Trimble County gets new Ag agent following retirement of Mike Pyles
Pennsylvania native Perkins recently worked in Oldham
BEDFORD, Ky. (May 2016) – Since third grade, Kevin Perkins has had his sights set on raising cattle. An entrepreneurial individual from an early age, Perkins has now assumed the role of Agricultural Agent in Trimble County, where he can talk cattle and farming all day long.
A native of Waterford, Pa., Perkins was raised on a small farm. For 11 years he showed Hereford steers in 4-H. “That got me hooked on raising cattle,” he said. The idea stuck with him into adulthood.
With a focus set towards the future, Perkins attended Middle Tennessee State University, where he received a degree in Ag-Business with a minor in Business Law. He was active in many organizations including the Livestock Judging Team, Block & Bridle Club, Farmhouse Fraternity and the House of Representative.
“Outside of school, I managed a small Angus operation and showed cattle,” said Perkins, 39. He has worked on farms and managed cattle operations from Massachusetts to Tennessee. “It’s all I’ve wanted to do since third grade.”
He lives in Turners Station, in Henry County, with his wife, Kimberly, and two children, Brenna, 9, and Braden, 7. They live on a small farm and raise Hereford and crossbred cattle that Brenna shows and sells.
Work brought Perkins to Kentucky 12 years ago, and since March 2016, he has been the new Trimble County Cooperative Extension Agent for Agriculture and Natural Resources. Perkins replaced Mike Pyles, who retired in December 2015.
Pyles, who grew up in Carroll County, Ky., moved to Trimble County in February 1981, replacing Millard Maxey as County Ag Agent. He had spent the two previous years in the same position in Harlan County, Ky., before moving to Trimble County with his wife, Carole.
A Meet ‘N Greet was held for Perkins on March 15 at the Trimble County Cooperative Extension Office located at 43 High Country Lane in Bedford.
Perkins had considered such a position in the past, and he looked at it more seriously once Pyles retired. Due to previous injuries, he decided to change careers and “when the opportunity came up, I took it,” he said.
“Kevin will be a great agent for Trimble County,” said Traci Missun, Oldham County Cooperative Extension Agent for Agriculture and Natural Resources. “He is a hard worker and knows how to get things done. And he cares about people and the future of agriculture.”
Missun and Perkins met about eight years ago when he was the Cattle Manager for an Oldham County farm. He called Missun’s office with questions about renovating pastures on the farm.
“That farm was one of the tour stops on Kentucky Livestock Coalition’s ‘Meat Your Neighbor’ event,” she said. “The event was a way to educate the non-agriculture public about farms and the way food is produced. Kevin and I were both speakers during the event.”
Perkins was a member of the Oldham County Cattlemen’s Association, as well as Past President of the group. “During his term as president, he and I worked together to plan educational meetings that would be beneficial for cattle producers here,” said Missun.
She believes Perkins is more than qualified to fill Pyles’ shoes. “In addition to being an experienced cattle producer, Kevin has a strong business and leadership background. These are important skills that he will be able to share with Trimble County farmers and others in the community as they work to make their own businesses successful.”
Trimble County is “predominately an agricultural community,” said Perkins. “There are a high number of farms with beef cattle and livestock, and some grain farmers.”
Perkins said he intends to support clients in the community based upon his extensive experience in beef cattle, as well as all areas of agriculture. He said where Pyles’ knowledge was more horticultural-nursery based, his is more livestock based because of his background in working on cattle farms.
He has spent the last eight years working on a cattle farm in Shelbyville, Ky. While he is still too new to the position to know for certain what changes or programs he will implement, Perkins will finalize goals once he is better acquainted with the job.
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