by Dale Freeman, Tyler County EMC
A joint announcement was made by Tyler County Judge Jacques Blanchette, Tyler County Commissioner's Court, and Ms. Shelia Lewis, District Extension Administrator, Texas Agrilife Extension Service, headquartered in Overton, Texas.
Beginning June 1, 2012 a new Agent has been hired to fill the vacant position in the Agrilife Extension Office in Tyler County. The person selected is Doug Weir. He has earned a Bachelor of Science and a Master of Education at Texas A&M University-Commerce. Doug served as a student worker at Texas A&M University while pursuing his education.
Although his credentials are quite impressive, he not only is new to Tyler County, he is entering a new career. The first thirty days of employment he will participate in a "First Step for Success" program by working in another office with a seasoned Agent to observe and experience the day to day operations of a typical county extension office.
Doug is married and he and his wife are animal lovers. They have several pets including cats, dogs, horses, and cattle. Doug says that his animals are just like part of the family. Doug's wife is soon to graduate with a Master's Degree and they intend to make their home in Tyler County. Though currently housed in temporary limited facilities, he is looking for rental property for himself, his wife and household pets, and possibly pasture land to pasture his horses and cattle.
My impression of Doug is that he is extremely enthusiastic about this position and is basically living his dream. He has found where he belongs and is putting his all into it. With his office just down from mine, I frequently hear him clomping his boots down to the secretary's office and announcing "with excitement in his voice" some new realization he has discovered with his job. I know you have seen people who "like" their jobs. My impression of him is that he and his wife have "chosen the life" that includes his career.
Doug is a native born East Texan. He grew up in Marshall Texas. He should have little difficulty making the connection to our community. He will be a great asset to Tyler County. We can learn much from him as well as taking advantage of his contacts and resources with the University. My advice to him is to pay attention to the local people as he can learn much from them.
The Texas Agrilife Extension Office is a partner with the Tyler County Emergency Management Office. Their office is across the hall and we even share a secretary. They help us answer our phones and we help them answer theirs. I am always looking for sources of help that we can use in the time of a disaster. I believe Doug will be invaluable to the Emergency Management Office where we plan to plug him (and maybe his wife too) in our "Animal Issues Committee". He will be someone we can count on to make plans and preparations to take care of the animals affected by a storm or disaster.
The County Extension Office in Tyler County is part of the Texas Agrilife Extension Service, an agency of the Texas A&M University System. Local Extension programs extend university resources to local residents by providing practical information and education in the four areas of agriculture and natural resources, family and consumer sciences, 4-H and youth development, and community development. Extension is a cooperative effort of the United States Department of Agriculture, the State of Texas through Texas A&M University, and the Tyler County Commissioner's Court.
We in Tyler County know first hand and are well aware of the drastic and extreme turns that our weather can take. Considering the effect that this has on our lawns, gardens, animals, and even our agriculture industries, this position and someone with his training is greatly needed. We invite everyone to stop by the Tyler County Agrilife Office and visit with Doug. Let's make him welcome and support him helping him make his career a success. We are not only gaining him in his career position, we are getting a new friend, and resident of Tyler County.