By Casey Peacock: PNT Staff Writer
Melanie Gutierrez has been named the new Roosevelt County 4-H Agent, according to New Mexico State University Cooperative Extension officials.
“I’m excited to be here and to just be able to work with the kids. Hopefully I can give a new perspective on 4-H and get some new kids involved,” Gutierrez said.
Gutierrez took over the position on Sept. 17, replacing Patrick Kircher, who moved into the position of Roosevelt County agriculture agent.
Before moving to Portales for her new job, Gutierrez worked as an artificial insemination manager for Murphy Farms, in the Texas Panhandle, she said.
A 2005 graduate of New Mexico State University with a degree in Animal Science, Gutierrez was searching for a career path that would allow her to work in an area that could provide a positive impact on someone’s life, she said.
“If I can make one person’s life better I feel like I’ve made a difference,” Gutierrez said. “I wanted to be involved in helping kids do something more with their life.”
Since coming on board, Gutierrez has been moving at a fast pace. During her first week on the job, she participated in the Farm Safety Day Camp. In October she traveled to Roswell for the Eastern New Mexico State Fair, and on Tuesday night was active in the “4-H Kickoff Cookout” where she was able to meet many of the 4-Hers and their parents, she said.
“I’ve really enjoyed meeting people in the community through my job,” Gutierrez said.
A 10-year 4-H member in Quay County, Gutierrez is looking forward to the start of the new 4-H year and the upcoming county council elections. She is anxious to start team building within the county and keeping the kids involved in the 4-H program, something that she feels is important. She hopes to teach the 4-Hers that there is more to the program than just work, she said.
“There is some fun that comes along with all the hard work,” Gutierrez said.
During her years as a member of the 4-H organization, Gutierrez was also a member of the Future Farmers of America for five years.
Through these organizations, Gutierrez participated in judging in a variety of events, focusing mainly on livestock. She was also active in showing livestock, she said.
“I was competitive in steers and lambs. I also showed pigs and heifers too,” Gutierrez said.
Gutierrez has been married to her husband Wade for two years and is looking forward to having him join her in Portales. The couple has no children, but enjoy the companionship of their Corgi dog, Ace. Gutierrez is active in supporting her husband at various Ranch Rodeo competitions. She is also working to raise show lambs, she said.