CCLP/DAVID J. HARDIN - New Coryell COunty Extension agents are Robert Ferguson, Bridgette Alvarado, Emily Holmes and Liz Espie.

County Extension Office holds Christmas open house

Cove Leader-Press
On Wednesday the Texas A&M Agrilife Extension Office for Coryell County held a Christmas open house and meet and greet for new extension agents so they could meet the community.
Liz Espie is the county’s Family & Consumer Sciences agent. Her job is to provide education on a variety of topics such as health and wellness, disease prevention, and financial management.
She said she provides information that will help you take care of your body and keep your house in order. She said she has taught a diabetes class to the employees of Laerdal, which is a company that makes medical supplies and is located in Gatesville.
Espie adds they have also done a program called “Walk Across Texas” which helps motivate people to get out and walk each day. She said one of the things she likes to focus on is food safety, and she recommends using a meat thermometer whenever cooking meats like pork, chicken, etc.
“The objective of this whole office is to make the lives of Texans better,” said Espie.
According to Agriculture agent Robert Ferguson, the Texas A&M Agrilife Extension provides non-biased, research-based information. He said he is the agent that you can call if you have questions about lawn care, insect
Issues, sick trees, or chemical use.
Ferguson will try to answer each question or answer them with help with other specialists. He wants to make it very clear that he is not selling you a product when answering these questions; he is merely providing you with non-biased information that will help you approach and resolve your issue. An example that Ferguson gave is that he won’t tell a resident who has an issue with chemicals to buy one brand over another; he will tell the person what the active ingredient in that chemical is, and will help them in a non-biased way.
Ferguson also provides programs for farmers and homeowners around the county whether it be a gardening program, a beef cattle program, or a crop program. Robert received his bachelor’s degree in Agriculture Extension Industries from Tarleton State University and his master’s degree in Agriculture Education from Texas A&M Kingsville. He has been an agent with the office since September of this year.
Emily Holmes is the county’s 4-H youth development extension agent. She deals with the county youth and provides curriculum enrichment in local schools.
Holmes also works with the family and consumer science side, as well as works with Ferguson on the agriculture side for animal projects for the youth.
Holmes works with the kids who are ambassadors in the county’s 4-H program, and leaders of the various programs within 4-H within the county, such as the annual youth fair in January.
She received her bachelor’s degree in Animal Science and her master’s degree in Agriculture and Natural Resource Sciences both from Tarleton State University.
Bridgette Alvarado has been the office manager at the extension office for 10 years and her job is to help assist the other agents and keep the office running smoothly.
Cheri Shepard is has been the Director of the Gatesville Convention and Visitors Bureau for three months and said, “The extension office provides a valuable to service to the residents of the county. My department is really glad to have them here and what the bring to the community.”
The Coryell County Extension Office is located at 303 Veterans Memorial Loop, Gatesville, TX 76528.
For information about any of the programs or classes the extension office offers to the local community, call 254-865-2414.

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