- March 2019
Years in position: 8
Years at MSU: 9
Each day is different for The Jefferson County office may have just two people staffing it, but office associate Chiquita Johnson can wear many hats.
“I do whatever it takes to fulfill our clients’ needs,” she said. “Over the years I’ve learned that my main role is to be a support system for the office, but I’ve also had to learn everyone else’s role.”
Chiquita works to get clients the resources they need, and if those resources aren’t available in Jefferson County, she finds out who offers those resources.
“I want our clients to get full service, whether it’s taking a soil sample or talking to a specialist,” she said.
Chiquita is a 4-H volunteer and an NRCS commissioner, and both of those organizations benefit from her dedication.
“My 4-H volunteering takes up more time than my job!” she said. “We do a lot of outreach with NRCS, we send clients to them and they send clients to us. We are a small town, so we don’t want to duplicate efforts.”
With her older two children grown and gone, Chiquita loves working with children.
“I want to provide opportunities that children in our region wouldn’t be able to afford otherwise, and I love mentoring children,” she said.
The day she got hired full time sticks out as her favorite memory working for Extension.
“I came as a call-in secretary and wasn’t expecting to be offered a permanent position,” she explained.
A close second for most memorable moment was when a client called about a buzzard with a broken wing in his backyard.
“Let’s call someone in wildlife,” she told him.
Chiquita said she loves the variety in her job.
“I love what Extension offers. It’s never boring. It’s always fun and you get to experience so much. I learn in every situation that we’re teaching or providing information. I have the opportunity to learn something new every day.”
When not working or volunteering, she enjoys reading and spending time with her three children and 3-year-old grandson.
“I find my peace when I’m dealing with the kids who are our future,” she said.