Stan Jones had a different challenge every day as Curry County's extension agent. Now he has decided on a new challenge — another career.
Jones left the county post Aug. 31, just after the Curry County Fair wrapped up. He answered a few questions about his time at the post during a break from his new work as an accountant.
Q How did you get the opportunity to be the extension agent?
A I worked at New Mexico State as the senior director of admissions. The 4-H job came open. I'd been a 4-Her all my life, and was involved with the program still. They invited me to apply to be a 4-H agent, so I applied and got the job.
Q As an aside, what was your favorite 4-H project?
A Steers, I imagine. Just
Q: What is the overall job description of the extension agent?
A It changes every day. When I was a 4-H agent, I worked with youth and leadership. When I was an ag agent, I was manager of the office as well. So I manage the office, I do all the programming for agriculturalists in our county. I did the farm safety program, "Kids, Cows and More." I did a lot of stuff.
Q What were the
challenges and/or benefits of being an agent in this county?
A The benefit of being a county agent is you get to do something different every day. There's not anything routine about being an extension agent. You get to work with agricultural people every day. Even urban horticulture, I get to do a lot of. You just get to meet a lot of different people, and that's what's fun about it.
Q What's the craziest
problem you remember facing?
A Mushrooms growing at the base of the toilet, and I was supposed to solve it.
Q And did you solve it?
A They had a water leak, obviously, and that was what was causing the problem. They had a fungus growing there, and that's what I dealt with on crops and everything. We had to eliminate the fungus issue so that wasn't a problem.
I think that was the funniest, most odd call I got.
Q The position is hectic and cyclical in nature. I'll concede that the Curry County Fair is a hectic time. What others come to mind?
A Farm safety, getting ready for that in the fall. Of course, fair season. Then, I guess, 4-H judging in the summer with all of the projects.
Q What's the most notable thing about the job that changed over 20-plus years?
A When I first went to work, z we had filing cabinet after filing cabinet of all of our research-based materials we would use. And we had two huge notebooks on top of the filing cabinet. The girls, whenever I cleaned out the office before I left, didn't even know what those black notebooks are for. Nobody in my office knew except for me. You took that, you looked it up and you found that file … that you could present to a consumer.
Q So it was a card catalog, like a library?
A Exactly. And now we're
getting rid of all of that. Everything is online. I don't keep any hard copies of anything, hardly, because I could print off everything I wanted at the extension office.
Q Counter question. What's stayed the same?
A Just working with good
people. Curry County's second to none, in my opinion. I think there will be somebody who wants to come along and be the next ag agent based on what a good place it is.
Q Why did you decide to leave now?
A I had 26-and-a-half years. I was 50 years old. I could draw a full retirement and still have a whole other career before I was 62. I could hardly think there wasn't a good opportunity for me.
Q What advice do you have for whoever fills your old post?
A Have fun and enjoy your job.
— Compiled by CNJ staff writer Kevin Wilson
• Born: Feb. 27, 1962, in Portales.
• Occupation: Accountant. Former Curry County extension agent.
• Education: 1980, Portales High School, 1980. New Mexico State University, 1985 bachelor's, 1991 master's.
• Family: Wife, Kelly. Three sons, Trenton Jones, Adam Lunsford and Adrian Lunsford. One daughter, Avery Jones.