Since working with Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service, I have been in awe of our County Extension Agents. Most often their hours align with famer’s hours – sunrise to sunset (and if they are between those times, red bull drinks are always in their hands). They love their community, they love agriculture, and they love the people that embody both of those things. They are the heartbeat of Texas agriculture. What they do for their job, how they do their job, where they do their job absolutely amazes me. That said, I wanted to learn more about our County Extension Agents – I wanted to learn why they do this job.
I have started a new blog series called “Meet a County Extension Agent” and I hope you enjoy getting to meet these incredible folks as much as I have.
Meet Lisa Brown – Menard County Extension Agent! Lisa recently won the top Professional Category Award for Plant ID at the Texas Section Society for Range Management meeting in San Angelo earlier this month!
Why did you become a County Extension Agent? Growing up in a ranching family here in Menard the local ranchers are close to my heart so the opportunity to work with them was exciting. I also knew working with the youth here in Menard…bringing agriculture into the classrooms of the hallways in which I used to walk myself would be rewarding. In addition I found great comfort in knowing I had 3 retired county agents and a retired range specialist living in Menard to help show me the ropes.
What are some concerns specific to agriculture in your county? Increased amounts of invasive brush and lack of water are the main concerns here in Menard County.
What is the most rewarding part of your position? Working with the ranchers and landowners would by far be my favorite part of this job. I have great respect for them as stewards of the land.
What is the weirdest request you have ever received as a CEA and how did you solve it? I received a phone call that went something like this: “My daughter just bought some goldfish. Can you sex them for me?” would definitely be my weirdest request. While I scrambled to figure out which specialist I should call to find out the answer to this question, the caller finally identified himself as a fellow agent playing a joke on me….we still laugh about this.
If you could be anything else, what would you be? A FULLTIME rancher…no doubt.
Our November issue features Trevor Dickschat, Lee County Extension Agent. I met my good friend, Trevor Dickschat, when he served as the McCulloch County Extension Agent. Since then he has since relocated to Giddings, TX where he serves as the Lee County Ag and Natural Resources Extension Agent. Trevor loves working as an agent almost as much as he loves Aggie football and hunting, which is ALOT. What I appreciate most about Trevor is that he doesn’t care who gets the glory or credit, he just wants the job done and done right. He is an incredible agent and I truly miss working with him. What our loss in McCulloch County was, is now Lee County’s gain. Thank you Trevor for doing what you do. You’re pretty darn good at it 🙂
Meet Trevor Dickschat – Lee County Extension Agent! (McCulloch County Extension Agent at time of writing this blog)
Why did you become a County Extension Agent? I became an extension agent because of the 4H program of which has shaped me into the professional that I have become. I was raised on a farm, primary production of cattle and hay, and was very active in the show industry and 4H. My passion for hunting and fishing, and the outdoors have grown with age and experiences. I figured why not give back to those who have allowed me the opportunity to enjoy what I am passionate about.
What are some concerns specific to agriculture in your county? Water, of course is the bigges challenge that we are facing and will continue to face in the future. From growing up in east Texas to moving out West, the concern for invasive plant species and overpopulation of unwanted plants is a concern and something that I hope to continue to educate my county.
What is the most rewarding part of your position? Being able to hear what new and exciting things individuals took from educational presentations and Realizing that I helped allow to future benefit my constituents. Whether that be from the ag and natural resource and adult perspective, to the youth development.
What is the weirdest request you have ever received as a CEA and how did you solve it? I once hosted a 4H dance and one of the youngsters approached myself, the DJ and asked to play some REAL music they could dance to. After I had enough of Luke Bryan and Jason Aldean music I could stand I finally broke down and played the Wobble. Every kid got out on that dance floor and not a single one sitting. My response was, what is our music generation coming to…. 🙂
If you could be anything else, what would you be? I would love to manage a wildlife ranch in which the main focus would be large game and raising cattle, and would host private hunts and outdoor experiences.
Our October issue features Michael Palmer, Coleman County Extension Agent. Mr. Palmer is a one-of-a-kind agent, and in my opinion he just gets it. He is open-minded, willing to learn, willing to work hard, and makes everybody feel like they are contributing toward a bigger purpose.
Why did you become a County Extension Agent? I have always had an interest in agriculture and have been involved in farming and livestock operations with my family since childhood. I knew I wanted a career in agriculture and the opportunities that Extension offers only enhance the desire to be involved in agriculture. I like the diversity that being a county Extension agent offers; things are always changing.
What are some concerns specific to agriculture in your county? Coleman County is a diverse county made up of range and pasture, as well as cultivated land. Agriculture is a key industry here. Many producers continually conduct brush control, as it is a never-ending issue with undesirable and invasive plants. Predator control is another issue landowners face; specifically wild hogs. Coleman County has a large number of sheep and goat producers who, along with the wildlife industry, face challenges with predation caused by coyotes and bobcats. Many farmers are currently facing challenges with low wheat prices and high input costs. Alternative crops have been looked at but no silver bullet has been found.
What is the most rewarding part of your position? Being able to make a positive difference within the communities where I live and work; and make a difference in the relationships I develop with the people of the counties I have worked in the past 19 years.
What is the weirdest request you have ever received as a CEA and how did you solve it? It would be hard to narrow down to only one request, but I have had several requests over the years that were “odd”. That’s what I like about being a county Extension agent; you never know what the day holds or what the questions will be.
If you could be anything else, what would you be? I don’t know that I would change what I do because a career as a county Extension agent is more of a lifestyle than a job. I get to combine the work I do with my hobbies/interests and am always garnering knowledge that I’m able to apply to each.
Thank you Mr. Palmer for all you do! We are grateful to have you!