WHARTON, Texas – The Department of Entomology and the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service welcomes Kate Harrell as the newest Extension Agent-IPM for Wharton County.
Harrell is no stranger to Texas A&M as she graduated from the university with a Bachelor’s of Science in Entomology and Agronomy in May 2013 and is currently a grad student studying Entomology. She is expected to graduate in May 2016.
Harrell began working in Wharton County on September 1, when she replaced former Extension Agent-IPM Clyde Crumley who retired on February 28, 2014.
Harrell serves the Wharton, Jackson and Matagorda areas working with research plots with the agricultural agents in the area, as well as with other Extension faculty statewide and at College Station. She also will be leading a survey style field scouting program where she will be checking fields and informing the public on the latest pests that affect the area.
Before coming to Wharton, Harrell worked as a graduate student at the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service in Lubbock. During the time she was at Lubbock, she worked on thrips research. She also assisted members of Extension and Research faculty and staff on their research projects.
Harrell also worked as a student worker for the Department of Soil and Crop Sciences from 2012-2013. As a student worker, she assisted with multiple cotton and grain research projects and in the greenhouse on gossypol free study and managed collecting data. She also helped with fieldwork with various projects on applying pesticides and fertilizers in crops.
She has interned at the Texas AgriLife Extension Service in Plainview for more than a year assisting in managing field scouting programs in Hale and Swisher counties. She provided pest updates for a weekly radio show, contributed to the newsletter, and judged 4-H record books for Swisher County.
Harrell also interned at Agro Engineering in Alamosa, Colorado, where she scouted potato fields and reported on pest complex and management options to producers and assisted with irrigation management recommendations. She also helped gather samples and maintained traps for collecting data for the potato psyllid survey project.
She was a member of the Entomology Graduate Student Organization, where she competed in the Linnaean Games at the Southwestern Branch of the Entomological Society of America and represented the Department at national ESA meetings for two years.
Harrell also served as the president of the Undergraduate Entomology Student Organization in 2011-2012 and Vice President in 2010-2011. She has also served as a student volunteer for three years with the 4-H and FFA Practice Contest Leadership Team, helping with teaching the insect collection and identification workshops, as well as general setup and cleanup during and after the practice and actual contests.
“I am excited to be working for Extension and it’s great to be working for the University,” Harrell said. “The agents and the secretary in this county and area are not only fantastic agents, but are also awesome to work with, and very willing to help. Corrie Bowen, Stephen Biles, Brent Batchelor and Stephen Yanak have also been very helpful in getting me started.”