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Hertford Cooperative Extension welcomes new agent

WINTON – Hertford County’s Cooperative Extension now has a new face in the office. Caroline Lancaster, who began work last month, is the county’s new Agriculture Agent.

In her role as an extension agent, Lancaster serves as a resource for local farmers to connect them with up-to-date information about crops, changing technology, and the latest trends in agriculture.

“If a farmer has a question, they can come talk to me or I can go to their farm and see what’s going on,” she explained. “I can find the information for them or connect them with the right NC State specialist that can help them.”

Caroline Lancaster is new to the staff at Hertford County Cooperative Extension in Winton where she serves as an Agriculture Agent. Staff Photo by Holly Taylor

During this time of year, Lancaster’s work is focused on helping organize events like crop production meetings where farmers get specialized information or pesticide trainings where applicators can renew their license. In the summer, she’ll be helping with field crop trials to see how different varieties of seed react to different soils and weather conditions.

That’s one of the things Lancaster said she’s looking forward to about the job: being able to get out to the fields and see everything that’s going on.

“Being in the office is fine, but I’d prefer to be outside and go visit the farms,” she said.

Lancaster is originally from King William, Virginia, a small, rural community about an hour east of Richmond. She attended Virginia Tech to obtain a bachelors degree in Crop and Soil Science.

“And then I decided I wasn’t done with school yet,” she said, explaining that she’s also obtaining a masters degree as well in Crop and Soil Science from her alma mater.

She’ll graduate from that program in May.

Lancaster ended up in Hertford County simply because she was looking for a position with Cooperative Extension, something she’d wanted to do since high school. She expanded her search outside of her home state, and found an opening here in the Roanoke Chowan area. Growing up in a rural community and also working on the Eastern Shore during her graduate program helped ease Lancaster’s transition to Hertford County.

“Ahoskie is a lot bigger than any town on the Shore,” she noted.

The new agriculture agent said her goal is simply to provide whatever assistance local farmers need.

“I like helping other people. I hope people will use me as a resource,” she said. “I’m looking forward to working with the community.”