Just a Week In, OK's New Extension Services Director Damona Doye Deals with the Tough IssuesFri, 09 Feb 2018 12:45:36 CST
It has been about a week since Damona Doye officially stepped into her new position with Oklahoma State University’s Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources’ Extension Service as its new director. Radio Oklahoma Ag Network Farm Director Ron Hays caught up with Doye recently to see how she is settling into the job and where she hopes to see it go as her department continues to cope with the restraints of ongoing budget challenges. You can listen to that complete interview by clicking or tapping the LISTEN BAR below at the bottom of the page.
“I’ve said that while we may face budget constraints, it won’t confine or define us,” Doye said determinedly. “We will have to continue to sort out our priorities and how we think we can best address the needs of our rural communities and our different stakeholders.”
Some are concerned that these financial constraints may be ushering in an end to the era of having a local agent on hand in every one of Oklahoma’s 77 counties. However, Doye says her department is committed to keeping as many agents in the field as they can afford. She says she understands the importance of having a local presence across the state to be the eyes and ears of the Extension service, so that the needs of our rural communities can be communicated back to what research and investments need to be made. However, with the evolution of technology and how it is being used today, Doye says there is opportunity for Extension to reach an even larger audience more effectively and efficiently. She assures, though, that all forms of communication preferred by stakeholders will continue to be invested in.
“It is important we have a local presence, and it is also important we have a good presence in the virtual world as well,” she said. “So, we have to be thoughtful and deliberate about how we go about improving our presence in those spaces as well.”
Serving our rural communities through Oklahoma’s Extension Service has been a life-long career for Doye and she says this opportunity has given her a new challenge and a chance to give back to the organization that has provided so much for her.
“Having been a farm management specialist for 30 years, having some new challenges is exciting and inviting and it’s been great fun to start to learn more about the other disciplines in Extension,” Doye shared. “I haven’t had an opportunity to get everywhere in this first week on the job, but I’m trying to get out and about to learn from our different offices their needs and the needs of local stakeholders.”
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