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New OSU Extension role supports beginning farmers and ranchers

Friday, April 5, 2024

headshot of Josh Campbell with brown hair, wearing an orange collared shirt and a gray blazer

Josh Campbell previously served nine years as a county educator in the areas of horticulture and agriculture. (Photo by Todd Johnson, OSU Agriculture)


By Laney Reasner


In late 2023, Josh Campbell became the first Oklahoma State University Extension state specialist for beginning farmers and ranchers. The position was created to expand and stabilize programs and efforts that support new and beginning producers in Oklahoma.


Campbell moved to Oklahoma from Arkansas as a child and said agriculture has always been part of his life through experiences on his grandparents’ farms. In college, he learned about different agricultural career opportunities and became interested in Extension.


“I was drawn to the possibility of a job that combined my love of agriculture with my interest in education and community service,” Campbell said.


He previously served OSU Extension as a county educator for nine years in the areas of horticulture and agriculture. Campbell’s current role allows him to apply his expertise for new producers.


“Having served as a county Extension professional, I have worked with many beginning farmers and ranchers,” Campbell said. “I’m aware of the many challenges they face.”


He will develop educational opportunities for beginning farmers of any age, gender or background, help them navigate challenges and assist in implementing resources that support agricultural entrepreneurship.


“I would also like to build strong collaboration and partnerships between OSU Extension and beginning farmer and rancher-serving organizations across the state, Campbell said. “Then we can develop collaborative educational initiatives.”


He plans to assist young farmers, those just beginning their agricultural pursuits, those with small operations and farmers with various ethnic backgrounds. From land costs and accessing capital to establishing viable business plans, Campbell believes the position will help new producers better understand the OSU Extension resources that are available.


“New and beginning farmers represent the next generation of our food production system,” Campbell said. “Supporting them is crucial for the future strength of American agriculture.”

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