Live Oak & McMullen counties have a new extension agent for family and community health, as Grace Marshall fills a long term vacancy and brings a strong background in agriculture and an eagerness to serve the community.
Marshall, a May 2020 graduate of Texas A&M University, majored in agricultural communications and is originally from Nacogdoches in East Texas.
“I’ve had a background in agriculture ever since I can remember and loved participating in 4-H all the way through school,” she said. “It helped me in so many ways, including being able to afford college, and I’m excited to be able to pass along what I’ve learned and help others.”
Marshall started her role in May, but the first month was spent visiting other locations to get a broader understanding of the Texas A&M Agricultural Extension Program and what it does.
She started her new assignment in Live Oak and McMullen counties in mid-June. Her plan is to spend Monday, Wednesday and Friday in Live Oak County and Tuesday and Thursday in McMullen County, but her schedule will also depend on what other local events are planned for each week.
It was a long road from the time Marshall applied for the position until she was hired.
“I originally applied for the job in February 2020 but there was a hiring freeze, so I reapplied in January or February of this year,” she said.
Marshall met her boyfriend, Derek Henicke of George West, at Texas A&M, which led her to move to the area. Before she started with the extension office, Marshall had a business where she flew dogs from San Antonio to different locations across the country to people who had purchased them.
Now, she looks forward to spending most of her time in this area.
“I love small towns, and I couldn’t be more excited about being here,” Marshall said.
When she was a student, Marshall showed cattle, participated in food events, photography and ag mechanics.
“I really look forward to working with people and also helping the students in 4-H,” she said. “Doing that helped build my confidence and it’s a great program in so many ways. It teaches leadership and responsibility. It taught me how to be able to talk to people and be social, to interact with the community and help out however I could.
“I know 4-H can really make a positive impact for our local youth, help them grow and give them valuable skills that will be with them every day.”
“We’re very fortunate to have Grace join us in Live Oak and McMullen counties,” said Warren Kopplin, Live Oak County extension agent. “It’s great to have someone of her caliber and knowledge.”
“We are really looking forward to working with her and are so excited to have her join us in this area,” said Christy Lansford, McMullen County extension agent. “She has a great background and enthusiasm, and we are so glad to have her here.”