Jennifer Patterson of Stilwell, Sequoyah County’s new Oklahoma State University (OSU) Extension Educator, will be introduced to Sequoyah County Commissioners at their meeting on Tuesday.
She replaces Tony Yates who retired in December. Yates served as the county ag agent for 33 years.
Randy Pirtle, OSU Northeast Regional Director for 24 counties, said Patterson will serve both Adair and Sequoyah Counties, but will spend most of this week in Sequoyah County because of the Livestock Show Wednesday through Friday.
Pirtle said OSU agents are having to double up on counties due to budget constraints.
“Unfortunately it’s just the way we have to do things now,” Pirtle said.
He added that 12 counties in the northeast region have doubled up now, and more are planned.
Earlier, OSU officials said last year that, statewide, about 20 Oklahoma counties are sharing their agents on a rotating basis, due to funding cutbacks. In 2014 the service received $55 million a year in funding, but in 2018 that funding has been cut to $42 million.
Pirtle said Patterson began in Adair County on Thursday. She has an animal science degree from OSU, and a veterinarian technician certificate. She also teaches vet tech at Tulsa.
Sally Maxwell, Senior News Director
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