Sunday, November 12, 2006 - 7:00 PM

Extension Specialist Consulting: Tales from the Trenches, II.

Thomas Samples, John Sorochan, and Scott McElroy. University of Tennessee, 2431 Joe Johnson Drive Room 252, Knoxville, TN 37996

Historically, subject matter specialists with statewide responsibilities employed by University of Tennessee Extension, formerly known as the UT Agricultural Extension Service, have not been allowed to consult with clientele in Tennessee. In-state consulting by Extension specialists is considered a direct conflict of interest. A specialist can, however, when served a subpoena, testify as an expert witness within the state. Testifying in court or during deposition is often time-consuming, challenging and uncomfortable, especially if the specialist knows both the defendant and plaintiff personally. Agronomic consultants are licensed in Tennessee, according to category, by the Tennessee Department of Agriculture (TDA). Their licenses must be renewed and licensing fees paid to TDA each year. When consulting outside Tennessee, an Extension specialist must be on annual leave from the university and is required to report consulting activity. This presentation is intended to help answer the question: “What are my options when I am asked to consult?”