She is a seventh generation farmer and always wanted to be involved in agriculture. So, it seems like Brooke Beam has found the ideal position as the new agriculture and natural resources/community development director with the Highland County Extension Office.
A 2008 East Clinton High School graduate who also owns and operates her own grain farm in Clinton County, Beam started in her new position Tuesday. She replaces David Dugan, who previously held the same title in Highland, Adams and Brown counties. Dugan will continue in that role in Adams County, and Brown County for the time being, Beam said.
Beam said she was involved in 4-H from the time she was around 4, showing sheep, cattle, turkeys and even a barn cat, and jumped on the FFA wagon as soon as she was able. She took fourth place in the nation with an FFA project about making maple syrup.
“I was always interested in showing livestock; it was just a great fit for me,” Beam said of 4-H this week from her new office in Hillsboro. “4-H instills great value in its participants like learning how to work, responsibility, and taking care of projects, so I think it’s a wonderful program for youth.
“I’ve always wanted to be involved with the agriculture industry, and I think with Extension, it has a lot of opportunities that are more than just 4-H. It gives me an opportunity to broaden my horizons on agriculture and community development topics.”
Beam grew up on a farm near Sabina. She earned her a bachelor’s degree in agriculture communications, with a minor in ag business; a master’s degree with a specialization in agricultural communications; and a doctorate degree in agriculture and Extension education, with a specialization in agricultural communications – all from Ohio State University.
In her new job, Beam said she will be working solely with Highland County. She will be responsible for creating educational programs for agriculture and natural resources and community development, supporting the needs of the community.
She said she held internships positions that were similar to her new role, but this is the first time she has worked with Extension.
“So I’m excited to use my background and skills here in Highland County,” Beam said. “Highland County has a wonderful agricultural community and I felt it was a great opportunity for me.”
On her farm, Beam said she works with her father, mostly growing corn and soybeans. In her spare time she likes to operate a drone doing with photography and videography.
“I plan to develop programs tailored toward the needs of the community. I’m still in a little of the development stage yet of determining what those will be,” Beam said. “I’m excited to be here and look forward to the opportunity to work with the consumers and be actively involved in Highland County.”
Her first real interaction with the community, Beam said, will come at the eighth annual Extension/4-H Dinner & Auction Fundraiser, scheduled for Saturday, April 21 at the Rabbit & Poultry Barn on the Highland County Fairgrounds. But she said she would welcome the opportunity to meet or talk with local residents before then.
Beam can be reached at her office at 937-393-1918.
Reach Jeff Gilliland at 937-402-2522 or [email protected]