It was standing room only Friday as friends and family gathered to celebrate a career that has spanned three decades.
Dawson County's longtime extension agent Clark Beusse announced earlier this year he would retire. Today is his last day on the job.
"I've enjoyed it. It's been an excellent career," he said. "Anytime you can find a job where you're making a living financially and at the same time find satisfaction in serving others and you enjoy it, what more could you want?"
During the 20 years he's served Dawson County, which followed about a decade in Forsyth and Cherokee counties, Beusse has been active on numerous boards and committees.
"I wanted to be involved. As an extension agent, my job is to look at the needs of the county," he said. "An extension agent needs to get involved in the county to look for things ... you can do to help."
Among his proudest accomplishments as the local agent, Beusse counts his work to secure the county's old library for the agriculture center and establishing its first produce market.
"Those are two things that I am proud of that Dawson County didn't have when I got here and I saw a need for and worked towards," he said.
He was also instrumental in developing a leadership program through the Dawson County Chamber of Commerce and helping establish Keep Dawson County Beautiful.
Linda Williams, chamber president, said Beusse has left a legacy through his contributions to the community.
"There are so many people in this room that have grown as leaders by going through Leadership Dawson, and we thank you for that," she said.
Jane Berg spent many years working alongside Beusse through Keep Dawson County Beautiful.
"He has been such a good friend over the years," she said.
Growing up on his family's cattle farm in Madison County, Beusse knew at a young age he wanted a career in agriculture.
"When I was in the fifth or sixth grade, I joined 4-H, became an officer in my club and started hanging around the county agent's office," he said.
After developing a friendship with the local extension agent, Beusse graduated from the University of Georgia with a degree in animal science.
He later earned his master's in public administration, which he said served him well.
As for retirement, Beusse and his family will be around. "This is home, so we're not planning to go anywhere," he said.
Beusse does plan to take advantage of newfound free time by devoting more time to the family's farms, which have been passed down from generation to generation.
"I want to get back to my roots," he said.
Beusse will also spend the next several weeks mentoring his successor, Clark MacAllister of Rockdale County, who will be stationed in Dawson County, but will also be responsible for Lumpkin County due to budget cuts.
"He's a plant science major, so he'll have a real good knowledge of shrubs, trees, lawns, gardens and that kind of stuff," Beusse said. "When it comes to the livestock stuff, he's going to have to learn.
"But I had to learn. I didn't know anything about pumpkins and plants when I got here."