Writer: D'Lyn Ford
ALBUQUERQUE - Local 4-H and youth education programs will receive a boost from Estancia native Warren Metzger, the new 4-H agricultural agent with the Torrance County office of New Mexico State University's Cooperative Extension Service.
Metzger began work in May as a temporary 4-H agent after Tara Dellinger resigned. He was hired full time in November.
"I'm very excited about returning to my hometown as 4-H agent," Metzger said. "There's a lot of really good, enthusiastic youth in Torrance County and the parents are very active. I look forward to recruiting more youngsters into the program and to helping them set and achieve their goals."
Metzger grew up on a farm and ranch in Estancia, where his family continues to raise registered Maine-Anjou cattle. He was active in 4-H from age 9 to 19, until he left to earn an associate's degree at Clarendon College in Texas.
He earned a bachelor's degree in 1989 from NMSU and a master's degree in 1997, both in agricultural and extension education.
As an undergraduate, Metzger worked summers for Frost Feeds in Estancia. He did student teaching in vocational agriculture at Moriarty High School and worked briefly as a paid intern with the Torrance County Extension office in 1989.
Metzger also taught animal production, animal nutrition and range management in 1990 at Sanders Unified Schools in Arizona.
In February 1991, he joined Extension as 4-H agent in Quay County, where he remained until returning to Torrance County last year.
During his 10 years in Quay County, Metzger coached and trained several state and national winning judging teams, including a team that won the national livestock contest in Kansas City in 1994 at the American Royal, and a livestock team that was reserve national champion at the North American International that same year.
He worked heavily in 4-H leadership training and school enrichment projects. He planned and organized county and district 4-H contests, helped organize the State 4-H Horse Show and Quay County Rodeo, and served on state and district planning committees.
"Warren brings 10 years of excellent Extension experience to our county," said Bill Neish, program director and agricultural agent in Torrance County.
Metzger works on judging, leadership and livestock projects, but he says he will emphasize leadership activities, given the county's tradition for producing 4-H leaders. "The leadership part of the 4-H program has been very strong here, and I want to uphold that tradition," Metzger said.
He will start a 4-H school enrichment program at elementary schools in the county.
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