Bryant, a 40-year veteran of the newspaper industry, serves as the Editor at Roanoke-Chowan Publications, publishers of the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald, Gates County Index, and Front Porch Living magazine.

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