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Shane Curry

Personnel Profiles

Shane Curry

Shane Curry loves solving ag problems and helping people

Shane Curry says the favorite part of his job as a county Extension agent is helping people. This was evident recently when I called to interview him and was told he was "out cuttin' grape vines."

When he did take a break from helping people to chat with me, I asked him about his vine pruning tasks.

"I don't normally offer pruning services but when the gentleman called for advice and I found out he's blind, there was no way I was going to say 'no' to that kind of request," said the newly appointed Appling County ag agent. "He just had seven or eight vines. I would have still helped him if he'd had more, but I would have had to round up some help for me."

Curry joined the Baxley office in February after working as the county Extension ag coordinator and 4-H agent in Montgomery County for four years.

He's following in the footsteps of his father, David, who was a county agent in Early, Baker, Montgomery and Toombs counties. (Retired from Extension, the elder Curry now works as the county manager in Montgomery County.)

Curry was bit by the "ag bug" while watching his dad work as an agent. While in high school, he scouted cotton and tobacco and as an ABAC student he worked with scientists on the Tifton campus. His family owns a pecan and pine tree farm and he's grown various fruits and vegetables for roadside sales over the years. He also served four summers as a 4-H camp counselor; three at Rock Eagle and one on Jekyll Island.

"When people call or come by to see me, it's my job to help them find a solution to whatever they are dealing with," he said. "County agents are always out there in the community and people come back and tell us 'thank you' and that's nice to hear."

Curry is adjusting to his new position in what he calls a "tremendous ag county." "We have a little over 2,000 acres of blueberries, 25,000 acres of cotton, and that will likely increase, 7,500 acres of soybeans, 900 acres of pecans, 900 acres of tobacco and 14 acres of strawberries," Curry said.

Curry enjoys doing research and plot work and "ultimately finding better ways to do things and put more money in farmers' pockets and more food on our tables."

Newlyweds, Curry and his wife Jessica make their home in New Branch which is located in Toombs County. The couple likes to go fishing, take cruises, cheer on the Georgia Bulldogs and compete in barbecue contests.

Curry says he "got into barbecue contests by accident" while searching for fundraising opportunities for his 4-H'ers in Montgomery County.

"I've always enjoyed barbecuing and a couple of friends told me hosting a contest was a good way to raise money," he said. "After attending a contest with my wife, I enjoyed it so much that I went to a class, became a judge, bought a new cooker and started competing."

He never hosted a contest in Montgomery County, but he did raise money by selling Boston butts and barbecue plates he cooked on his new cooker. "We cooked a lot of barbecue for 4-H fundraisers over the last few years and raised over $5,000," he said.

Shane Curry and wife, JessicaCurry modestly says his barbecue sauce is highly regarded by all who taste it. He must like it, too. He used it to propose to his wife.

"I proposed to her at the Big Pig Jig (in Vienna) by spelling it out in barbecue sauce," he said. "And, we used bottles of the sauce as our wedding present to the guests. People were taking two bottles at a time and offering to buy it."

The Currys' barbecue adventures haven't won them "a big check" yet, but their sauce did place 15 out of 150 entries at the Big Pig Jig.

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

Released March 2011.