Betty Baird

Betty Baird

As a home economist and county Extension director, Baird served the people of Lexington County for 27 years beginning in 1970.

"You could find her crawling under a house in search of moisture problems or helping a 10-year-old with a 4-H project," said colleague and protégé Pam Ardern, who directs Clemson's 4-H and Youth Development programs. "She was definitely a team player. She helped Lexington County make the transition from rural to suburban and urban."

Instrumental in helping establish the Leadership Lexington program, Baird also developed the Lexington County Extension Homemakers Council into a self-sufficient community organization with 30 local clubs and more than 450 members - the largest in the state.

Baird was recognized both for her service and her vision. Before the county had recycling centers, she helped develop and conduct the Master Waste Educators Program. She was also on the front lines of the 1986 haylift distribution for drought-stricken farmers.

Her career was award-winning literally from start to finish. She was named the Savannah Valley "Rookie of the Year" in 1975 by the S.C. Association of Extension Home Economists and claimed the Distinguished Service Award in 1984 in both the national and state associations.

"Betty always supported the people of her county, her 4-H'ers and her coworkers," Ardern said. "She was my support and encouragement."

Media Releases

The Newsstand: Inductees in Lever County Agent Hall of Fame exemplify Extension vision