Extension Center's dairy specialist retires after 25 years

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Rickard replaced by former Ohio State University employee

After 25 years at the Barry County Extension Center, Dairy Specialist Tony Rickard has retired and his replacement has been hired.

Rickard served Barry County as the dairy specialist and county program director. His job consisted of working with people across Missouri, dealing with dairy issues and anything else with which he could help.

The Barry County Extension Center has hired Reagan Bluel in early July to replace Rickard as the dairy specialist. Bluel moved to the area from Columbus, Ohio where she worked as the dairy farm manager in the Department of Animal Sciences at Ohio

State University.

The Extension Center has not yet replaced the county program director for Barry County. Barry County Office Support member Becky Wogoman says the center plans on taking its time.

"The office is going to take some time and be patient before we hire another county program director," she said.

Rickard said the Extension Center wants to always meet the needs of the people, and he said he learned as he grew with the job.

"You start to know all of the things you didn't at the beginning," he said.

Since retiring, Rickard said he has been traveling with his wife. He said they planned on traveling in the northeast after to see friends and family, as well as to spend time with his dad on the family farm in Kentucky.

Though he has been enjoying traveling with his family, Rickard said the hardest part of retirement is trying to find a purpose and maintain it.

"I've been extremely lucky to have had a career that I enjoyed," he said. "I loved what I did. Always find something that you love to do or you could be miserable."

He says he has had offers to become a dairy consultant in Missouri as well as a couple outside of the state, so he may do that to help him maintain purpose.

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