The Alabama Cooperative Extension System announced on Tuesday that Mike Clardy is the System’s new director of communications, strategic marketing and client relations (CSMCR).

Mike Phillips, the Alabama Extension director, said that Clardy is a veteran in the communications field and is well-known throughout the industry.

“Mike possesses a tremendous amount of talent, expertise, and leadership. He understands what we do in Extension: extending knowledge and improving lives,” Phillips said. “His leadership, coupled with a team of highly-talented individuals, will allow us to extend our credible, science-based information in many avenues—including print and virtual delivery, as well as utilizing our partners in the communications industry.”

Clardy began his role as head of the CSMCR department on Monday.

Clardy has spent the last 24 years of his career in the Auburn University Office of Communications and Marketing. There, he worked as a video producer, webmaster, media relations director and, eventually, department head. Prior to his time at Auburn, he was a news anchor in south Texas.

Clardy said that his days as a reporter in the early '90s were his introduction to the value of Extension’s information.

“County agents in Texas were excellent subject-matter experts for my stories,” Clardy said. “They were also a great resource when my father-in-law and I introduced game fish into the ponds on the family ranch near Laredo.”

Clardy moved to Alabama in 1998 leading him to continue conversations with Extension agents, but this time in Alabama.

“I had countless conversations with the Alabama Extension team,” Clardy said. “Topics ranged from helping turfgrass survive the summer to growing a better garden. As someone who has counted on Extension in the ways I have in the past, I’m excited to get a front-row seat to how it serves the state and region."

While he will oversee the continued operations of the communications and marketing team, he will also work to add the new client relations element.

The Alabama Cooperative Extension System is the primary outreach organization for the land grant mission of Alabama A&M and Auburn universities. Its educational programs grow from these two land-grant university campuses to serve the people of Alabama. The Extension System delivers science-based educational programs that enable people to improve their quality of life and economic well-being.

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