June 15, 2021
It is with gratitude and excitement that I write to say hello as Eastern Region Local Unit Extension Director with K-State Research and Extension. The words are not coming as easily as I had hoped, because trying to say “thank you” and introduce myself at the same time is a challenging combination.
My extension story dates to 1980, when I joined 4-H in Lyon County. I served as an extension intern in Linn County, and received both my graduate and undergraduate degrees in Animal Science from Kansas State University. In 1996, I was hired to be the Haskell County agriculture agent and stayed there until 2005, when I accepted the job as extension agriculture agent in Allen County. In both counties, I worked alongside tremendous family and consumer science agents as we managed successful 4-H programs together. I have been the director for the Southwind District since it was formed in 2010.
I tell you these facts to demonstrate my depth of extension experiences. No doubt, some days were better than others, and I learned much along the way. I have worked through my share of challenges, and after 23 county fair seasons, I understand what many of you are going through this summer.
I believe in networking together and helping each other be successful. Like the saying goes, “the team is only as strong as the weakest player,” so I hope to contribute my experiences to problem-solving and helping agents be successful.
While I have a lot of extension experience, I do not know everything about each local unit – each of which is unique. One of the most important things a new agent can do is get to know their community, and getting to know the Eastern Region local units is an important short-term goal I have set for myself. I would like to visit those of you in the region either at your office or at an event. Feel free to invite me to programs, and I will make the extra effort to be there. I am also excited to spend the first part of this stage in my career hiring a new cohort of extension agents, and I am optimistic for our future together.
Finally, thank you to the local units who helped to prepare me for this new path of my extension journey. In a spirit of teamwork and collaboration, I look forward to serving as the newest regional director for K-State Research and Extension!