Rockdale County Extension Coordinator Jule-Lynne Macie is known as the “bug lady” and she likes that.
“I strive for people to lose their prejudgments of insects and realize that 97 percent of the world’s insects are good and they shouldn’t just stomp everything they see,” said Macie, who started Insectival in Rockdale in 2009 as a festival teach people about insects. “The Insectival was one of my favorite things to do here. I have a true passion for entomology and everybody knows that.”
Macie cares about more than just bugs and critters. With 26 years of service in Rockdale, Macie has coached several State Champion Youth “Envirothon” teams and led them to National Finals through the years, received national awards for her 4-H work, and had articles published in the International Society of Arboriculture magazine, among other accomplishments.
The perennial gardener and certified arborist also works closely with the landscaping community for successful gardening and holds workshops on a wide range of issues such as pruning trees, tree care and pesticides.
Macie was promoted this month to Agriculture and Natural Resources Program Development Coordinator for the Northwest District. She applied to the position in September 2013. She will work in the in the city of Griffin, where the University of Georgia Extension’s Northwest District Office is located.
Macie began her career as a Rockdale County Extension Agent in 1987. She moved to the county in 1991. Macie was promoted to Rockdale County Extension Coordinator in 1997.
In her position as a program development coordinator, Macie will be responsible for mentoring new agents, planning training sessions for issues across the district, helping seasoned agents with understanding new programs and working with state legislatures and county commissioners to garner support for issues related to farmers and agriculture. She says she’s received support from everyone in Rockdale and will continue to live and lend support to the county. Rockdale is included in the Northwest district Macie will oversee.
“Everyone tells me they’ll be sad to see me leave but they know it is a good thing for me to take on this new responsibility and I feel the same way. I will really miss coming to work here everyday,” said Macie. “My new position will call for me to offer instruction and support to extension agents in 40 counties, from Muscogee to Dade.”
Macie will also serve in her current position as Rockdale’s coordinator, working in the county office one day a week until a new person is selected for the job. She says the process of picking a new coordinator for the county should be completed by July or Augustt.
One of Macie’s mentees, Rockdale County 4-H Agent Brittany Johnson, says extension staff will truly miss Macie because she is a great leader, boss and mentor.
“Juile is widely known for her creative teaching methods and wanting to take people under her wing. That’s why she’ll be perfect in her new position, showing new agents the ropes. Working for Julie has been great. She’s more like a friend than a boss,” said Johnson. “With all her knowledge, expertise and passion to help other agents, we will all be sad but excited for Jule.”
On Wednesday, March 5, 5 – 7 p.m., extension staff will host a reception in honor of Macie’s work and service.
“It will be a drop-by party for people to come share memories and wish Jule good luck. We will have finger foods and refreshments. It should be a good time for everyone. We have two special presentations set up for 6 p.m. too,” said Johnson.
For more information on the reception, call 770-278-7373.