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New extension director earns County Council confirmation

Posted On: November 5, 2019

New extension director earns County Council confirmation

It’s definitely a happy homecoming for Brad Burbaugh.

A Volusia County native, Burbaugh is literally returning to his roots – where he began his professional journey as an agricultural teacher and FFA advisor in the Volusia County School District. Since then, Burbaugh has worked in Duval County, Clay County, Virginia Tech and the Virginia Cooperative Extension and also has gone on to earn a master’s degree and Ph.D.

On Tuesday, Burbaugh won unanimous confirmation from the County Council as the next Volusia County extension director. Burbaugh will replace Director Sharon Gamble, who’s retiring next month after a 36-year career with the University of Florida/Volusia County Extension.

“It’s good to be back home,” Burbaugh told the council Tuesday morning. “I’ve been gone for 16 years, and it makes me extremely happy to be back close to my family and give back to the community that’s given me so much.”

The University of Florida/Volusia County Extension, or UF/IFAS Extension, is a partnership between the University of Florida and the county to provide educational services to the community covering topics such as natural resources, livestock, commercial and urban horticulture and family and consumer counseling. Burbaugh, who came highly recommended, was selected by UF for the position and the county manager and council wholeheartedly concurred.

In fact, County Manager George Recktenwald said the university told him that Burbaugh is one of the best extension service agents in the state. “His credentials are impeccable,” said Recktenwald.

Burbaugh served as an extension agent in Virginia and Duval County before being appointed as agriculture extension director in Clay County, where he also holds the dual title of mosquito control director. He has a bachelor’s degree in agricultural education and communication from the University of Florida, a master’s degree in government policy and administration from the University of North Florida and a Ph.D. in philosophy from Virginia Tech and is considered an expert in agricultural leadership.

“Thank you, and welcome aboard,” Council Chair Ed Kelley told Burbaugh moments after Tuesday’s unanimous confirmation vote.

Gamble, who started with the Volusia County Extension in December 1983, is retiring on Dec. 31.

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