About Us

Welcome to UF/IFAS Sumter County Extension.  Sumter County Extension is a federal, state and local partnership that provides research-based information from the University of Florida to the citizens of Sumter County. Our county government generously supplies us with a place to work and the funding to carry out our programs, which are mostly free to the public. We hope that you will contact us for solutions to any questions you may have in the areas of agriculture, lawns and gardens, nutrition and wellness, financial management, natural resources, livestock and dairy, and youth development (4-H).  We also have opportunities for volunteers to get involved in extension as Master Gardeners or 4-H Volunteers. Come see us and visit our publications room and our water conservation garden!

County Extension Director

 

Dr. Stacy Strickland

 

 

 

Extension Agents

 

Martha Maddox - Family & Consumer Sciences

Martha grew up in the Arkansas 4-H program, worked as a 4-H program assistant and Expanded Food and Nutrition Aid while attending college.  She has been involved in Extension programming since the age of 8.  She worked for the University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service as 4-H/FCS Agent for 13 years before coming to Sumter County, Florida in 1998. She currently is serving as the Family and Consumer Science Agent.

Education:  Harding University—M.S.E. Home Economics Education, specializing in general home economics education, nutrition, and geriatric nutrition.

Arkansas State University—B.S.E. Agricultural Education, specializing in agricultural education, animal science and nutrition, horticulture and greenhouse management.

 Duties:  The role of the Family and Consumer Science Extension Agent is to develop, deliver and evaluate research-based programs for individuals and families in Sumter County.   Family and Consumer Sciences programs provide practical information for families:  maintaining healthy lifestyles, life management skills and food safety.  Educational programming is linked to the county’s priority concerns which are determined by the Family and Consumer Sciences Advisory committee. Family and Consumer Sciences address real-world issues affecting individuals and families within our communities.  Programs are designed to help these individuals and families achieve well-being and life quality.  Family and Consumer Science Agent has conducted programs targeting elderly, school age children, low income families and middle age adults that promote an overall healthy lifestyle and provides skills to decrease risk of disease as well as addresses specific health concerns including heart disease, hypertension (high blood pressure), obesity, diabetes and food safety. Positive changes in lifestyle can have an impact on quality and longevity of life in addition to preventing and managing chronic disease.  Financial management classes are target to individuals and families that need to know how to stretch their dollar, how to establish and maintain a personal budget, manage and/or repair credit, and how to respond to a financial crisis.  Agent also provides training to the Master Food Volunteers and Sumter County Master Money Mentors.

Maddox was nominated and honored with Distinguished Service Awards by four different associations: National Association of County Agricultural Agents, National Extension Association of Family and Consumer Sciences, and National Association of Extension 4-H Agents.  She was also awarded the Continued Excellence Award from NEAFCS and FEAFCS and Meritorious Service Award from NAE4-HA and FAE4-HA.  All these awards are the highest honor an agent can receive from their professional associations.

 

 

 

Jim Davis - Extension Agent II Residential Horticulture, Master Gardener Coordinator and Florida Master Naturalist Instructor

Jim is a native of Central Florida and has been serving as an extension agent in Sumter County since May of 2006.

Education:  The University of Florida - M.S. Entomology and Nematology

The University of Florida - B.S. Environmental Horticulture, specializing in public garden management, with a minor in Entomology and Nematology

Duties:  The role of the residential horticulture extension agent is to educate Floridians on science-based, environmentally friendly landscaping practices and encourage residents to conserve and protect Florida’s natural resources by applying Florida-Friendly Landscaping™ principles.  Educational presentations are delivered to community associations, landscape professionals, box retail outlets, garden clubs and youth within Sumter County, including The Villages retirement community.  The agent is also responsible for training and recruiting Master Gardener volunteers to help carry out duties for the program. 

Certifications: 

Certified Horticulture Professional, FNGLA

GI-BMP Certified Instructor

Florida Master Naturalist Program Certified Instructor 

 

Lloyd Singleton - Florida-Friendly Landscaping and Urban Horticulture

Lloyd's primary focus is on equipping the commercial landscape maintenance and installation industry of our county with the latest research and best methods of sustainable landscape management practices.  His position is partially funded by the Southwest Florida Water Management District in partnership with Sumter County Board of County Commissioners and the University of Florida.  Lloyd comes to us from Palm Beach County where he served as the landscape manager for the world-famous historic oceanfront resort The Breakers Palm Beach. Prior to that position, he held the same title in central Florida for the theme park Universal Orlando which gives him 13 years of experience in the landscape profession.  

 

Kalan Agers - 4-H Agent

Multi County Extension Agents

 

Dr. Camille (Cami) Esmel McAvoy - Multi County Commercial Horticulture

Dr. Camille (Cami) Esmel has been serving as the multi-county commercial horticulture extension agent for Sumter and Pasco counties since March 2012.  She received her Ph.D. and M.S. in Horticultural Sciences from the University of Florida in 2011 and 2005, respectively.  Her research focus was in the areas of crop production and nutrient managment for vegetables.  She completed her B.S. in Evironmental Horticulture at the University of New Hampshire in 2002, where she specialized in greenhouse, fruit and vegetable production .  While at UNH, Cami was involved in floriculture research under the direction for Dr. Paul Fisher.  She was also a NH State FFA Officer, Academic Affairs Chair for UNH Student Senate, and a dormitory resident assistant while attending UNH.

She has received awards from the Florida Weed Science Society and the Florida State Horticulture Society for her presentations and publications about Florida agriculture.  Cami is a member of the Coastal Springs FNGLA Chapter, the Florida Blueberry Growers Association, the Florida State Horticulture Society and the American Society for Horticulture Science.

 

Ed Jennings - Livestock

Ed Jennings has worked with UF IFAS for over 22 years. Ed has a BS in Animal Sciences from the University of Florida and his Master's in Science Education from the University of South Florida.

 

 

Extension Staff

Donna Lester - Horticulture Program Assistant

Donna Lester has served UF/IFAS Extension Sumter County since 1999 as a Master Gardener Volunteer and then as a Program Assistant for the last 10 years. Raised in a Military family; born in Naples, Italy; home base has always been Florida (The Sunshine State).  Passions are family, friends, community, environment and serving with deep appreciation our Military Heroes.

Education:  Lake Sumter State College; work related educational classes.

Duties and Responsibilities: Serve and assist Horticulture Agents in programs and extension office personal. Tend to the needs of Sumter County residents and the MG volunteer membership, data entry for Volunteer Management System (VMS), MG bookkeeper; produce MG Volunteer Homespun Newsletter, articles, promotional and educational materials. Partner with devoted MGs in a Jr. Master Gardener program at the Sumter County Youth Center in Bushnell.    

Certifications:

Master Gardener Program

Florida Master Naturalist Program –Wetland Series

(GI-BMP) Green Industries-Best Management Practices

Teaching and Learning in Extension

Pro 3 Series Business Communications

 

Kimber Sarver - 4H Youth Development Program Assistant

 

Susan League - Coleman Federal Prison Project - Program Assistant

Susan became a Master Gardener Volunteer this year and works part time assisting with curriculum preparation for the Coleman project.

                                                

DarLinda Duteau - Office Manager

DarLinda is a native to Bushnell and has served at the UF/IFAS Extension Sumter County since 2011 as the Office Manager.  She previously worked for the Department of Corrections, Probation and Parole Services as Parole and Probation Specialist and Office Manager for 19 years.  She has raised two successful daughters in Bushnell, Jessica and Julia and her two granddaughters Jillian and Jelcee whom call her "Mawzey" also reside in Bushnell.  She volunteers her time to the Guardian ad Litem program to assist with children’s needs in the county that she loves, Sumter.

Education:  Concorde Career Institute; CPI Training with Citrus County Sheriff's Office, FCIC/NCIC, supervisor training and numerous other clerical/supervisory courses given through the State.

Duties:  Serve and assist clientele in Sumter County in the correct direction as needed for their particular issues.  Data entry, bookkeeping for Extension Office and 4-H Clubs, budget, ordering supplies, organizing office and office staff with time management, classes and their individual needs.  Work with county staff to ensure office equipment and facilities are maintained and running smoothly on a daily basis. 

Certifications:

Pro 3 Series Business Communications

Certified Child Protection Investigator

Supervisor Training

Numerous office/clerical/supervisory trainings