CONNIE SWINNEY • STAFF WRITER
BURNET — As the new Burnet County AgriLife Extension Agent, Kelly Tarla says she’s going back to a job that promotes fellowship, education and tradition.
“I’ve always enjoyed being with the AgriLife Extension Service,” Tarla said. “I feel like I’m coming back home.”
Tarla, 36, comes to Burnet County after a teaching stint at an elementary school in Florence.
She was hired by the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service to replace retired agent Wade Hibler, who had served for 22 years with the local office and 33 years total with the agency.
“I’ve had lots of agents tell me I’m following a really great man. Wade has such a strong tradition in this county,” Tarla said. “I’m hoping that we can sit down and get some things worked out as to where I need to be, what I need to be doing and how I can continue his tradition and his roots.”
Her background includes working as an AgriLife extension agent for 4-H and youth development in Bastrop County and an agriculture science and FFA teacher in Higgins.
She earned her master’s degree in agriculture and a bachelor’s degree in agriculture services and development from Tarleton State University in Stephenville.
She and her husband, Bryan, have a 3-year-old son, Ridge.
Tarla’s first official day on the job is July 1.
During the month prior, she will undergo orientation in Bell, Lampasas and Llano counties, paid for by Texas A&M University, which primarily funds the position with the county picking up a portion of the salary and providing office space.
“Agriculture is always going to make sure that communities are fed. It’s a great way to socialize through 4H and through all of your club meetings, adult education and youth education,” she said. “I’m hoping I can get in there and be what the county needs.”