Bill Tyson's teenage years were spent on farms working with cotton, peanuts, soybeans, corn and tobacco. Those days served as a prelude to what's been a successful career as a University of Georgia Extension agricultural and natural resources (ANR) agent in Bulloch County.
"That experience gave me the ability to see agriculture from several different aspects and venues," Tyson said.
Tyson appreciates the hard work farmers put into their crops and makes it his mission to assist in any way possible. He began his career in Extension in Bulloch County in July 1994 and then moved to Effingham County before returning to Bulloch in September 2014 as the ANR agent.
"I came back for the opportunity to work on higher row crop acreage," Tyson said. "It's diverse here. We have an annual farm gate value of $170.2 million."
According to the UGA Center for Agribusiness and Economic Development, Bulloch County is fifth statewide in cotton production, with a farm gate value of $38 million, and 18th in peanut production with a farm gate value of $11.4 million.
The variety of crops grown in Bulloch County means Tyson works with multiple farmers on a daily basis.
"Every day is different and that's what has always interested me about agriculture," he said. "It is amazing to see the impact you can have on agriculture. It has value; you see your work pay off for the state."
Tyson enjoys helping farmers with the problems they encounter. He focuses on weed and disease control and researches cotton varieties.
"The research I work on gives farmers local data," he said.
Tyson frequently hosts meetings with his farmers to discuss economic and production changes that are taking place, like the new farm bill.
Joann Milam, Southeast District director, said Tyson's relatable personality has made him successful in gaining the trust of other agents and farmers.
"People trust him," she said. "He's easy to talk to and he's knowledgeable. He is one of the most respected ANR agents in my district."
That trust translates into success for farmers and for Tyson. During Tyson's tenure, he has been awarded the Georgia King Cotton Award for his contributions to Georgia's cotton producers and the Peanut Education for Excellence Award for his work with peanut producers.
"I just enjoy working with folks in agriculture and making a positive impact," Tyson said.
Visit the UGA Extension Bulloch County website for more information about local programs.
Published April 9, 2015
William G. Tyson
Agriculture & Natural Resources
"Every day is different and that's what has always interested me about agriculture. It is amazing to see the impact you can have on agriculture. It has value; you see your work pay off for the state."
- Bill Tyson, Bulloch County ANR Agent