UT Extension: It Takes All Types to Serve Effectively

As “the face of our office”, I not only get to see all of your smiling faces when you stop in for a visit, but I have the pleasure of observing and orchestrating many of the behind the scenes functions while keeping the wheels turning here. A typical day for me includes registering members of our community for various programs, fielding your calls and requests for our Agents, making snazzy flyers, updating our website at https://extension.tennessee.edu/Jefferson, happily assisting with any programs that may be held in our office or out in the community, Accounting and Administrative functions, Personnel needs, and all with a smile. If you’re visualizing something along the lines of the Ringmaster at a 3-ring circus: you’re on the right track! I was born and raised 15 minutes from downtown Nashville while spending summers on my grandparents’ 200+ acre antebellum farm in Williamson County. Following college, I spent my first 10 years living in Jefferson County, raising a family, and working in Accounting at a wonderful local company in Morristown. Since last summer when I joined Extension, every day has offered a glimpse or insight into the real, everyday needs of our community and how I can help or make a difference. My family and I have recently begun restoring a century home in White Pine and we hope to move in by this summer. My passions include Hispanic culture and the Spanish language, photography, the Arts, working with children, anything I can make with my hands, and laughing. If you don’t come in here happy, it’s a personal goal make sure you leave with a smile on your face!

Would you want to live in a world where we were all the same? Cookie cutter personalities, the same stories to tell, the same old song and dance just a different day?


It is refreshing that everyone at the UT Extension office in Jefferson County provides a slice of expertise and guidance on either a broad spectrum or niche of subjects. If each of us were highly-skilled in the same exact things, how could we effectively serve YOU, a diverse population who has such various needs? To your benefit, each of us can be compared to being his or her own piece of the UT Extension puzzle: Agriculture, Family, Youth, Nutrition & Wellness, and Community. Working together provides a daily opportunity to play off of each other’s strengths, to encourage growth in each other’s interests or improvement in areas in which we may be lacking, and to utilize each other’s knowledge. Job descriptions and titles are limiting by nature; people themselves are truly limitless. Looking for advice on practically everything Agriculture? Steven’s your man. How about a well-versed female automechanic who lacks all but shop certification and loves working with your kiddos in 4-H? That would be Robyn. Spanish translation and Accounting, suggestions for a do-it-yourself project, photography or a new recipe to try? Jennifer would love to help or teach you! Very talented Seamstresses who quilt, make Civil War era costumes, and craft to their hearts’ content? Karen and Sarah are your ladies! Basketball practice drills to amp up your workout routine or a healthier alternative to a worn out go-to dinner recipe? Melissa will hook you up. With each person bringing his or her own family background and upbringing, interests, and life experiences to the table, we are better able to meet you where you are. Our office demographic even matches that of our clientele in Jefferson County: predominantly from an agriculture background with a little taste of city life in the mix. Call or come see us, there isn’t much that we can’t help you with: 865-397-2969 or jbrucker@utk.edu.

Source: Jennifer Winkler UT Extension