Retirement reception honors Randy Hale

Published 11:00 pm Wednesday, November 14, 2012

The Pike County Soil and Water Conservation District Board of Supervisors hosted a retirement reception for USDA district conservationist Randy Hale Wednesday afternoon at the USDA Service Center.

Hale has been with the USDA for 38 and half years with 35 of those in Pike County.

He is only the fifth person to hold the position of district conservationist in Pike County.

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After graduating from Auburn University with a degree in agriculture, Hale was hired as an assistant district conservationist in Cullman in 1974. He worked there a year before moving to Jasper where he was in charge of the office for a year and a half before moving to Pike County.

“Pike County has been a great place to work,” Hale said. “I’ve enjoyed working with the people of Pike and Bullock counties. But, now, I’m looking forward to having more time to spend with my family.”

Hale said that he has “a few projects going” and is also looking forward to having time to do some things that he’s had to put on the backburner.

“I’ll finish out my term as chairman of the Farm-City Committee and I’ll be glad to help out at the (NRCS) office if they need me,” he said.

Elizabeth Motes, district board of supervisors chair, said she hates to see Hale retire.

“I tired to talk Randy out of it and I know that it was a tough decision for him but I understand family responsibilities,” she said. “Randy has done the world of good for Pike County. He knew how to work the politicians to get much-needed programs for our district. Randy went above and beyond what was required of him. He worked very hard for our farmers and there is no doubt that he worked in the best interest of our farmers and all of Pike County.”

Those who have worked with Hale during his 38 years at the Natural Resources Conservation Service joined family and friends in wishing him all the best in his retirement years. However, they all know that Hale is not ready for the rocking chair. He’ll continue to be as busy as a beaver; he just won’t be punching a time clock.

Jeff Knotts, Farm Services Agency (FSA) county executive director, has worked with Hale for 10 years and said he is, first and foremost, a professional.

“Randy has earned the respect of all of us who have worked with him,” Knotts said. “He has the knowledge and expertise necessary to do his job and he has done it extremely well. Randy has made a lot of friends over the years and has made many contributions to the farmers of Pike County. He has been heavily involved in other agricultural activities outside the NRCS and has made many contributions to agriculture in general. He will be missed.”

Tammy Powell, retired Pike County Extension coordinator, worked with Hale on the Pike County Farm-City Committee for “many, many years.”

“Randy provided a valuable service to the committee,” she said. “He was dedicated and hardworking and provided the committee with a lot of experience and guidance over the years.”

FSA program technicians who have worked with Hale over the years found Hale easy to work with and a gentleman always.

Linda Wambles, who recently retired from the FSA, worked directly with Hale on the CRP beginning in 2003.

“I enjoyed working with Randy and he got along well with the farmers and they enjoyed working with him,” Wambles said. “Randy was good to me and good to all of us. He is a good person and did a very good job at the NRCS and for the people of Pike County.”

Vickie Everage has known Hale for 20 years on the job and as a friend.

“I’ve had opportunities to go out in the field with Randy to check land and he is very knowledgeable about all areas of conservation,” she said. “Randy is a good friend and a Christian man. I know, if I ever need anything, he will stop what is doing and help me. Randy is the kind of person that you can always count on. We’ll all miss him.”