AgriLife Extension provides dozens of popular programs, including Texas 4-H and Youth Development, Texas Master Gardeners and Junior Master Gardeners, Texas Superstar plants, Walk Across Texas, Do Well Be Well with Diabetes, Better Living for Texans, Texas Master Naturalists, the Passenger Safety Project and many more. It also works one on one with local farmers, ranchers and landowners; provides wildlife services; diagnoses plant diseases; tests soil, water and forage; trains food handlers and pesticide applicators; and even trains county officials in the basics of serving their communities.
Headquartered at Texas A&M University in College Station, AgriLife Extension is a member of The Texas A&M University System. It is linked in a unique partnership with the nationwide Cooperative Extension System through the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture and through Texas county governments. County governments help provide locations and funding for county Extension office facilities, oversee budgets and appropriations and help AgriLife Extension staff identify program goals.
“As many Texans know, you can call on your county Extension agents for help with a wide variety of subjects,” said Dr. Darrell Dromgoole, AgriLife Extension’s associate director for county programs. “Extension strives to meet the needs of Texans by asking them what educational programs and services would help in their daily life. Our strong support from county governments allows us to develop those programs and deliver them directly to the people.”
Dr. Douglas Steele, director of AgriLife Extension, said, “By building coalitions with county governments and collaborating with other public and private groups and organizations — and with the help of our more than 100,000 volunteers — AgriLife Extension conducts educational programs that address the diverse range of contemporary and emerging issues affecting the residents of our state. By presenting this award, we hope to show just how much the spirit of cooperation within each county means to us, and to all Texans, as we celebrate a century of success in Extension education and look forward to extending knowledge and providing solutions in the future.”
Nolan County is located in west central Texas. The county was named for Philip Nolan. It lies on the lower plains, with the western end of the Callahan Divide in the southern section of the county. The land is predominantly rolling uplands to the north, with plateaus traversed by valleys in the south. The agricultural economy centers around cattle and livestock products, but 50 percent of the annual agricultural income is from crops, especially cotton, wheat, sorghum, and hay. Petroleum, natural gas, gypsum, rock, sand and gravel are also produced in the county.
The Missouri Pacific and the Santa Fe railroads have lines in Nolan County. The Texas State Technical College in Sweetwater is a vocational training facility that began operation in 1970. Communities in the county include the county seat of Sweetwater, Roscoe, Blackwell, Highland, and Nolan. The largest tourist attraction in Nolan County is the World’s Largest Rattlesnake Round-up, held each March.
The Army Air Force used Sweetwater’s airfield for training during World War II, and before that the field served as a training base for Britain’s military flying cadets. In 1943 the Women’s Air force Service Pilots were trained there.