The Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service has announced the hiring of new county agents in districts across the state.
AgriLife Extension employs county agents to serve every Texas county. These county agents are the agency’s connection with the people in communities. They are instrumental in providing hands-on education and programming based on scientific research.
A complete county agents list can be found at https://agrilifeextension.tamu.edu/counties/.
New county agents
Following are the individuals hired in the AgriLife Extension districts and the county agent positions they will fill:
Disaster Assessment and Recovery, DAR, agents
— Dakota McDonald, Disaster Assessment and Recovery, Disaster District 2. McDonald, of Lubbock, earned his bachelor’s degree at West Texas A&M University. He spent the past three years working in emergency management services for UMC Health Systems EMS of Lubbock. McDonald grew up in 4-H, showing pigs as well as competing in equine events, shooting sports and consumer decision-making. “I hope to ease the stress and devastation for people involved in natural disasters,” McDonald said about his new position.
— Sylvia Balew, Disaster Assessment and Recovery, Disaster District 14. Balew, of Kirbyville, earned her bachelor’s in agriculture development and production at Stephen F. Austin State University. She spent the past five years with the Texas Health and Human Service Commission and previously taught agriculture science at Kirbyville High School. Balew served as an FFA advisor during her years as a teacher and was also a member of Sigma Alpha, a professional agriculture sorority at Stephen F. Austin. Having dealt first-hand with the impact of natural disasters in recent years, Balew said she is grateful for the opportunity to assist her community with preparedness and in times of need.
— Farron Sultemeier, Disaster Assessment and Recovery, Disaster District 18A. Sultemeier, of Johnson City, earned a bachelor’s in animal science from Angelo State University. Sultemeier spent the past 11 years as a ranch operations manager for ranches in Kendall and Uvalde counties. He grew up in the 4-H system, participating in livestock and food and nutrition projects as well as livestock judging. He said he looks forward to working within the AgriLife Extension program.
— Leo Jauregui, Disaster Assessment and Recovery, District 20. Jauregui, of Donna, earned a bachelor’s in agriculture science with a teaching certification and a minor in plant and soil science at Texas A&M University-Kingsville. Jauregui previously was an agriculture science teacher at a variety of schools, including in the Kingsville Independent School District. He grew up in the FFA system showing livestock and participating in leadership and career development events. He also was involved in his family’s small cattle operations and citrus and vegetable production. Jauregui developed a passion for helping others in the Kleberg County Fire Rescue. “I feel I have a wide skill set from emergency response, teaching and general agriculture that fits perfectly into the newly created DAR unit, and I hope to continue providing excellent service to those we serve.”
— Kevin Hoegenauer, Disaster Assessment and Recovery, Disaster District 18B. Hoegenauer, of New Braunfels, earned his bachelor’s in animal science at Texas A&M University. He spent six years as a bioinformatic analyst, studying stem cell biology as it relates to blood disorders such as leukemia and lymphoma. For the last three years, he has worked as a firefighter and community risk reduction coordinator in Bastrop County. Hoegenauer said he is excited to help Texans prepare their families for future disasters. “I am passionate about preventing or reducing human suffering through better disaster preparedness and resilience,” he said.
— Cora Selden, Disaster Assessment and Recovery, Disaster District 16B. Selden, of Katy, earned her bachelor’s in wildlife biology at Texas A&M. She spent the past summer at an internship with Texas Parks and Wildlife in Colorado Bend State Park. Selden has experience in search and rescue as well as wildfire management. She said she is eager to help the people of Galveston and Brazoria counties. “There are few careers in life where you can not only help people in need but also prepare them,” Selden said. “It’s an exciting opportunity to reach out to the community.”
District 1, headquartered in Amarillo
— Luke Sharp, 4-H youth development, Dallam/Hartley. Sharp, of Shipshewana, Indiana, earned his bachelor’s in animal science from Oklahoma State University, where he was also a livestock judging team member. Sharp spent the last year working at a bank in Stillwater, and prior to graduating, spent his summers at home working in a sale barn and club lamb operation. He grew up involved in 4-H and FFA, showing pigs and sheep as well as judging livestock. Sharp said he enjoys working with youth and using his passion for the livestock industry to help develop their leadership and livestock judging skills. “My goals for my career in AgriLife Extension are to positively impact the younger generation and instill core values of respect, responsibility and hard work that they can take with them whether they choose to pursue a career in agriculture or not.”
District 3, headquartered in Vernon
— Sandra Moody, family and community health, Childress County. Moody, of Hereford, earned her bachelor’s in supervision and project management at Florida State College of Jacksonville. She previously worked with Extension in the University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences Extension program and brings 17 years of experience to her position. Moody said she is passionate about providing education and resources to the citizens of Childress County. She hopes to help individuals realize their full potential regarding physical, financial and emotional health. “I hope to bring new and innovative ideas that showcase the latest science-based food, nutrition and health information, all while making it fun and relevant to each stage of development,” Moody said. “I want to understand our community’s unique needs and ensure everyone has a chance to be the healthiest version of themselves they can be.”
District 4, headquartered in Dallas
— Connor Davis, agriculture and natural resources, Cass County. Davis, of Carthage, earned a bachelor’s in animal science. In July, Davis began working at State Farm-Kelli Ashbrook but quickly realized his passion for the agriculture industry was much bigger than he thought. Davis grew up heavily involved in the agriculture industry and traveled across Texas to exhibit livestock. He said he looks forward to serving Cass County as a light for all. “I believe AgriLife Extension has so many opportunities for me as well as my family,” Davis said. “I am always looking for ways to give back to the industry that gave so much to me. Being an AgriLife Extension agent will give me the opportunity to do so.”
— Reagan Hyde, Better Living for Texans, Dallas County. Hyde, of San Angelo, earned her bachelor’s in health at Texas A&M. She spent her time in college working at Laity Lodge Family Camp as a camp counselor and health care assistant. She also completed an internship with AgriLife Extension as a family and community health intern in Tom Green County. Upon graduating, she worked as a rehab therapy technician. She said her college and past work experience instilled a passion for serving people and equipping them with the knowledge and tools to live a healthy and high-quality life. As a new Better Living for Texans agent, she said she can share her passion for health and nutrition and promote good health and healthy behaviors throughout Dallas County. “I joined AgriLife Extension because the organization believes in evidence-based education and its dedication to reaching every Texan,” Hyde said.
— Curtis Jones, Ph.D., agriculture and natural resources, Collin County. Jones, of Tom Bean, earned a bachelor’s and master’s in agronomy from Texas A&M and a doctorate from Louisiana State University. Previously, he worked in weed biology, ecology and herbicide interactions during his time in Louisiana and then as an assistant professor for the past 14 years at Texas A&M Commerce. Jones said he looks forward to working with the producers and youth in Collin County. “I joined AgriLife Extension to help producers and to help those who want to learn.”
District 5, headquartered in Overton
— Spencer Sims, agriculture and natural resources, Henderson County. Sims, of Brownsboro, earned his bachelor’s in agriculture with a major in horticulture and a minor in agriculture development from Stephen F. Austin State University. He spent the past 14 years working for the Henderson County appraisal district, specializing in agriculture, timber and wildlife exemptions. He also served on the Henderson County wildlife committee and spent two years working on a golf course, maintaining the greens and fairways. Sims grew up in 4-H showing livestock, and his family raised show pigs for seven years. He also was in the hay production field. “I’m excited and look forward to working with the citizens of Henderson County to help improve agriculture, natural resources, youth and health across the county. I’m excited to make a lasting impact on the community and youth of Henderson County,” Sims said.
District 6, headquartered in Fort Stockton
— Jimena Fernandez, Better Living for Texans, El Paso County. Fernandez, of San Elizario, earned a bachelor’s in public health with a minor in nutrition at The University of Texas at El Paso. As an undergraduate student, she developed professional experience working and volunteering in different organizations in the city of El Paso. She also interned with AgriLife Extension in the agency’s Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program, gaining hands-on nutrition experience. She also worked at San Elizario Independent School District, learning about child nutrition and the work behind the program. Fernandez said she is motivated to work with her community and implement the knowledge she has gained. “I hope I can positively impact the El Paso community,” she said. “I want to promote healthy lifestyles throughout my community.”
— Lizzie Chapa, agriculture and natural resources, Ward County. Chapa, of Ellsworth, Minnesota, earned her bachelor’s from South Dakota State University. Chapa has worked in a meat locker and as a colt starter. She grew up showing horses in 4-H as well as goats and sheep. She said she is excited to work in AgriLife Extension because “the people that you get to work with are so supportive and willing to help you in anything.”
District 7, headquartered in San Angelo
— Brook Nervig, agriculture and natural resources, Concho County. Nervig, of Roscoe, earned her bachelor’s in animal science at Texas A&M. She spent two years at Blinn College as a member of the Livestock Judging Team. She then transferred to Texas A&M, where she was also a member of the Saddle and Sirloin Club, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Council, Texas Aggie Cattle Women’s Association and the Livestock Judging Team. She grew up heavily immersed in her local 4-H club, showing market lambs, breeding sheep and breeding heifers. Along with exhibiting livestock, she competed in livestock judging, food and nutrition and served as a Texas 4-H Livestock Ambassador. “I am tremendously passionate about the youth in agriculture and creating future generations of successful yet impactful agriculturists,” Nervig said.
— Lora Webb, Better Living for Texans, Taylor County. Webb, of Nolan, earned her bachelor’s from Howard Payne University in Brownwood, with a double major in psychology and interdisciplinary counseling. She also earned her alternative certification in education and has had a rewarding career educating elementary students for the past 10 years in Christoval and Round Rock. A passionate educator, Webb said she is all about building relationships and promoting positive change. “I look forward to helping improve the lives of the community members I serve through this wonderful organization,” she said. “I sincerely believe education is at the heart of successful and healthy communities. I am a life-long learner and believe there is so much we can learn from each other. I look forward to serving and growing with this amazing community.”
District 9, headquartered in College Station
— Stephanie Gray, horticulture, Harris County. Gray, of Rochester, New York, earned a bachelor’s in environmental science at State University of New York in Plattsburgh. She worked on an organic vegetable farm after receiving her bachelor’s degree. She later worked in a controlled environment agriculture operation before beginning her career with AgriLife Extension as a Master Gardener volunteer coordinator. She now works as a county agent with the commercial green industry. Gray grew up attending 4-H camp and has always been engaged in her communities. She said she is passionate about educating local businesses on innovative solutions and “equipping our youth to be future industry leaders. In joining AgriLife Extension, I hope to build trust with my community to foster a space for people and their businesses to grow and evolve.”
District 10, headquartered in Uvalde
— Kayli Crauthers, agriculture and natural resources, Travis County. Crauthers, of Corpus Christi, earned her bachelor’s in animal science/production at Texas A&M, where she also was an undergraduate research assistant. After college, she worked as a wholesale specialist for Ideal Poultry. Crauthers also spent the past year completing internships with Rodeo Austin as the competitive events assistant and Schleining Genetics in Colorado, managing beef cattle artificial insemination and embryo transfer. She said she is passionate about the beef cattle industry and helping producers/farmers of all commodities sustain and create better profits by adopting new practices and staying informed on the most recent research/technologies. Crauthers said she is also excited to jump into her community and get to know the families/individuals and their needs.
— Dorothy Herbst, Better Living for Texans, Bexar County. Herbst, of San Antonio, earned her bachelor’s in food science and technology with a minor in business at Texas A&M. She spent her last year with the AgriLife Extension office in Bexar County as the urban agriculture educator. Prior to that, she worked with a local creamery and on a farm in Washington, where she solidified her passion for food and agriculture. Herbst said she looks forward to sharing her passion for food, nutrition and gardening with her community and encouraging people to live healthier lives, both through their food choices, as well as their physical activity and ability to grow vegetables for their families. “I have found that one of the best ways to connect is through food and sharing a meal together,” Herbst said. “I hope that as a Better Living for Texans agent, I can help people make small changes that lead to an overall healthier and happier life.”
— Carley Howell, agriculture and natural resources, Blanco County. Howell, of Orange, earned her bachelor’s in animal science and master’s in sustainable agriculture and food environment at Sam Houston State University. Howell has five years of experience as a veterinary technician with small and mixed animal practices. Most recently, she was the Wellness in Houston agriculture and natural resource agent with Prairie View A&M University Cooperative Extension Program. Howell said she is excited to form a network with the youth and adults of Blanco County and is actively seeking volunteers for her committee to promote agriculture and address common concerns within the community. “I hope to inspire the youth to make an impact in the agriculture industry,” Howell said.
District 12, headquartered in Weslaco
— Anna Ruiz, health, Jim Hogg County. Ruiz, of Hebbronville, earned a bachelor’s with a focus in communications from Texas A&M Kingsville. She also studied at Laredo College. Most recently, Ruiz was a COVID-19 case manager in Jim Hogg County. She grew up being very involved in community activities throughout her life. Ruiz said she loves working with the youth, adults and elderly. She is passionate about building relationships to help others reach their full potential in what they love. “I hope to show people a healthier way of living,” Ruiz said. “Life’s too short to not take care of ourselves.”
Powered by WPeMatico
Go to Source
Author: Kay Ledbetter