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Retired NMSU Extension director Dictson named to NMACAA Hall of Fame

Retired New Mexico State University Cooperative Extension Service Director Billy Dictson has been selected to join the New Mexico Association of County Agriculture Agents and National Association of County Agricultural Agents Hall of Fame for a lifetime of service to the people of New Mexico and the nation.


Billy Dictson
Retired New Mexico State University Cooperative Extension Service Director Billy Dictson has been selected to join the New Mexico Association of County Agriculture Agents and National Association of County Agriculture Agents Hall of Fame. (NMSU photo)

"I was fortunate to work with thousands of New Mexicans during my career, many of whom I still count as lifelong friends,Ē Dictson said. ďHopefully, I made a difference in some of their lives along the way."

Dictson started his Cooperative Extension Service career as a youth in 4-H in Roosevelt County. Extension was quick to become a pivotal force in Dictsonís life: He met the love of his life, Bobby Ann Vinzant, in 4-H and she was his county agentís daughter.

After completing his bachelorís degree at NMSU in 1965 he was hired to be the 4-H agent in Quay County, N.M., where he served until 1968 when he accepted the 4-H agent position in Curry County. During that time he completed his masterís degree in 1972 at NMSU while maintaining his programmatic duties in Curry County.

He served in that position until 1976 when he accepted the county agriculture agent and program directorís position in Curry County. He was the first agent in New Mexico to be promoted to full county agent while serving the 4-H program.

In 1988 he was promoted to the position of Eastern District department head and after exemplary service he was named director of the NMSU Cooperative Extension Service, in 1997.

Dictson retired in 2002 after 37 years but rejoined the university on a part-time basis to start and direct the Office of Biosecurity in the College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences after 9/11, a position he held until 2013.

Dictson never forgot his roots in the county and was a champion of county-based programming in his activities at the state and national level. He served as president of the National Association of County Agricultural Agents in 1986 and testified before Congress during his tenure.