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Dana Lynch

Personnel Profiles

Dana Lynch

Dana Lynch finds her niche in Extension

Dana Lynch is a great county agent. She is caring, knowledgeable and dedicated to her clients in Monroe County. But, she has one major flaw. She's an Auburn fan.

"I love Auburn football, but I still pull for Georgia. They are my No. 2 team," she laughs.

Dana grew up in Snead, Ala., a little town located an hour from Birmingham and Huntsville. Her father raised cattle and grew row crops, but also supplemented the family's income with an off-farm job. Dana's mom worked with the Snead Farm Bureau office, which later became ALFA.

"I grew up on the farm. At one time, we also had six broiler houses," she said. "I was in 4-H from fifth grade through my senior year and I showed steers for four years."

Dana attended junior college at Snead State in Boaz, Ala. "I wasn't sure what I wanted to do, but I knew I wanted to better myself and find a way to make a good income. To do that, I would have to get a job outside of town because there was nothing there," she recalls.

A home economics professor from Auburn's visit to one of her classes led her to transfer there to major in fashion merchandising. "After my first quarter, I decided that was not for me," she said. Dana decided to major in consumer and family economics, a degree she hoped to use to land a job as a home economist working for a utility company or Cooperative Extension.

Her first job was in Birmingham, Ala., working at Alabama Gas Corporation as an administrative assistant on a pipeline project. She then became a secretary for the construction and new business development departments. "I quickly discovered that was not my cup of tea," she said.

For the next six years, she worked in Atlanta as a consumer information specialist for Atlanta Gas Light.

"I educated consumers about natural gas by providing programs in the schools and for adults. Another job responsibility was to test recipes for the calendar cookbook. I was also trained to be a kitchen designer, which was a free service offered to gas customers," she said.

When the company downsized, Dana moved back to Alabama. Eventually she and her family moved to Valley, Ala., and she took a job at Home Quarters in Columbus, Ga., as a kitchen designer. Her husband's job moved the family to the Macon, Ga., area where she has remained ever since.

After stints as a claims adjuster at Georgia Farm Bureau and a kitchen cabinet/appliances sales person at Home Depot, Dana finally found her niche in 1998 as the Monroe County family and consumer sciences agent.

Her favorite part of being a UGA Extension agent is helping people. "Sometimes you can see the rewards [right away] and sometimes it takes time and you don't see the effect immediately," she said.

Recently, she has been engulfed in helping residents in her county deal with health issues surrounding radon and uranium in their water supply and indoor air supply.

"We've had people who didn't know what their health issues were. We are helping them pinpoint the problems and educating them on the severe health issues this can cause. They need to know what to do and what to stop doing," she said.

In addition to her daily Extension work, Dana is hitting the books to complete her master's degree in ag leadership. She hopes to finish in December or at least by the spring of 2013.

When asked what she does in her down time, Dana replied, "What downtime?" She does enjoy reading but the now-single mom admits her sons' involvement in sports is her hobby. "They both play basketball, baseball, soccer and football so that keeps me pretty busy," she said. "I also like applying all that good knowledge I have as a home economist on my kids."

(Written by Sharon Dowdy, a news editor with the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.)

Released February 2012.