UNH Extension staff are in the field every day, working with Granite State residents to make life better in New Hampshire. Because they’re so often on the go, getting to know our specialists and educators can be challenging. That’s why we’ve created In the Weeds, an ongoing series of interviews with Extension staff. Get to know the people behind our programs, discover new opportunities and pick up a few music recommendations along the way.
Name: Elaina Enzien
Title: Field Specialist, Dairy, Livestock, and Forage Crops Team
Start Date at Extension: May 2017
Why did you choose your field of work?
I always say I just kind of fell into this work. Agriculture has always been a passion of mine in some form, whether I knew it or not. I grew up hanging around and doing chores on a horse and cattle farm and then worked on a vegetable farm during summer breaks from college. At UNH I actually started out majoring in environmental studies and then switched to sustainable agriculture. I've always been so passionate about learning what it takes to be good stewards of the Earth and how agriculture can play a huge role in that, so the switch seemed like a better fit. It wasn't until my senior year at UNH when I took the Cooperative for Real Education in Agricultural Management (CREAM) class that I realized I was the happiest when I was learning and exchanging knowledge about agriculture, especially when it came to livestock production.
Do you have any events coming up that you are excited about?
I'm doing some planning and brainstorming for fall and winter programming. I’m hoping to do some livestock production schools for 2019 and more programming for women in agriculture. If you are a poultry or rabbit producer looking to sell to restaurants without USDA inspection, keep an eye out for the mandatory class in October. It will likely be in Rockingham County.
If you had to make a playlist to accompany your program, what five songs would you add first?
"Where the Green Grass Grows,” Tim McGraw, because we appreciate healthy, productive pastures and that's where we're going to go: where the green grass grows.
“Truckin,’” Grateful Dead – Milk trucks, farm trucks, dump trucks, you name it, a farm’s got it.
“Dancing Queen,” ABBA, just to shake things up a bit, because we like to have fun.
“Help!” by the Beatles, because sometimes you need help, you need somebody and not just anybody – this is what we do!
And “On the Road Again,” by Willie Nelson. Ol’ Willie said it right: we're always on the road again, from the North Country to Lakes Region to Merrimack Valley and the Seacoast.
If there was one thing you would want everyone to know about your field of expertise, what would it be?
Use the science and apply it, but don't forget the basics of livestock production. Keep it practical.
How can people get in touch with you?
email@example.com or 603-679-5616. Checking out our Dairy, Livestock, and Forage Crop page on Facebook or the UNH Extension website events page are also great ways to find upcoming events. You can also sign up for our team's newsletter to get opportunities sent right to your inbox.
If you were told that you could only have one tool to do your job at Extension, what would it be?
This is a tough one. Although I'm tempted to say my weed and forage identification book, I'd actually have to say my car. I'm on the road a lot between farm visits, programming around the state and meetings with colleagues and partnering organizations. It'd be impossible to do anything without a set of wheels.
What Extension program, outside of your program area, would we most likely be able to find you at in your free time?
It's on my to-do list, but I'd totally love to join the Nature Groupies sometime! What a great batch of activities and opportunities they have available. And of course, during fair season, at one of our many county fairs, I’m always checking out some of the livestock that 4-H'ers are raising.