By Stephen Janak
County Extension Agent – Ag/NR
Last week I had the privilege of accompanying some of our 4-H members to the San Antonio Stock Show and Rodeo. They all did an excellent job, and I am proud to have such a great representation of Colorado County 4-H. This was my first livestock show to be involved in on the advisory side of things, as opposed to being a participant. A number of times, however, people mistakenly assumed I was just another 4-H kid. If you’ve ever met me, then you understand why.
I am definitely a young County Extension Agent, and even though I learned many things about agriculture and natural resources from my dad and during my time at Texas A&M, “young” can still mean “inexperienced.” The best way for me to acquire this coveted experience and the wisdom that comes with it, is for you, the people of Colorado County, to bring me your best questions. While I certainly enjoy receiving questions that I already know the answer to, it’s the new questions with answers I do not yet know that make me a better Extension agent. Just last week I learned what causes the black sooty mold that sometimes occurs on citrus trees, how to identify the pests that cause the problem, and how to remedy it. For me, nothing beats the thrill of solving some new problem for a local resident or producer. When I started this job, I didn’t know how to control grass sandburs in fields or in yards. Today, I have those answers filed away somewhere in my brain under “common questions.”
As I was first told by my dad, and later by the other agents in surrounding counties, when you don’t know the answer to somebody’s question, the correct response is “I’m not sure about that right now, but I can certainly find out and I will let you know when I do.” I don’t claim to be the expert in any field, but when I don’t know the answer to a question, some of the best specialists and experts from around the state of Texas are just a phone call away.
So please, bring me your weird bugs in jars, your worst weeds in a bag, a few twigs from a dying plant, or any other question or concern you may have, and I’ll be happy to do my best to get you the most up-to-date and accurate answer that science can provide. As always, feel free to call me at the office, 979-732-2082, or email me with questions (or pictures) at firstname.lastname@example.org.