Hernando County Extension is a partnership between: University of Florida's Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, United States Department of Agriculture, and Hernando County Board of County Commissioners to provide scientific knowledge and expertise to the public. Operating as part of the University's Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, Extension serves each of the state's sixty-seven counties by providing information and conducting educational programs on issues such as sustainable agriculture, competitiveness in world markets, natural resource conservation, energy conservation, food safety, child and family development, consumer credit counseling, and youth development.
Meet the Extension Agents and Staff
Dr. Stacy Strickland
County Extension Director and Regional Specialized Extension Agent for Agriculture/Small Farms
Stacy holds a B.S. in Biology from Valdosta State University (GA) and a Doctorate of Plant Medicine from the University of Florida. He has been an extension agent since 2004 and county extension director since 2009. He lives in northern Hernando County with his wife, Keri and daughter.
Email Stacy if you have questions about farming, bugs, or diseases of plants in Hernando, Citrus, Pasco, and Sumter Counties.
Nancy holds a Bachelors degree in Psychology from Eckerd College and a Masters of Education from National Luis University. She has been the Hernando County 4-H Agent since January 1999. Her husband Jeffrey and daughters Jodi and Sara were 4-H members even before her. In 2010, she was honored to represent Florida as a National Distinguished Service award winner at the NAE4-HA national meeting.
Email Ms. Nancy if you would like to enroll your youth in one of the many diverse 4-H clubs in Hernando County.
Family and Consumer Science Agent
Scott is a native Floridian, born and raised on a dairy farm in Sumter County. He is an Air Force Veteran, and has a Bachelor's degree in Financial Management, and a Master's degree in Aeronautical Science. He has worked in Hernando County Extension for 4 years, teaching financial management and energy/sustainability matters. Scott and his wife, Julie live in eastern Hernando County.
Email Scott if you have questions about money management or housing questions.
Dr. William Lester
Urban/Commercial Horticulture Agent
Bill joined Extension in 2013. He completed his Doctorate of Plant Medicine from the University of Florida.
Florida-Friendly Landscaping™ Program Coordinator
Originally from Pennsylvaina, Lilly has been living in Florida for 36 years. She attended Hernando High School and College of Central Florida College. Lilly has been with Extension for a decade as a secretary before being selected as the FFL Coordinator.
Email Lilly your questions about water-efficient landscaping.
Ed Jennings - Commercial Livestock - Pasco County
Donna Beairsto is the administrative assistant.
Donna has worked for Hernando County Extension Service for 24 years. Born and raised in the Hudson Valley area of New York State, Donna has made Florida her home for 27 years. Donna manages the financial affairs of the Extension Office and various other duties supporting all the Extension Agents. She is a proud grandmother of 3 and lives in Brooksville.
The Extension provides scientifically-based agricultural, human and natural resources knowledge that citizens use in making decisions which contribute to an improved life.
The Extension Service is an educational program which exists to serve the educational needs of the local people. Extension Agents extend the resources of the University of Florida (our land grant university) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture in the following program areas: agriculture, horticulture, family and consumer sciences and 4-H. Educational programs reach out to people through meetings, seminars, educational materials, consultations, demonstrations, field days and computer networking.
Local advisory committees help Extension agents to identify needs and determine how best to address them.