Skip to main content

NMSU alumna named Grant County Cooperative Extension Service agentNMSU alumna Jessica Swapp named Grant County Cooperative Extension Service Agriculture/4-H Agent

  • By Kristie Garcia
  • May 18, 2016
Woman standing next to green 4-H scale

In a way, Jessica Swapp is back home. The Luna, New Mexico, native was recently named agriculture/4-H agent at New Mexico State University’s Grant County Cooperative Extension Service. Her office is located in Silver City, New Mexico, approximately 100 miles south of where she grew up.

“It’s all home for me,” Swapp said. “I’m very excited to be here in this position at Grant County Extension. It’s taken me a long time, and it’s been a lot of hard work to get the education and the experience needed to get into the agricultural field.”

Swapp will oversee the 4-H program and will also work closely with the agricultural community.

“This is a huge job,” Grant County Cooperative Extension Service Director Judy O’Loughlin said. “It’s very important that we keep our 4-H programs going, and Jessica is going to be perfect to fill in that gap for the agricultural community, which encompasses ranchers, farmers, backyard gardeners and the master gardener program.”

Swapp earned a bachelor’s degree in agricultural business and economics from NMSU in 2009 and a master’s degree in agricultural leadership, education and communications from Texas A&M University in 2015.

Having an agricultural business degree has helped Swapp understand the economics of the industry, and she said it will benefit her as she works with producers.

“Obviously, economics and business is a big deal for farmers and ranchers,” Swapp said. “I have to stay informed about what’s going on in that world, specifically regarding factors that will impact producers financially.”

When she is not working with producers, her focus is 4-H. As she reminisced about growing up with 4-H, it was evident Swapp is intent on having an impact on children’s lives.

“My goal is to light that passion inside of them, like I have, and that’s how I got it – through programs like 4-H,” she said. “I look forward to working with kids and teaching them about agriculture and getting them involved in agriculture. I want them to stay in agriculture.”

One of the immediate priorities for Swapp is the Grant County 4-H Hunting Team. The team recently won the state competition and will be working on raising money to travel to Nebraska for the national competition at the end of June.

She also hopes to start a livestock judging team for Grant County 4-H.

“I was on the livestock judging team at NMSU, which I really enjoyed,” Swapp said. “That experience will fuel into what I do now, which is helping kids.”

And helping the youth is what Swapp strives for. “I’m hoping to recruit more kids into 4-H,” she said. “It’s my job to make sure that they are involved in things in which they are specifically interested. Even if we haven’t ever done those types of projects before, it’s my job to facilitate that.”

For more information on the Grant County Cooperative Extension Service, call 575-388-1559 or email