Carpenter provides agricultural information on and off the farm | Monday man

Daniel Carpenter took farming experiences from his teenage years and turned them into a career as an agricultural extension worker.

The 36-year-old is from Springfield and did not grow up on a farm, but gained plenty of work experience during his teenage years working in a few tobacco plots, hay fields and a local greenhouse .

“I loved watching things grow and knowing that what I was doing was helping them grow into something useful, tasty, or fun to watch,” Carpenter said. “I always love seeing that end product and looking back at what was done to get it to this point and thinking about what could be done to improve it.”

Carpenter went on to earn a degree in plant and soil science from the University of Kentucky in 2007 and a master’s degree in agriculture from Western Kentucky University in 2019.

Her first job after her first degree was at Cecilia Farm Service.

“I enjoyed getting to know my customers and being someone they could rely on for the agricultural products they needed and advice,” he said. “I had a good enough reputation there that a client set me up with his daughter and now she’s my wife (Whitney Carpenter).”

Carpenter then decided to pursue a career in agricultural education, which made him someone farmers could rely on for research-based information. He has been an extension worker in LaRue County for over six years.

Misty Wilmoth and Marla Stillwell work with Carpenter.

Wilmoth has worked with Carpenter for six years and they work on programs together.

“Daniel was instrumental in ensuring the Farmer’s Market was offered in LaRue County,” she said. “One of the projects he has been instrumental in is the annual AgStravaganza Farm-to-Table Meal held in downtown Hodgenville.”

She also said he helps the local FFA chapter and coaches the nationally winning crop scouting team.

Stillwell has only recently started working with Carpenter. She said he is easy to love with a good sense of humor.

“As Daniel’s new co-worker, he has been very welcoming and inclusive, making sure I’m aware of important meetings and events in LaRue County,” she said. “Daniel has a great working relationship with the many county farmers and landowners who use him, as well as his expert knowledge, and as a trusted resource.”

Carpenter likes to give farmers the correct information based on research and not random information found on social media. There is a lot of misinformation circulating today, he said, and sometimes it feels like information overload that makes it difficult to determine what is valid information and what is not.

He said he loves finding new ways to get information to people, including one of his favorite programs, a weekly podcast called Dirt to Dollars. This is a podcast he does with Hardin County Officer Matt Adams, Grayson County Officer Whitney Carmen and Carpenter. It started in 2020 just as the pandemic hit.

“It’s been a great way for us to get college information and agricultural news out to as many people as possible,” he said, adding that it can be found by searching for “Dirt to Dollars Podcast” or listening at 8:05 a.m. on Saturdays on ABE 93.7.

Matt Adams, Hardin County Agriculture and Natural Resources Extension Officer, said he has known Carpenter since Adams arrived in Hardin County.

“When you look at his story, he’s really been around and worked in a lot of different aspects of agriculture – coming from a horticultural background, then working in agricultural retail, then working in the community college system. and eventually to UK Extension – his experiences really made him a complete individual,” Adams said.

Adams said Carpenter is invested in the community.

“When he started working in LaRue County, he really bonded there and from the outside you would think he’s a lifelong local, even though he doesn’t live or have no personal connection to LaRue County,” Adams said. .

He’s also not afraid to try new things, Adams said of their podcast. He said Carpenter took it upon himself to learn the recording and editing process to produce a professional-sounding show.

Adams said Carpenter does everything possible, even when working with sheep, because he works in a county with lots of sheep and goats.

“I give him a hard time being a shepherd, but he’s my go-to on sheep and goat matters, mostly because he lives it every day,” Adams said.

By working with farmers, Carpenter’s learned the importance of communication with his peers.

“The real learning in an extension program happens in the conversations that take place at the end of a program,” Carpenter said. “It’s important for your farm operation, but it’s also important for your mental health to discuss issues, concerns, questions with your peers.”

The most successful farmers, he said, are those who are willing to ask for help and share information with other farmers.

Carpenter decided to farm himself, but said he was fairly new to it and his Howevalley farm didn’t have much infrastructure in place on the property.

“We decided to start raising Katahdin furry sheep because it didn’t involve a lot of start-up costs for us, and I was able to build and scrap the feeders and pens we had. need to start,” he said. “Even though I had a lot of farming experience and education, none of this involved sheep.”

Carpenter said he and his wife wanted the kids involved and thought helping with smaller animals would be a good start.

“It’s important for my wife and me that they learn to take care of their animals and the land,” he said.

It was also a learning experience as an extension worker, Carpenter said.

“I believe it helps me be a better source of information for others getting into farming and also for those looking to add sheep to their farms,” he said.

Carpenter was chosen as one of 22 participants selected for Class 13 of the Kentucky Farm Leadership Program and is eager to get started.

“This is an intensive two-year program that focuses on important current issues affecting agriculture,” he said, adding that the sessions focus on improving skills in communication, leadership and management. “I hope that my participation in the program will allow me to better be an effective leader in the farming and rural communities in which I live and serve.”

Carpenter is also involved with the Hodgenville Rotary Club and serves on the Board of Directors for the LaRue County Chamber of Commerce.

“I know there are a lot of farmers who would love to fill some of these roles, but their profession doesn’t allow them a lot of time to do these things,” he said. “I can make it work in my schedule and be an active voice for agriculture in these community groups. »

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