New Livestock Agent Abigail Whitaker Joins Henderson County Team

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The N.C. Cooperative Extension, Henderson County Center is pleased to welcome Abigail (Abby) Whitaker to our staff beginning December 1, 2021. Abby comes to us from Rockingham County where she has served as their livestock agent for the last three years. She will divide her time between Henderson and Buncombe counties.

Abby is from Mooresboro, NC, in Cleveland County. Her parents are both retired educators, her mom from elementary education, and her dad taught welding at Gaston College. Abby’s family raises beef cattle and hay on a small scale with her grandfather.

“I grew up heavily involved with working with my dad and poppaw,” Whitaker said, “which lead to a love for agriculture. I was active in FFA in high school. I chose Extension as a career because I felt it gave me the perfect middle ground of coming from a long line of educators, still being involved in agriculture, and getting to spend my time helping, teaching, and learning with farmers.”

Abby received her Bachelor’s Degree in Agricultural Science from NC State University in 2016 and went on the achieve a Master’s Degree in Agricultural and Extension Education from NC State in 2018.

While in Rockingham County, Abby developed a strong livestock program. She focused on several areas including pasture management, soil health, marketing animals, equipment demonstrations, farm safety, farmer health, and providing
livestock educational materials and consultations to livestock-focused 4-H clubs.

Her work in 4-H will come in handy in Henderson County as she has many 4-H youths with an interest in livestock. She will be a great addition to our 4-H programming efforts as well.

Abby spends her leisure time enjoying bluegrass and pottery.

“I enjoy bluegrass music and have played the mandolin for over 10 years,” she said. “Bluegrass jams are one of my favorite places to be! My dad makes wood-fired pottery and I have helped him with that for most of my life. I do most of our hand building, which primarily includes facejugs, but I have recently expanded into trying to make jewelry. I am looking forward to working in Henderson and Buncombe counties and can’t wait to see what is in store!”

We are pleased to have Abby join our staff and look forward to her work with our livestock producers and 4-H youth. Come by and welcome her when you get a chance.