A Pleasant View resident with a ranching background and recent degrees in agriculture and law has been named the new Montezuma County director for the Colorado State University Extension.
Kacey Schurr Riedel grew up participating in the local 4-H Club and rodeos, and stills runs cattle with her family. She graduated from Dolores High School, then took an ambitious education track, earning a bachelor’s degree in agriculture education from New Mexico State University and a law degree from the University of New Mexico.
“I am so excited for the opportunity to come back home and serve as extension director and support local agriculture,” Riedel said.
She wants to increase the extension office’s presence in the community. Some of her initial priorities will be the upcoming county fair, drought support for farmers and ranchers, and increasing participation in 4-H.
“My goal is to have a positive impact and manage the extension services and programs with transparency and with an open-door policy,” Riedel said in an interview. “I’ll work toward developing more of a connection between the extension and the community.”
To improve outreach, Riedel also wants to improve the extension’s website, allow for more online feedback about programs, include a social media page for the extension office and send out regular community newsletters informing the wider public about extension activities.
Her combination of ranching roots, law degree and agriculture education makes her a good choice for the position, said CJ Mucklow, Western Slope supervisor for the CSU Extension.
“She’s got a lot of heart, and has roots in the local agricultural community,” he said.
She takes over the position on July 2, but has already begun preparing for the Montezuma County Fair and setting up the extension’s new offices, at 103 N. Chestnut St. in Cortez.
Riedel replaces former director Tom Hooten, who will remain on staff for agriculture programs.