As part of the job, she worked on an Internet-based program that can be found by visiting www.extension.org and choosing dairy cattle link. Before UK, McClanahan graduated in 2005 from Berea College with a degree in agriculture and natural resources.
"I've always wanted to work for the Extension Service," McClanahan said Monday. She grew up in Bracken County on a tobacco and beef farm. She attended Berea at the same time as her new colleague, Luci Hockersmith, Mercer County's agent for family and consumer sciences, but they did not know each other then.
Her two weeks here have been divided between training and trying to get out and meet some of Mercer County's many farmers. She is happy with the opportunity to work with farmers, "and help them meet their needs and improve their productivity."
She met some farmers at a field day earlier this month and she has met with others at farm organization meetings. She would like to meet more, but has no plans for a large gathering.
Sees potential in Mercer
McClanahan said she was not familiar with Mercer County before applying for the job, but she knows now that the county has a lot of potential. "I'm excited to be here for that reason," she said. She also is looking forward to the planned Kentucky Agriculture Heritage Center. Tourists visiting the center will bring a new audience to agriculture than in the past, she said.
McClanahan said she has not gotten any feedback on the fact she is a woman doing a job traditionally held by a man.
"Everyone has been welcoming," she said. "I'm sure there are some people out there that hold (a negative) opinion," McClanahan said, but she has not heard it.
In addition to her work with beef and dairy cattle and forage, she also has some experience with goats. She may need it. Mercer County ranks near the top of Kentucky counties with goat farmers and farms. She said Berea has a student-managed farm and her senior year she was the sheep and goat manager.
All in all, McClanahan just wants to be able to help Mercer County farmers improve and get the most of their farm land, and after some more training next week, she's looking forward to the job.