Conservation Programs Technician
- Retired from Farm Service Agency after 32 years of service
- Experience with conservation programs, participant eligibility, farm/tract eligibility, payment limitations, and all programs administered through USDA
My name is Karla Perry. I was born and raised in Winona, Mississippi and have lived there all my life. I attended the Winona Public School system graduating High School in 1975.
I have two children with families of their own. My son and his family live in Ackerman, Mississippi. My daughter and her family live in Hattiesburg, Mississippi.
Near completion of my senior year of high school, I applied for a summer job with Independent Linen, a local company that supplied linen services to businesses in Montgomery County and surrounding counties. I went to work for them in June of 1975, immediately after graduation, thinking it was only for the summer. However, when the owners found out that I was not going to attend college, they offered me a full-time job and I accepted. Eventually, I was moved into their computer department and became the Head Computer Operator.
In 1977, Independent Linen sold to Southern Quality. They had offices in Jackson, Mississippi, and Chicago. For training, I traveled with the company to Jackson and Chicago.
After a few years with the Southern Quality, I was given the position of Market Center Secretary. That position offered me the opportunity to work for both the President and the Vice President of the Winona office. I was employed for 7 years until they decided to close the offices in Winona and Jackson in 1982.
In the fall of 1983, I went to work for Robert Embry at Embry Office Products. I kept the books for Mr. Embry’s office supply store until he decided to close and move his business to Oxford in 1985.
I began the job search once again in the summer of 1985. A friend told me that the Montgomery County ASCS Office, now known as USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA), was interviewing. I began my career with the USDA’s FSA office on December 5, 1985.
During my career with FSA, I had many responsibilities including farm compliance, price support, farm records management, computer console operator, farm eligibility and producer eligibility records, and acting County Executive Director.
I worked closely with the Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) administering conservation programs that would benefit farmers and landowners in the county. I retired in 2018 after 32 years of service with the FSA.
I have known Nick Thomas, President and Founder of STEWARD LINK, having dealt with his father and mother through FSA. Over the years, Nick had visited the FSA office where I worked numerous times and welcomed me at STEWARD LINK if I decided to retire.
In April 2018, after retiring from the FSA, I joined Nick at STEWARD LINK to assist with a focus on overall USDA program compliance. I have been blessed with good job opportunities and great employers over the years. I look forward to learning and working with Nick and the STEWARD LINK team.
Office Manager and USDA Program Compliance Officer