Akridge retires from Agricultural Research Unit

Published 11:07 pm Tuesday, December 17, 2013

One of Ken Kelley’s favorite times to see Randy Akridge at work has been during Farm Safety Day, when local school children learn about agriculture from the director of Brewton’s Agricultural Research Unit for Auburn University.

“It’s amazing to watch what he and the staff do for the kids,” said Kelley, extension service director for Escambia County.

Kelley and dozens of family, friends and colleagues celebrated Akridge Friday during a retirement party at the Country Club of Brewton.

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Auburn officials and community members thanked Akridge for his service to Auburn and to the community.

Mobile County extension agent James Miles said he appreciated Akridge’s calm demeanor in the face of controversies.

“Randy’s the kind of person I want to grow up to be like,” he said. “He’s the kind of person I want my son to be like.”

Former extension service director Buck Farrior said Akridge has been a leader for Auburn and for the community.

“To Mary Charles and the kids, he’s a family man, a loving husband and father,” Farrior said. “To the community, he is someone who helps with your problems. For his co-workers, we knew he was precise and had a vision.”

State Rep. Alan Baker presented Akridge with a House resolution recognizing his contributions to the community and to agriculture.

“The last 36 years have been very special,” Akridge said. “I’ve always been lucky to find people (to work with) who were conscientious, who wanted to do a good job.

“I’m appreciative of the people in Brewton. This has been a very special day for me and will be special to my family for years to come.”