Writer: Kay Ledbetter, 806-677-5608, email@example.com
Contacts: Karly West, 940-627-3341, firstname.lastname@example.org
Katrena Mitchell, 940-716-8610, email@example.com
Kara Lacey, 940-937-2351, firstname.lastname@example.org
VERNON – Three new agents have been added to the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service staff across the Rolling Plains, District 3, with headquarters in Vernon.
“I’m excited to be hiring these new agents,” said Dale Dunlap, AgriLife Extension district administrator in Vernon. “Each of them brings their own positive attributes to the agency. All of them grew up in either District 2 or District 3 4-H programs.”
Dunlap said it is exciting to have people raised in this area wanting to stay and work with the communities they were brought up in through the AgriLife Extension program.
“The Childress County and Wise County assistant agent positions, one in agriculture and one in family and community health, are going to be great opportunities for on-the-job training for our future county agents in both programs.”
Karly West has been hired as the AgriLife Extension assistant family and community health agent in Wise County. While she started in her new position Jan. 1, West is not new to the agency, having previously worked as an intern for AgriLife Extension in Comanche County.
West, a native of Jacksboro, earned her bachelor’s degree in agriculture and consumer sciences from Tarleton State University in Stephenville and is currently working on her master’s degree in agricultural leadership. She also worked as a graduate assistant at Tarleton in the office of communication studies.
“I took this assistant agent position to better prepare myself for being an agent in my own county one day,” West said. “There is a lot that goes into being a county agent, and this program is built to help new agents learn and understand everything so they can succeed on their own.
“My main goal in this position is to obtain the knowledge and skills I need to be a successful educator and advocate in my own county when I leave here.”
Katrena Mitchell started her new position as the 4-H and youth development agent in Wichita County on Jan. 15. She had previously spent eight years working as administrator of the Wichita Falls animal shelter and six years as program director for an at-risk youth program.
Mitchell, a native of Wichita Falls, earned her bachelor’s degree in sociology/physiology and her master’s degree in general counseling from Midwestern State University in Wichita Falls.
“I am looking forward to growing the 4-H program here in Wichita County and helping develop youth in this community into strong and capable leaders of tomorrow,” she said. “As a former 4-Her, I gained many skills during my years in 4-H that I still implement on a daily basis.
“My 4-H memories are filled with a lot of fun and gratefulness for the opportunity that I was given with the help of my county agents, volunteer leaders and parents who helped me along the way. I hope to be able to return that favor to the youth I’m honored to work with.”
Kara Lacey began Feb. 11 as the new assistant agent for agriculture and natural resources in Childress County.
Lacey, a native of Tulia, worked most recently with Plains Cotton Cooperative Association in Lubbock. Also no stranger to AgriLife Extension, she previously completed an internship in the Lubbock District 2 office.
She earned her bachelor’s degree in interdisciplinary agriculture in agricultural education with a leadership concentration from Texas Tech University in Lubbock.
“I’ve always been interested in Extension and the 4-H program; I’ve been around it my whole life,” Lacey said. “Not only was I active in 4-H, but I come from a long line of farmers in my family. I think agriculture is important, and I want to be a part of the process that ensures it is passed down to the younger generation.”
She said she looks forward to learning from this experience so she can one day be an agent in her own county.