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Britnell retires from office in ‘agricultural mission field’

Andrea Williamson

Hartselle Enquirer

A Hartselle man retired Fri., July 31, after working 38 years in the same office.

Ronald Britnell served as a 4-H club agent; agricultural specialist; and, for the past eight years, Morgan County Extension coordinator. To celebrate his retirement, the Morgan County Extension staff hosted a party Tues., July 30, for Britnell and his friends, family and colleagues. In addition to enjoying finger foods and a photo presentation, Britnell was presented with three certificates of appreciation. Morgan County Cattleman’s Association President Robert Dotson presented one of the certificates and thanked Britnell for his service.

“There’s no way to describe what he means to us,” Dotson said. “He can’t be replaced, but hopefully we can establish a relationship with whomever is hired to replace him.”

Britnell said that he originally intended to become an agriculture teacher; however, he received a job offer from the Morgan County Extension system and decided to accept. Despite the fact that this was not a career path Britnell originally envisioned, he said that it was a fulfilling and interesting job.

“It has been a great ride,” Britnell said. “I continued to enjoy getting up and coming to work every day. There was nothing routine about my job. One moment I would identify a brown recluse, and the next moment I would try to diagnose a tomato plant problem. I’ve had a great staff who are good in their fields.”

As a retiree, Britnell said he plans to spend more time with his family, especially his four grandchildren. He also plans to fish, hunt, complete projects at his home and travel with his wife. Although he loved his career, Britnell said that the prospects of retirement are exciting.

“Thirty-eight years is a long time,” he said. “I’m looking forward to getting away and doing something different.”

Although he will be leaving and his replacement may not be hired for two to three months, Britnell said that the Morgan County Extension Office will still be open to those who need assistance.

“The extension office isn’t going anywhere,” he said. “We have very qualified agents who will still be available to help people and provide them with information they need.”

Britnell also provided encouragement to students who are interested in pursuing agricultural careers. Although he believes that the field is changing due to technology, Britnell said that it is still an open career for young professionals.

“Social media is changing the face of extension,” Britnell said. “The way that we get information to people is changing. However, there are still good jobs in agriculture. The population is increasing, and agriculture is the career that helps to feed the world. I consider this job to be an agricultural mission field.”

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