FSA says sad goodbye to longtime employee

Published 11:00 pm Thursday, December 1, 2011

The Pike-Bullock Farm Service Agency folks couldn’t let Linda Wambles retire without expressing their appreciation and love to her in a big way.

Wambles was honored for 27 years of dedicated service to the FSA with a retirement reception Thursday afternoon at the FSA office in Troy. A large number of family and friends gathered to wish her well.

“Linda didn’t want us to make a big deal out of her retirement but, after all that she has meant to this agency and to our agricultural community, we couldn’t let her have her way,” said Jeff Knotts, county executive Pike/Bullock FSA. “For so long, Linda has dealt with the farmers from Pike County and those from surrounding counties who do business here in Pike County. She has always been pleasant and helpful and producers enjoy dealing with her.”

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Knotts said Wambles comes from a farming background so she knew and understood what farming is like.

Wambles’ last work day at the FSA was Nov. 30 but, on Thursday, she was back as the honored guest.

She expressed appreciation to those who came and said they will never know how much their friendships have enriched her life.

Wambles said farmers are the “salt of the earth” kind of people and she has enjoyed working with them so much over the years.

“Back 27 years ago, I was working for the bank in Brundidge and I wanted a job where I would have more time to spend with my children,” she said. “My dad (Harold Fleming) worked with the agency and told me about the opening. I applied but didn’t really think I would get it. But it has been the most wonderful thing for me.”

Wambles said what she enjoyed most was working closely with the farmers.

“In 2003, I was moved to a different position because of employee retirement,” she said. “Then, they did away with the peanut quota so I didn’t get to work as closely with the farmers as I did before. I missed that close working relationship. When times were bad, the farmers would come in and be really down. Then, they would come in very excited because they had a good crop. There were a lot of ups and downs but that’s the way it is with farming.”

Wambles said she has the world of respect for farmers and a deep appreciation for them.

“Farming is always a gamble and I’m not sure that most people realize what farmers mean to all of us,” she said.

As she steps away from the place and the people that have been so important in her life for 27 years, Wambles said she’s not misty eyed.

“Jeff told me that I’m not sad enough,” she said, laughing. “I will miss the people that I work with because they are the finest people in the world. But my retirement plans had been to help with the grandchildren and travel some with Don. But, I’m sick now and I’m hoping that retirement will give me more time to get well and, once I do, I will be able to do all of the other things I want.”