March 5, 2021
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John Thobe

Texas A&M AgriLife has announced the hiring of John Thobe as the new EA-IPM agent for Bailey, Castro, and Parmer counties.
In the summer of 2010 John relocated to West Texas after growing up in a farming community from a small town in Iowa. Attending Plainview High School before furthering his education at West Texas A&M with a degree in Plant and Soil sciences. “It was definitely a culture shock moving from Iowa, but I knew from a young age I wanted to help producers, farming runs in my blood.” says John.
David Kerns, (Associate Department Head & IPM Coordinator Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service) was quoted as saying, “We are extremely pleased and delighted to have Mr. John Thobe join our Texas IPM Program team to serve Bailey, Parmer and Castro counties…” “… John has a good depth of experience and will undoubtably be a great asset to the agricultural producers he serves.”
Michael Clawson (District Extension administrator District 2) “If you look at agriculture revenues for Texas, the geographical area of Bailey, Parmer and Castro counties historically rank in the top ten counties for agriculture production in Texas.”
Having worked for AgriLife in High School with Blayne Reed (Hale and Swisher EA IMP extension agent) as a field scout for three years, John has a well-rounded portfolio of experiences. Continuing his AgriLife experience John worked for Dr. Jordan Bell out of Bushland Tx. while he attended college. Upon graduation John worked for Monsanto/Bayer in both Aiken and Lubbock at a cotton seed production facility as a seed treater. During his summers at Monsanto/Bayer John spent much of his time in the field with producers, checking fields, and obtaining field notes on the different varieties that he serviced. John then decided to try something new and work as a location manager of a local Co-op in Oklahoma. Since then John has moved back to the panhandle and has been with AgriLife as of March first.
“I wanted to be a part of Texas A&M AgriLife Extension to provide an unbiased opinion that producers can turn to when they need an up-to-date source of information,” said Thobe. “I will strive to be the first phone call producers make when a new pest, disease pressure, or variety change comes their way.” – AgriLife today
“… AgriLife Extension is excited to have John Thobe join our team of Extension educators as the Extension Agent – Integrated Pest Management (IPM) for Bailey, Parmer and Castro counties. His education, work background, and more importantly, his passion about agriculture will be tremendous assets as he works with ag producers to identify issues impacting their production and in the transfer of new ag technologies through Extension programs. I’m looking forward to Mr. Thobe’s work and the role he has in serving our agriculture clientele and partners.” — Michael Clawson
A Note from John
I’m so glad to have the opportunity to be a part of this team in working with AgriLife. I hope to bring to the table a fresh set of ideas while keeping past agent’s best qualities in mind, both John David as well as Monti Vandiver have been a great help in starting me down the right path.
I have many ideas about what I want the program to look like and cannot wait to get started. When working for an AgriLife IPM agent in High School and College I never thought I would have the honor of being one myself. I learned many things in my time and started out like many as a field scout. Taking place in many research trials I knew the research is what I would want to do with my career. I feel these counties are great opportunity for me and present both challenges as well as experiences.
I’m really looking forward to meeting with producers and being a part of the agronomic system set in place. I will be forming a “steering committee” in order to help me better service the local area needs. I also hope to incorporate a scouting program into my weekly duties, this will allow me to track pest movements, understand area needs, and allows me to give a quality media output to the public. Lastly, I will be conducting research trials with the assistance of producers and third-party entities. These trials will tackle the questions of products producers use now, or will use in the future, how to better use them, and farming practices that best suit my new territory.

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