Lia Beddingfield Jumps the Fence to N.C. Cooperative Extension, Henderson County Center

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GOAT. In sports that usually means Greatest of All Time. Folks like Tom Brady (football), Muhammad Ali (boxing), Novak Djokovic (tennis), Ty Cobb (baseball), Wayne Gretzky (hockey). For the last decade, Lia Beddingfield has been more familiar with the usual meaning of goat. A furry farm animal. That’s because she has been in charge of the famous dairy goat herd at the Carl Sandburg Historic Site’s Connemara Farms.

N.C. Cooperative Extension, Henderson County Center, however, is proud to announce she is our newest employee as she became our Digital and Program Support Specialist on July 3. We hope you will stop by and welcome her to our office. Her experience with the public at Carl Sandburg brings with it a warm smile and calm demeanor that make her a welcoming presence as you visit our office. She is always eager to help.

Lia will expand the role of previous support staff. Not only will she be answering phones, greeting clients, and assisting in running the office, but she will also oversee our digital media such as Facebook, Instagram, and our website. Additionally, she will be working closely with our agents to help them with planning and implementing programs and preparing for these programs, workshops, and field days.

After graduating from Henderson County Early College, Lia attended Lees-McCrae College where she received her bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education in 2017. She has continued her education at North Carolina State University where she is working on a master’s degree in Parks, Recreation, Tourism, and Sports Management.

Lia comes to us with a wealth of experience that she accumulated as the Farm Operations Manager at Carl Sandburg. While she did care for the goat herd and researched the extensive history of the Chikaming dairy goat herd, she also developed an annual plan for breeding and kidding the herd and maintained all dietary and medical needs for the animals.

She oversaw 50-100 volunteers at the site which is a great asset with our great volunteer force in Extension. She also regularly presented formal and informal interpretation for diverse audiences regarding the farm. She delivered many educational programs for local and state news outlets. Additionally, she helped to plan and host many of the larger park events such as the Folk Music Festival, Sandburg Summer Sing Alongs, and Christmas at Connemara.

Lia is a great addition to our staff and can plug into many different areas among our programs. Given that the 4-H FRESH program has always partnered with the Carl Sandburg Home in caring for the goats, this will be a great fit for Lia to assist with that program. Her event-planning skills will be a great bonus as we plan workshops, tours, and other programs.

Also, Lia is recognized as a subject matter expert on volunteer operation leadership. She will easily be able to help us to better manage, organize, and expand the legion of volunteers that help Cooperative Extension expand it’s reach in the community. We are very glad to have Lia as part of our staff and look forward to working with her. We know you will look forward to working with her as well. Be sure to come by and say hello. We know she’ll make a good first impression.