Clinton County farmers will see a new face when they visit the local University of Kentucky Extension office.
Colby Guffey was recently hired as Extension Agent for Clinton County with his first day on the job coming last Friday, March 1.
Guffey replaces long time agent Phil Smith who recently retired from the position.
“It was a little overwhelming at first,” Guffey said. “It’s a lot different going from something I’ve been comfortable at for nine years to this.”
Guffey had spent nine years working for Equity Group, Kentucky Division.
“I want to thank them (Equity Group) for allowing me to be at my position,” Guffey said. “They are an excellent company to work for and there are a lot of good folks who work out there.”
Guffey’s previous job was to represent the poultry company at the different farms located in and outside the county.
“I was basically helping the poultry growers to become profitable,” Guffey said.
Guffey is a 1997 graduate of Clinton County High School. After graduating, Guffey went to school at Western Kentucky University and graduated with an agriculture degree. After college, Guffey said he came home to Albany and farmed full time for two years before taking a position at Equity Group.
The passion Guffey has for agriculture was one of the reasons he decided to apply for the extension agent job.
“I’ve been in agriculture all my life and I have been given the opportunity to give back to the agriculture community in the county. The most interesting fact about the UK Extension Service is bringing scientific, fact-based research through this office and distributing it to the farmers here in the county.”
Having the University of Kentucky’s research department at their disposal is a key factor in helping farmers in Clinton County to make informed decision about their farms.
“Being from this county, I already have strong relationships with most of the ag leaders in the community,” Guffey said. “I look forward to building new relationships. I want to strengthen the ones I already have and build new ones along the way.”
Guffey said building the new relationships with ag leaders in the community is probably one of the best things about his position.
“I think that is the most important thing,” Guffey said.
Being involved in the agriculture community, Guffey said he doesn’t think farming is declining in the county.
“I think our ag community in the county is strong,” Guffey said. “With the addition of Bluegrass Stockyards … that is an excellent recourse for cattle farmers in the area to use in order to help make them successful. In addition to the stockyards, in the past 10 or 12 years, Equity Group has been responsible for adding new growers as well as Cobb who has added new layer facilities. There have been some opportunities here that have helped people to continue to farm.”
In upcoming weeks, Guffey said soil testing will be one of the first things to come through his office.
“It’s getting that time of year when farmers will be testing their soil to get ready for the growing season,” Guffey said. “If they don’t know they can use this office, I hope we can get them in here. I’m not going to have all the answers, but we will find someone who does.”
Among helping the farmers, Guffey said his office branches out with Christy Nutzman’s Consumer Science office on several projects throughout the year.
“We can tie in the consumer sciences division back into agriculture,” Guffey said. “Any issues farmers are concerned about they can come by or call and we can go out and see what their issue is. We will find someone who can help us with their problem.”
Being in agriculture, Guffey has also served as Chairman of the Farm Bureau Young Farmers Board of Directors.
Guffey, along with his wife Sarah Beth, will have the chance to serve on the Farm Bureau’s state advisory committee for three years.
“I’m looking forward to continuing those relationships with Farm Bureau,” Guffey said. “You have to know a little bit about everything with this job and that is just going to come with time.”