Josh Yates was recently appointed as Lamar County’s Extension Agent, and has said he has some “big shoes to fill with the past two [extension agents].”

Yates is expected to begin as Lamar County’s Extension Agent on May 1, filling the vacated seat once held by Rick Maxwell.

Having worked in Arkansas and Oklahoma Extension for six years, Yates was recently in Polk County, Arkansas.

His hopes are to meet the community members. From there, he said, his focus will be on the county’s needs and find ways to better serve the community.

“I have a passion for working with youth and their animal projects, and I love to see how 4-H youth develop into productive adults,” Yates said. “The many things they learn are transferable traits they can use the rest of their lives. “

Laura Graves, Lamar County Extension Agent for Family and Consumer Sciences, said Yates’ background with extensive experience will be a benefit to Lamar County.

“Lamar County is a great county — very supportive of extension work — I had started with an extension over seven years ago not being originally from this county and felt very welcomed. I hope the community shares the same welcoming feeling to Josh,” Graves said.

Yates said he grew up in the extension world. His father was an agent for Oklahoma for more than 35 years.

“We showed livestock, specifically Hereford cattle. My background is more into livestock, specifically cattle,” Yates said. “I also have worked with large Master Gardener groups.”

Yates graduated from Oklahoma State University with an Agriculture Sciences degree, with a focus on Agriculture Leadership and Animal Sciences.

“I am currently working on my MBA at Oklahoma Wesleyan University and hoping to wrap that up in the fall,” he said.

Yates is married to Kaitlyn and has a 13-year-old daughter, Abbey.

“I hear that I have some big shoes to fill with the past two Extension Agents that were employed here. I hope to get in touch with them to get their perspective and help in identifying needs in Lamar County,” Yates said. “I am very honored and happy to be here in Lamar County, and I am so excited I have the opportunity to serve as your agriculture agent. I can’t wait to get started.”

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