Cottonwood Connections March2023

March 2023

Welcome- District Director--Jay Harris

Hello, my name is Jay Harris and I will be the new Cottonwood District Extension Director and Community Vitality Agent beginning on March 13th. I will have my main office in Hays and will be spending time in all of Ellis and Barton Counties. I was raised in Ransom, Kansas and graduated from Ransom High School. From there I attended Dodge City Community College and received an Associate of Applied Science degree. I then attended Kansas State University and received my B.S. in Agronomy with a Business Option in 1990 and my M.S. in Agronomy in 1993. My first job after graduation was as Company Agronomist for Koch Agri Services in York, NE. In this position I was responsible for company-wide training for employees making agronomic recommendations to farmers.

My wife and I then moved to Ness City in 1997 after our first son was born. I moved back to Ness County to start the transition of taking over the family farm. While this transition was beginning, I taught agriculture courses at Dodge City Community College. A few years later I completely took over the farm and stopped teaching at Dodge City Community College. While farming I coached various sports at Ness City High School and Sacred Heart Catholic School, served two terms as a county commissioner and was the business manager for my wife’s veterinary clinic, Western Edge Veterinary Center.

We then moved to Hays in the summer of 2016 and I started teaching and coaching at Thomas More Prep-Marian Junior/Senior High School. I taught agriculture courses there and started an FFA Chapter for the school. This FFA Chapter is the only one at a private school in the state of Kansas. I also coached football, basketball and track at TMP-Marian. I am also the business manager for my wife’s veterinary clinic, Western Prairie Equine Service.

I am married to Dr. Kris Harris and we have two sons. Kyle is a 4th year medical student at KU in Wichita. Kade is a senior at TMP-Marian and will be attending Fort Hays State University this fall.

I look forward to working with the Kansas State University Research and Extension Cottonwood District agents and staff as well as everyone in Ellis and Barton Counties. I will be attending multiple events during my first few months and look forward to meeting as many people as possible