Possessing a smile that can light up any room, and a demeanor that can calm any tempest, Gail Adams established herself as a staple in her service area of Peach County. Sadly, those attributes will be missed with Adams retiring after more than 36 years of service for FVSU’s Cooperative Extension Program.
“I loved what I did, and I’m just excited about the next phase of my life,” said the long-time Family and Consumer Sciences (FACS) Extension agent. As a county agent, Gail provided various services including financial planning and proper food and nutrition methods to youths, seniors and other members of the community
Marc Thomas, director of field operations for FVSU’s Cooperative Extension program, praised Adams’ work.
“Through the years, Gail's talents and efforts have helped with Extension's success. We take pride in her accomplishments and commitment to excellence. Best wishes to her for many years to come,” Thomas said. Adams, who enjoyed promoting healthy and positive living lifestyles to her clients, fondly reflected on her FACS career. “I enjoyed working with children, senior citizens and the community as a whole,” Adams said.
A native of Fort Valley, Adams enrolled at then Fort Valley State College and majored in food and nutrition. She said her former instructors, Sharon Hunt, Dr. Linda Johnson and the late Gladys Grace, served as her mentors and helped prepare her for her career in FACS. “I thoroughly enjoyed being a student and working under their leadership,” Adams said.
As a student, Adams said she wanted to use her food and nutrition degree, but still had some doubts about her major and knew very little about applying her skills in the area of Cooperative Extension. That changed after she enrolled in an elective class titled Extension.
“I took the class, and that’s when I really learned about the Cooperative Extension Program. I actually fell in love with it, and I decided when I graduated that’s what I wanted to do,” Adams said. After graduation, Adams accepted her first job as a home economics program assistant in Houston County. After serving in that position for three years, she applied for the agent’s position in Peach County after Linda Early, FVSU’s first agent assigned to the area.
During her career in FVSU Extension, Adams experienced several eye-opening situations, including working and educating teen mothers about the importance of nutrition, and helping them hone their homemaking skills. She assisted parents and children in FVSU’s Head Start program, teaching them to make improvements in their lifestyles, helping them earn their GED and attend college.
In addition to educating young people, Adams also enjoyed working with senior citizens in the area. Imogene Mobley, manager of the Peach Senior Center in Fort Valley, said Adams’ highly anticipated visits will be sorely missed. She said Adams’ focused primarily on teaching senior citizens nutrition and how to prepare meals in needed proportions since most of them live alone.
“They (seniors) enjoyed her company every time she came to the center. She’s real nice and warm and in return they felt the same towards her. Every time she showed up with a smile, and would greet them and have one-on-one conversations with some of them,” Mobley said.
“I learned that you really have to humble yourself in this position and you have to put yourself in their (clients) shoes because so many times, we take things for granted,” said the retiring FVSU agent.
The lifelong Peach County resident said she will now spend most of her time with her children and grandchildren.
For more information about FVSU’s FACS program, call (478) 825-6296.