Extension office gains new agent

Family and Consumer Science position filled
By 
Miriam Campan
Reporter
Tuesday, April 20, 2021
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New Family and Consumer Science extension agent Sarah Hodgskiss holds up packets of seeds, available free, at the Extension Service office at the courthouse. Hodgskiss started her new job there this week.
Photo by Miriam Campan

It was a long wait, but Sarah Hodgskiss took the first of many steps this week to begin her new life in Lewistown as the MSU Extension Family and Consumer Science agent.
Hodgskiss, who began the position on Monday, April 12, navigated the basics by taking MSU online trainings on everything from editing the Extension office website to Native American education.
She is also getting acquainted with her co-workers, 4-H Program Assistant Jennifer Saunders and Extension Ag Agent Emily Standley.
“I’m very lucky with the co-workers I have,” said Hodgskiss who also plans on connecting with the former FCS agent, Denise Seilstad. “I’m meeting with her hopefully this week for advice and helpful tips.”
A Montana native, Hodgskiss knew from when she was an undergraduate that she wanted to find a career as an extension agent. This May 4, Hodgskiss, will defend her thesis and graduate with a Master’s Degree in human development.
Hodgskiss is ready to defend the FCS position during rapidly changing times, and is ready to embrace the needs of the farm and ranch community, whether with canning, relationships, sewing or caregiving.
“I think people are realizing the position encompasses more than sewing, cooking and baking, but includes family finance and family relationships. More people are realizing that now. I was pretty surprised at all the classes I took under Human Development and Family Sciences,” said Hodgskiss.
Growing up in a 4-H environment in Choteau, Mont., Hodgskiss is looking forward to the summer and the Fair.
“ I am very excited about 4-H camp because it was my favorite part of the summer. 4-H taught me so many skills, like public speaking, leadership, organizational skills and getting out of my comfort zone and meeting new people in new settings,” said Hodgskiss.

Aside from her academic education those skills will serve her as she begins gathering data on how to best serve her new community.
“I think the first thing I want to do is ‘Needs Assessment’ and what the community wants in this position.  My job is to figuring out what that need is,” said Hodgskiss.
Settling into Lewistown, Hodgskiss will be joined shortly by her fiancé, Daniel Bock, who graduates in May from Bozeman with a degree in animal husbandry.

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