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By Kay Ledbetter—
VERNON—Lorrie Coop, longtime Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service family and community health agent in Knox County, has been named as the agency’s new District 3 administrator, effective Jan. 19.
District 3 is in the Rolling Plains region and represents 24 counties that reaches from Childress County in the north to Parker County in the southeast and Kent County in the southwest. Coop is headquartered at the Texas A&M AgriLife Research and Extension Center at Vernon.
Coop began her career with AgriLife Extension in 2004 after serving 11 years with the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services as a child protective services specialist. She was named the National Extension Association of Family and Consumer Sciences Educator of the Year in 2019.
“We are extremely excited to have Lorrie assume the DEA role in the Rolling Plains,” said Jeff Ripley, Ph.D., AgriLife Extension associate director of county operations in Bryan-College Station. “She brings a wealth of experience, both in and out of Extension, and a track record of leadership at the district, regional, state and national levels. Lorrie’s understanding of AgriLife Extension, and her relationships across her district will serve her well as she leads the staff in District 3 to new heights.”
Coop said having grown up in the Rolling Plains, beginning as a 4-H member in Knox County and working in the area her whole career, has given her the opportunity to develop some great relationships along the way.
“I’m excited to begin the role of district Extension administrator in the district that I have always called home,” she said. “I am looking forward to working with agents, specialists and commissioners’ courts to continue the tradition of providing quality, educational programs that meet the needs of the citizens in District 3.”
Coop has been recognized for her ability to develop positive relationships with individuals of all ages and to find interesting ways to help them learn.
As a county agent, she facilitated grant funding to improve accessibility and provide Americans with Disabilities Act-compliant improvements in Benjamin. She also provided education to families on proper usage and installation of child safety seats, seat belt safety, bicycle safety and hyperthermia prevention.
Coop led community youth mental health and literacy training programs and a summer workforce program. A unique program she developed and conducted was “Dashboard Dining,” a food safety curriculum for heavy equipment operators, to educate them on proper food handling while working on the side of the road.
Coop has earned AgriLife Extension’s Superior Service Award for her work individually and on the mental health awareness team. She also was part of the team receiving the Early Childhood Care Training Award from the National Extension Association of Family and Consumer Sciences.
She has earned numerous other awards with the national and Texas Family and Consumer Science Association, as well as from Epsilon Sigma Phi, AgriLife Extension, the National and State Association of Extension 4-H Agents and the Texas Rural Leadership Program.