Alvin Harmon Wins Accolades for Service to MARE Center


(Thursday, February 14, 2008 8:17 AM EST)

Alvin Harmon has seen the Middleburg Agricultural Research and Extension (MARE) Center change in the 50 years he's worked there. He's watched many animals and staff come and go, but now he's the one the center will have to say good-bye to when he retires in April.

“We're absolutely going to miss him,” said MARE's development coordinator Donna McDonald. “He's been the go-to person.”

Harmon started in dairy when he began work at MARE in 1958, and continued working and learning new skills as the farm went on to research beef, agronomy and, finally, horses.

“There was a lot of change going from one animal to another,” he said.

“He brings a historical perspective,” McDonald said. “He's seen [the MARE Center] evolve through renovations and construction. The farm went from agronomy to horse research. He's a wealth of knowledge.”

Although being a research specialist for the center hasn't always been an easy job (he is one of three people who tend to the center's approximately 100 horses), Harmon has enjoyed his role at MARE.

“It's outside work and there's always something different,” he said.

Harmon has lived on the MARE farm for his 50 years of employment, but now that he's retiring, he and his wife are in the process of moving just outside of Warrenton.

Once they're settled in, Harmon looks forward to raising koi fish and spending time with his cats and dogs.

And even though he may not be working at the MARE Center anymore, he won't be a stranger, and plans on coming back every so often to check in.

“I'll miss being here, but we're not so far that we can't come back through to visit,” Harmon said.

Alvin Harmon began his work with the MARE Center in 1958.

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