AMARILLO – The Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service is piloting positions for two multi-county agronomy agents and two multi-county health agents to serve in the agency’s North Region in the Amarillo and Lubbock area.
One of the new agronomy agents will work in Castro, Lamb and Hale counties in the agency’s District 2 and the other will work in Dallam, Hartley, Moore and Sherman counties in District 1, according to Danny Nusser, AgriLife Extension North Region program leader covering both of the districts.
The health agents will share duties across Lipscomb, Ochiltree and Roberts counties in District 1 and Castro, Lamb and Hale counties in District 2, said Dr. Angela Burkham, AgriLife Extension state program leader and North Region program leader for family and community health, Amarillo.
“We hope to deliver programs that will help educate people about the facts and encourage behavior changes in order to improve their quality of life and extend their life expectancy,” Burkham said. “That’s important when we know seven out of 10 of the leading causes of death are preventable.”
She said the two new positions will be responsible solely for health-related programs in those counties and will coordinate educational events with the family and community health agents in each county.
“Our goal in staffing is to hire key people to focus on the engagement of communities in health and wellness programming,” she said. “As with other AgriLife Extension programs, local committees will help identify those needs and develop an educational plan.”
Nusser said the new agronomy positions will focus solely on planning, implementing and evaluating AgriLife Extension programs that relate to agronomic issues, including crop production decisions and management, water conservation and efficiency, pest issues and emerging needs, and risk management associated with crop production.
“The county agents currently serving in these counties will focus on youth programs and adult livestock production issues,” he said.
He said these county agronomy agents will work closely with local producers and businesses to determine educational needs.
They will work with AgriLife Extension personnel, including district, regional and state specialists as well as agriculture and natural resources county agents and integrated pest management agents, when planning and implementing educational programs.
“These counties were selected for the pilot positions because of their intensity and diversity of both crop and animal agriculture,” Nusser said. “The goal is to have employees focused on specific audiences and provide in-depth, impactful programs related to crop production.”