New Assistant Extension Agent joins Runnels County office

Bill Hancock
Runnels County Register
Kellie Morris joins the Texas A&M Extension Office in Runnels County as the new Assistant County Extension agent.

Morris, originally from Mesquite, TX, joined the Runnels County Extension Office a little over a month ago, joining the office headed up by Extension Agent Marty Vahlenkamp, along with Family and Community Health agent Kandice Everitt, IPM agent Haley Kennedy, and office/support staff Becky Wyatt.

RUNNELS COUNTY - Kellie Morris joins the Texas A&M Extension Office in Runnels County as the new Assistant County Extension agent.

Morris, originally from Mesquite, TX, arrived at the Runnels County Extension Office a little over a month ago, joining the office headed up by Extension Agent Marty Vahlenkamp, along with Family and Community Health agent Kandice Everitt, IPM agent Haley Kennedy, and office/support staff Becky Wyatt.

Morris lived in Stephenville for 10 years before moving to become a high school Ag teacher at Baird High School. She studied at Tarleton State, where she graduated with a Bachelors in Agriculture Services & Development, with an emphasis on Extension Support Concentration. Morris minored in Animal Science, as well as Family & Consumer Science. She wasn't done with her studies, though. She finished her college career with a Masters in Agriculture and Consumer Resources. While in college, Morris was a student-teacher who taught Ag Science and Consumer Science for several years.

The 30-year old Assistant Extension Agent's resume' includes teaching at 3 different high schools, the most recent school being Baird High School. Morris said that she enjoyed her years teaching, as both a student-teacher and later as a teacher once she graduated college, "I loved the different opportunities that high school provided, and I loved working with the kids."

Morris was an FFA advisor while teaching in Baird. When she was in Callahan County, she worked both FFA and 4H, working the local Extension Service agent. Her love for all things Ag started when she was a student at Gilmer High School, "The Ag teachers there helped shape me and taught me out to be successful."

Morris' degree in Extension Support Concentration helped her in joining the Runnels County Extension office, "Coming here to Runnels County was a really good opportunity. When I was in Baird, I thought about the great opportunities that teaching has given me, but I really wanted to be out in the public and wanted to get involved. When the opportunity came to join this office, I took it. I have a love for agriculture, as well as nutrition and health."

One website, www.withfrank.org, shows that 80% of college students change their majors at least once. This is one of the areas where Morris looked to help her students when preparing for college, "I tried to help those kids find an interest in what they really wanted to do. I changed my major 8 times."

Morris, unmarried, travels light, "I have my four-legged furry family." The family includes her dog, Mollie, and her champion Futurity horse, Kid. The name "Kid," is an understatement for the chestnut Quarterhorse that stands 16-hands tall and looks like equine perfection, "He acts just like a kid and has a fun personality." She enjoys taking the hulking equine on trail rides.

Back home in Mesquite, her father, Philip, was a letter carrier for 36-years before retiring recently, "He was really close to his customers. Now, he gardens and works on the yard. Her mother, Teresa, is a bookkeeper. Morris has a brother, Clayton, 7-years her senior, who is a police officer. He also attended Tarleton where he competed on the rodeo team.

One of her recreational pursuits is a new endeavor, "I took up bowfishing. It's a lot of fun. We search and hunt carp at night. We grind the fish up and use them as fertilizer."

Currently, as she gets settled into her duties, she's available to give presentations to civic groups, such as Rotary and Lions Club. She's also available to speak to other groups with an interest in anything Ag.

In case you happen to stop by the Extension Office to welcome the new Assistant Extension Agent, she likes goat cheese with herbs.