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: Kenesha Reynolds
Title: Agricultural Business State Specialist
Extension Start Date: October 2019
Why did you choose your field of work?
I grew up on a diversified crop and livestock farm in Jamaica. I remember helping my dad on the farm even at a young age. There were no fancy tools, equipment or tractors. Instead, we used buckets and cans to water crops, since running water wasn’t always available when needed; we used a machete to dig and weed; and we pulled a lot of weeds by hand. The good ole days!
Wait, did I mention I was – well, am – terribly afraid of worms? To this day, people ask how I could be afraid of worms while working in agriculture? Anyways, I digress! Well, once I got older, I realized my dad was an expert at growing, but was not skilled in business. Given the opportunity to attend college, I knew my major was going to be business administration to help my dad with the business side of agriculture. Turns out, he still has no interest in learning about business! He just has a passion for growing crops and raising animals.
If you were told that you could only have one tool to do your job at Extension, what would it be?
Would a good personality or passion count as a tool? One of those would certainly be my pick. If those don’t count, I would have to say my one tool would be my phone or laptop; it’s a toss-up.
Describe a memorable experience you have had in your career as an educator?
I was asked to present at The New York Produce Show and Conference at the Jacob Javits Convention Center back in 2015. What an honor! With thousands of attendees and over 400 exhibitors, it was a dream. Before the conference, each speaker was interviewed and featured in the Perishable Pundit. At the end of my article, the interviewer wrote: “What an inspirational story! They better hurry up and give her tenure at Rutgers; schools will be chasing her from all over.” I will forever cherish that memory.
If there was one thing you would want everyone to know about your field of expertise, what would it be?
The business side of farming is no different than any other business. It is great to be passionate about production, but don’t neglect the bottom line. Making a profit should be the priority unless you are farming as a hobby.
How can people get in touch to learn more about your programming?
An email is always welcome! firstname.lastname@example.org
However, you can also find information on our website.
Do you have any events coming up that you’re excited about?
There are a couple events coming up early 2021, but the one I am most excited about is our business planning workshop for women farmers.
What Extension program outside of your program area, would we most likely find you at in your free time?
I am fascinated by greenhouses and hydroponics, so any program related to either or both.