Photo and article by Mary Alice Murphy
Sam Lowry is the new man in the Grant County Extension Service Office. He was the fourth generation born and raised on his family's farm in Mesilla, NM.
He attended New Mexico State University, receiving a bachelors and a master's degree in agricultural biology.
"I had aspirations of getting into the Extension Service early on," Lowry said. "I got sidetracked into integrated pest management and agronomy. Right out of school, I managed for six years the IPM lab under Dr. Scott Bundy. Then the agronomy I did in Dalhart, Texas, with a large corporate potato farm, which was chipping potatoes mostly for potato chips."
He said after three years at that job, southwest New Mexico was calling him back. "It was time to get back home. With that came the rejuvenation of my desire to be in the Extension program."
"I'm happy about the program here and excited to be in Grant County for my start in extension," Lowry said.
One of his goals is to help restart the 4-H program in Cliff. "The area has a well established 4-H program and I want to improve and grow it, increasing 4-H programs for the county."
"We have a great 4-H family base here," he continued. "We can't overlook keeping it thriving, but we have to be progressive in developing our youth."
He said he would like to build Grant County Extension Service in general to the point where it is the norm as the resource for the county, not the exception.
"The Extension Service is here for outreach and programming, not only in agriculture, but in the urban setting, with backyard gardens and plants," Lowry said. "I want to emphasize the person-to-person connection and local knowledge, while incorporating technology. But there is no substitute for the person-to-person communication."
He said through technology the agents can more readily address questions from students, residents and urban gardeners.
"I look forward to engaging with the farmers and ranchers, as well as with the urban community," Lowry said. "I highly encourage people to give us a call, whether it's for a home economics question, or an agricultural or natural resource question. Don't hesitate to get in contact with us. We're a team in the office, and we will do our best to answer your question.
"Thank you for allowing me to become part of your community," he continued. "I want to become a known face and presence in the county as part of my job and as part of my personal life in the community."