• Clara Cartrette

Dr. Dalton Dockery awarded Extension Leadership Award


Dr. Dalton Dockery grew up on a farm in Nakina and decided early on that he always wanted to be affiliated with farming.

He has fulfilled that desire, not by continuing to work on the farm but by going to school. He graduated from Nakina High School, earned a B.A. degree in agriculture and a Master’s degree in agriculture education at N.C. State University and earned a doctoral degree in leadership studies at N.C. A&T State University in 2015.

“All my life I knew I wanted to stay in agriculture,” he said. “I grew up on the farm and I knew that’s what I wanted to do.”

Just recently he was awarded the 2017 North Carolina Cooperative Extension Leadership Award. On winning that prestigious award, Dockery explained that there are six Cooperative Extension districts in the state and the award is presented to one of the agents annually.

Dockery is now serving as vice president of the North Carolina Agriculture Extension Agents Association that encompasses those districts, with fundraising as his main duty. After serving next year as president-elect, he will be elevated to the presidency in 2020, the first time a Columbus County agent will hold that position.

Dockery said he has been working with the Extension Service for 23 years, having spent two years as director in Bladen County and the rest of his service in Columbus County. “I love what I do,” he said, “and I’ve heard that if you like what you do, you’ll never work a day in your life. If ever a job was created for me, it was Extension. I love going out and visiting with the clientele.”

Dockery and his wife, the former Sheila Applewhite of Walstonburg in Greene County, were married in 1997 and they have two children, Bryson, 8, and Whitney, 13. Sheila was financial aid director at Bladen Community College for eight years and now holds that position at Southeastern Community College. “I’m thankful for the award and for being in Columbus County,” Dockery said.

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