AgriLife Extension agent positions filled in Childress, Palo Pinto, Cottle counties

Writer: Kay Ledbetter, 806-677-5608, skledbetter@ag.tamu.edu
Contact: Ryan Martin, 940-937-2351, ryan.martin@ag.tamu.edu
Jason Westbrook, 940-659-1228, Jason.westbrook@ag.tamu.edu
Kaitlyn Deaton, 806-492-3151, Kaitlyn.deaton@ag.tamu.edu

VERNON – The new year is bringing a few changes to the offices of the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service in Childress, Palo Pinto and Cottle counties, according to Dale Dunlap, AgriLife Extension district administrator in Vernon.

First, Dunlap said, new to the district’s team of agents is Kaitlyn Deaton, who started Jan. 1 as the agriculture and natural resources agent in Cottle County.

Kaitlyn Deaton is the new Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service agriculture and natural resources agent in Cottle County. (Texas A&M AgriLife photo)

“I am excited to hire Kaitlyn as the new AgriLife Extension agent in agriculture for Cottle County,” Dunlap said. “She is an excellent fit for the position. Kaitlyn will bring lots of enthusiasm to the Cottle County program. She was very involved in 4-H throughout her youth and has a great understanding of the program from showing livestock, to foods and nutrition, to public speaking.”

He said Deaton was raised in Cottle County and will have a great advantage of knowing 4-H families, producers and other clientele as she begins her new position.

Deaton earned her bachelor’s degree in animal science from Texas Tech University in May 2017. She also attended Tarleton State University from 2013-2015.

During college, she volunteered at the Texas Tech Therapeutic Riding Center and worked with disabled children. She also served as group leader for the range and livestock judging contests, judged area FFA events, coached the Cottle County 4-H livestock judging team and volunteered as a judge at the District 4-H Food Challenge Contest.

Deaton also interned with Smithfield Hog Production, where she assisted in managing two 10,000-head sow farms. She assisted in farrowing rooms, vaccinated pigs, participated in weekly management meetings, worked with company veterinarians, performed heat checks and artificial insemination, targeted weaning projections and became Pork Quality Assurance Certified.

Two other changes effective Jan. 1 include Ryan Martin moving from Motley County to Childress County, and Jason Westbrook transferring from Haskell County to Palo Pinto County, both as agriculture and natural resources agents.

Martin has been an AgriLife Extension agent for the past 11 years, while Westbrook joined the agency four years ago.

“Ryan brings a great understanding of cotton, wheat, beef cattle and wildlife to Childress County,” Dunlap said. “He knows the area and understands the challenges that Childress County producers face. Ryan also brings lots of experience to the 4-H program. He has been actively involved in livestock projects, judging, horses, quiz bowls, leadership and 4-H program management. He will be a great addition to the excellent AgriLife Extension team and program of Childress County.”  

Westbrook also brings a wealth of knowledge and experience in production agriculture in range, beef cattle and crops to Palo Pinto County, Dunlap said.

“Jason is also well versed in the 4-H program and has lots of experience with livestock projects, judging teams and 4-H program management,” Dunlap said. “He will be a great addition to the AgriLife Extension team and program of Palo Pinto County.”

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Source: Agriculture Section – AgriLife Feed

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