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Vargas to Retire After 27 Years

Javier Vargas will retire Jan. 31 as Doņa Ana County agricultural agent and program director with New Mexico State University's Cooperative Extension Service.

"If I had intentionally gone out to look for a job as fulfilling as this, I never would have found it," Vargas said. "However, it is time for a younger person with new ideas and energy to take over and continue doing the good work that we do."

Vargas began his Extension career in 1971 working with employment education. From 1972 to 1975, he worked as the assistant county agent in Otero and Doņa Ana counties. In 1976, he became the Doņa Ana County agricultural agent, working extensively with chile and pecan production. Vargas was named county program director in 1988.

"He has been a long and valued faculty member of Extension. He has been a very valuable resource to the citizens of Doņa Ana County," said Billy Dictson, interim associate Extension director. "In addition, he has served Extension, the College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences and New Mexico State University well in many endeavors. He will be missed."

Vargas started the annual New Mexico Chile Conference, and over the years has helped develop it into a world-class conference. He also spearheaded am effort to establish Extension in Venezuela, Dictson said.

Vargas received a bachelor's degree in agricultural business in 1971 and a master's degree in agricultural and extension education in 1977, both from NMSU.

He is a past president of the New Mexico County Agents' Association and received a distinguished service award for the National Association of County Agricultural Agents in 1991. He also served as chair of the state library commission for five years.

In retirement, Vargas plans to keep busy, both personally and professionally. "I'm retiring from a job, but not from life," he said.