Editor's note: Thomson resident Howell Roberts was recently honored by the organizers of the Washington Area Steer and Heifer Show. The following article appeared in the show's program, which was dedicated to Mr. Roberts.
Howell Roberts first became involved with the Washington Area Steer & Heifer Show when McDuffie County joined the organization in the early 1980s.
Mr. Roberts moved to Thomson in 1972 as McDuffie County Extension Director. As McDuffie County 4-H Coordinator, he involved 4-Her's in the steer & heifer show.
Through the years, Mr. Roberts served the Washington Area Steer & Heifer Show in various positions, played numerous roles and served in several capacities on the Board of Directors and as President. He initiated the transfer of show events to the computer, and his expertise in programming became his niche. He continued that tradition until his 1995 retirement from University of Georgia Cooperative Extension, yet his interest and involvement in the steer and heifer show never flagged. He continues his designated duties today and reminisces about many shows held in icy, snowy weather. He continues to represent McDuffie County on the show barn committee.
Mr. Roberts was reared on a small Burke County farm and attended Sardis-Girard-Alexander public school. He attended Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College, majored in agronomy at the University of Georgia, and earned a bachelors of science in agriculture. His extension career began in 1965 in Hart County where he worked primarily with 4-H. Following the move to McDuffie County, he earned a masters degree and gave leadership to the total extension program with emphasis in agriculture and 4-H. He received many honors and awards for his Extension programming, including district winner in Agribusiness Development and Distinguished Service Award for Epsilon Sigma Phi.
Mr. Roberts was active in the McDuffie County Cattlemen's Association, served as Secretary-Treasurer from 1984-1997, and was named County Agent of Commercial Cattlemen of the Year from Georgia Cattlemen's Association.
Mr. Roberts was active in his professional association, the Georgia Association of County Agricultural Agents; he held every office in the association, was awarded the Distinguished Service Award, and served as President in 1993. He was also involved in the National Association of County Agricultural Agents and was awarded the Distinguished Service Award from that organization. He retired after 30 years with extension and founded Thomson Net, Inc.
Mr. Roberts and his wife are members of Thomson First United Methodist Church where he continues to enjoy preparing breakfast for the weekly Youth Prayer Breakfast. They have two grown children with families, Kathy in Greenville, S.C., and Matt in Roswell; they have three grandchildren.