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Ranger Nick Attracts Crowd at Carroll EMC Ag Seminar

Carrollton, GA—Carroll Electric Membership Cooperative (EMC) was the place to be the evening of Thursday, April 11. Wild animals captivated an audience of both children and adults at the co-op’s biannual agribusiness seminar as “Ranger Nick” Fuhrman of the University of Georgia (UGA) brought out some cold-bloods that get a bad rap—reptiles and amphibians.

Farmers are in a near-constant struggle with wildlife that can damage crops, disrupt livestock or pose other challenges to their farming operations. While some are real threats, others are simply misunderstood. Ranger Nick, professor of Environmental Education in the Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources at UGA, is known for using animals as ambassadors, and his friends Sharon, Snowy and Sanford made special appearances during the keynote. The three-legged Eastern box turtle, albino corn snake and smiling salamander may seem of little value to the common person but Ranger Nick knows they serve a niche role in their ecosystems and even help with public speaking anxiety.

“They have helped many, many students at UGA overcome their fear of speaking in front of an audience,” said Ranger Nick. “I’ve seen a linebacker stand in front of a classroom holding Sharon with shaking hands, but by the end of the presentation, they had relaxed a bit.”  

His tactics were proven true as farmers, students, educators, business leaders and elected officials alike shared smiles and laughs as Ranger Nick told stories of how he came to adopt his “assistants.” He also offered simple reminders of safety to leave all snakes alone if unsure of their species and to check grassy areas for turtles before mowing.  

“This is so special to me,” he concludes. “All these animals and their stories, they are a part of my life. It’s what I do and what I love talking about. I am so thankful to talk about things I love and hopefully inspire folks to do something to help them.”

The cooperative will host another seminar in the fall centering on agricultural education. It is free of charge and open to the agricultural community and cooperative stakeholders. Details for registration will be shared later in the year.

Carroll EMC is a Member-owned cooperative providing electricity to approximately 54,000 homes and businesses. The co-op serves Members in Carroll, Haralson, Heard, Paulding, Polk, Floyd and Troup counties. This institution is an equal opportunity provider and employer. For more information visit the cooperative’s website at or follow Carroll EMC on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, X and YouTube. Carroll EMC: Community Built. Community Builder.


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