Hopkins County Extension agents Johanna Hicks and Mario Villarino and office manager Barbara Sanders recently welcomed a new member to the team, Jessica Taylor. She is an Extension Assistant assigned to the Hopkins County office for the next couple of years. To meet the community, Jessica appeared with Johanna in a KSST Good Morning Show interview on Wednesday February 20, 2019.
Originally from Clarksville, Texas, Jessica is a member of the Taylor family who raise cattle there as well as horses. As a youth, she was active in the daily operations on the family farm, and got involved at a young age showing cattle as a 4-H’er . When she entered high school, she joined the FFA Chapter of Detroit ISD , staying active in livestock showing during the Red River County Fair and in other aspects of FFA. Her first college choice was PJC where she commuted to class during her first year. She then “went off to college” and transferred Tarleton State College in Stephenville to pursue a major in Agriculture, Plant and Animal Science. Though she loved her studies there, she missed home, and so a transfer to Texas A and M University-Commerce was her next move. It was there that she was urged to not only stay on and obtain her Master’s degree in Animal Science, but to take a look at Texas Agri-Life Extension as a career. Jessica did just that, and is presently homebased out of the Sulphur Springs office of the Hopkins County Agri-Life Extension Service office. For the next 18-24 months of her career, she will be involved in all the health, nutrition and education aspects of Extension as well as the Plant and Animal side of the service. So, she will be assisting both Johanna and Mario in the daily work that Extension performs in the community.
Almost as soon as she was settled at her desk in the office, Jessica got involved in preparation for the Hopkins County Jr. Market Livestock Show set for Februry 21-23. The show is designed for 4H and FFA students in Hopkins County. Jessica jumped right in and has already been assisting students and their ag teachers with the projects. She will be on site during Thursday’s Lamb and Goat show at 2pm and Friday’s Poultry, Swine and Cattle shows starting at 8am, as well as Saturday’s “Sale of Champions” at 1pm, which is sponsored by NETLA, the Northeast Texas Livestock Association. Jessica invites the students to “look for me at the show and the sale. If you need some help with your animal, come get me. I’ll be there in the arena to help!” She also reminds the community that attendance is free, and that everyone is welcome to bring their children and grandchildren to see the animals and enjoy the sights, smells and sounds of the exciting local 3-day livestock event, held annually inside the arena of the Hopkins County Regional Civic Center.