McSwain to Transfer to Overton as Specialist

June 1 Last Day for Extension Agent

Shelby County Extension Agent Jheri-Lynn McSwain will be transferred to Overton,  as the 4-H and Youth Development Specialist for District 5 on June 1.

“I received my Ph.D. last year and getting my doctorate allowed me to look for new opportunities in Extension that required that level of education and background,” McSwain said. “The job in Overton became available and it will allow me to continue to live in Shelby County but be close enough to my new office. In District 5, there are 22 counties and I will be serving as a resource for the agents in all 22 counties for them to develop and build their 4-H and youth programs.”

Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service is a government agency located in all 254 counties in Texas that provides educational resources for the people in different counties.

“In my area, I cover nutrition, chronic disease prevention, wellness, programs on family development and 4-H, which is a youth development program,” McSwain said. “After I leave my current position on June 30, then the position will be made available to internal Extension employees all over the state. Hopefully, the position will be filled quickly. Of course, with a new agent coming in, they are going to bring what they are passionate about to the county. My area is gardening and horticultural, so who knows what the new person will bring.”

Before joining Extension six years ago, McSwain was an elementary school principal in Temple.

“I was actually finishing up my master's degree in Horticulture and was working as a principal,” McSwain said. “The chair of my committee told me I had to have an internship to get my master’s and she suggested I reach out to Extension to have an internship. They accepted, and I was so impressed by Extension, how it met the needs of its clientele, what they did and how it was still teaching. I applied for this position and got in. I have been an educator for 15 years and it was very natural to flow into this position.”

As the District 5 4-H and Youth Development Specialist, McSwain will be introducing and marketing new programs, building new corporate level sponsorship programs, bring more funding to youth, and being a resource for agents in all 22 counties.

“Accepting my new position has come with a lot of mixed emotions,” McSwain said. “I have been able to create so many community relationships in Shelby County, I think that is the hardest part. It almost feels like I am leaving a relationship, not a job because of the people and the support that has been provided by the people of Shelby County. The last few weeks have been challenging emotionally.”

McSwain will continue volunteer work in Shelby County.

“I have already been asked by the Quilts of Valor to continue as a volunteer, I will continue to be a part of the Rotary Club here in Center, and plan to do a lot of volunteer work through that organization,” McSwain said. “I would like to continue volunteer work and giving back to Shelby County because this is my home.”

After June 30th, you may contact Lane Dunn, CEA-Ag/NR or Feleshia Thompson, BLT Educator at 936-598-7744 with questions you may have regarding 4-H or Family & Community Health programs for Shelby County.

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