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Clemson University
college of agriculture, forestry and life sciences clemson university

Thomas Dobbins

Professor and Associate Dean of Outreach and Engagement, and Director of Clemson Cooperative Extension
Extension Administration office

Office: 103 Barre Hall
Phone: 864-656-3382



Educational Background

Ph.D. Vocational-Technical Education
Virginia Tech 1999

MAG Dairy Science
Clemson University 1988

AS Agriculture
ABAC 1980

BS Agricultural Education
Clemson University 1982


Thomas Dobbins serves as Director of the Clemson University Cooperative Extension Service and Associate Dean of Outreach and Engagement for Clemson University’s College of Agriculture, Forestry and Life Sciences (CAFLS). As the Cooperative Extension Director, he provides leadership for the Clemson University statewide Cooperative Extension system. He is responsible for overseeing programmatic activities, personnel, budgets and strategic planning. He is also responsible for building and maintaining relationships with strategic partners such as the SC Departments of Agriculture and Education, SC Farm Bureau, SC Forestry Commission, SC Department of Natural Resources, USDA Farm Service Agency and agricultural lending agencies.

He previously served as a professor and program coordinator for the undergraduate and graduate programs that prepare Clemson students to teach agriculture in high schools across the state. He also served as Chair of the Agriculture Division in the School of Agricultural, Forest and Environmental Sciences (now CAFLS). His Extension career includes positions as a County Agent, 4-H Dairy Project Leader, Secondary Agriculture Teacher, Area Agent for dairy and Extension Associate for dairy. He received his PhD in vocational-technical education from Virginia Tech, a master’s degree in dairy science and a bachelor’s degree in agricultural education from Clemson University, and an associate degree in agriculture from Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College.

He grew up on a cotton, row crop and beef farm in Townville, South Carolina, which later changed into his family’s dairy operation. As the 7th generation to live on the family farm, he has learned the values of hard work and dedication to agriculture. He was very active in 4-H and FFA (Future Farmers of America) with projects including beef/dairy cattle and swine and served as the SC FFA Association president. He is married to Tracey and has one son, Troy (husband to Taylor), a granddaughter, Caroline, and stepdaughter, Emma. In his spare time, he and Troy are working towards converting the family dairy operation back to a beef production farm.

Research Interests

Pre-service and In-service Teacher/Extension Education Preparation
Integration of Math and Science into the Secondary Agriculture Curriculum
Life Knowledge Skills

Extension and Outreach

Cooperative Extension fulfills one-third of Clemson University’s land-grant mission of research, teaching and extension by serving as the primary public service outreach arm of the University. We improve the economy, environment, and well-being of South Carolinians through the delivery of unbiased, research-based information and education.

Cooperative Extension works to help support South Carolina’s $51.8 billion agriculture and forestry industries; strengthen families and communities; improve stewardship of natural resources and the environment; strengthen connections between people and their food; and expose South Carolina youth to opportunities in agriculture, science, technology, engineering and math.

The Clemson University Cooperative Extension System has offices in all 46 South Carolina counties and at each of the six Research and Education Centers as well as main campus.

Our educational offerings cover the following:

The 4-H Youth Development program empowers youth to become healthy, productive, and contributing members of society.

The Agribusiness program provides information and education on the use of business and economic principles for making decisions involving agriculture, natural resources, and communities.

The Agricultural Education program provides educational programs for both youth and adults in agriculture, food and natural resources

The Agronomic Crops program provides information on crop production that enables row crop producers to improve the sustainability of their operations.

EFNEP delivers practical, hands-on nutrition education in four core areas: diet quality and physical activity, food resource management, food safety, and food security.

The Food Systems and Safety program team provides educational information related to food systems (processing, packaging, distribution, and consumption of food) and food safety for the food industry and consumers.

The Forestry and Wildlife Resources program provides information to improve the quality and economic potential of land, timber, wildlife, and other natural resource pursuits.

The Horticulture program provides educational resources to improve the horticulture industry, communities, and quality of life for consumers.

The Livestock and Forages program provides educational resources and programming to educate animal agriculture and forage producers.

The Rural Health program focuses on health and nutrition, including topics related to nutrition, physical activity, and stress management for disease prevention, disease self-management, and overall quality of life through wellness.

The Water Resources program utilizes the expertise of faculty, agents, and staff in providing information that affects the availability and quality of water resources.


Clemson Cooperative Extension
College of Agriculture, Forestry and Life Sciences
College of Agriculture, Forestry and Life Sciences |