My name is Amy E. Hays, and I have recently joined Noble Research Institute Agricultural Division as the education services manager. My family and I spent 21 years in Texas with Texas A&M AgriLife Extension and the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. I am excited to join the Agricultural Division as the organization establishes this new consultation position for education services.
I am probably much like you in that I consider myself a life-long learner. What I have learned during my career in agriculture and natural resources is that things seem to change faster than we have time to process. As soon as we learn something new or different about agriculture and natural resources, we turn around and there is even more to learn.
Life-long learning is why I joined the Noble Research Institute. There is nothing more important we can do to support the future of agriculture than to continue to learn all we can about the relationship between efficient production and sustainable production. My job is to make those learning environments as meaningful as possible for producers.
There is no doubt that "education" as a whole has changed, especially for nonformal learning opportunities. You and I have a world of learning at our fingertips in a way unlike those before us. You and I have constant access to information 24/7 through smart devices and online information. From an educational perspective, that means new opportunities exist for learning that were not present when information traveled slower. That also means both online and face-to-face learning (through consultation, programs and events) might need to be revamped to include a wider variety of ways in which people learn. The Noble Research Institute created my position to enhance the ways in which we serve producers by bringing to bear the variety of ways people learn through consultation and events. I will spend the next year working with consultants and staff to serve producers by incorporating new ways to provide learning opportunities that complement the high quality consultations and events already well-established.
Part of the process of re-tooling learning opportunities involves feedback from producers like you who have information and education needs that change as well. I look forward to meeting you and hope that, if you have the opportunity, you will contact me about your ideas on ways we can support producers into the future.