Abigail Pierce Named New Family and Consumer Science Agent in Henderson County
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It was only recently that we introduced you to Abigail Pierce. She began work at our office on January 3 as our new Support Specialist. Well, it didn’t take long to realize that she had some hidden talents of which we were not aware. When we advertised our Family and Consumer Science agent position, she asked if she could apply. Little did we know she had a whole different skill set and experience in that area.
So, beginning April 3, 2023, Abigail will become our new FCS agent. She is replacing Renay Knapp who retired about 18 months ago, but has recently filled the position on an interim basis until someone was hired full time. We appreciate Renay’s coming out of retirement to help us out. Abigail will take over an important program that includes education on food safety, food preparation, food preservation, nutrition, healthy lifestyles, and other similar subjects.
Abigail graduated from the University of Georgia where she received a bachelor’s degree in Agricultural Communications. She also has certificates in Local Food Systems and International Agriculture from UGA.
Most recently, Abigail worked as an assistant teacher at FernLeaf Community Charter School in Fletcher. Prior to that she was a school nutrition assistant and garden educator with FoodCorps and the Jackson County (GA) School System. In that role she taught weekly nutrition and cooking classes to PK-5th grade students. She also maintained the school gardens and taught students how to grow their own produce. She worked with the school nutrition department to source locally grown produce, meat and grains for the school cafeterias throughout the district and developed recipes using these local products.
In her job with Piedmont Provisions in Athens, GA, Abigail worked in a commercial kitchen to make jams, hot sauce and fermented products using local ingredients. She helped market the products and provided customer service while selling products at farmers markets. She has also worked at a couple of different year-round farmers markets in both Georgia and Michigan, managing sales, vendor relationships and marketing. So, she has good experience with Local Food Systems which is important for Henderson County.
Other previous experiences include six summers with Gwynn Valley Camp in Brevard as a cabin counselor and farm program leader. She also participated in an internship program that took her to Monteverde, Costa Rica. While there, she managed crop production and assisted in the care of cows, pigs and chickens on a permaculture farm. She facilitated connections with community members to share permaculture farm practices and research.
Additionally, Abigail worked as an assistant farm manager for an CSA-based, organic farm in Ann Arbor, Michigan. She helped manage seeding, transplanting and maintenance of the fruits, vegetables and herbs on the farm while managing the booth at the Saturday farmer’s market. In a similar role, she was the assistant farm manager of the University of Georgia’s 4-acre organic farm where she supervised student workers and community volunteers in the production of fruits and vegetables.
Little did we know when we hired Abigail in January, that she would soon be our FCS agent. We knew she had a diverse background and was extremely talented, but she was keeping a few of her talents up her sleeve. We expect Abigail to be a great addition to our staff of talented agents and program assistants as well as a great resource for our clientele. Abigail will soon be advertising new educational opportunities and programs of which you will want to take advantage. Be on the lookout as she develops her program. She just might want to teach you how to make a wonderful fresh salsa from local ingredients. You should jump at the chance because it’s mmm mmm good!