Victoria Simonsen is the new Pratt County Extension Agent.
Some jobs require the person to hit the ground running and that is true for Victoria Simonsen, Pratt’s new county extension agent as of June 4. She is an agriculture and resources agent whose main focus areas will be crop production and horticulture.
Simonsen, who currently lives in Ruskin, Neb. is finishing a masters program at the University of Nebraska at Lincoln and will start her new position in Pratt immediately out of the masters program.
“This is my first Extension job. It’s very exciting,” Simonsen said.
An open house for Simonsen is scheduled from 2-5 p.m. on Friday, June 29 at the Extension Office. Everyone is invited to attend and meet Pratt’s new extension agent.
Simonsen will arrive in Pratt in about a week one of her first duties will be working with current Extension Agent Jodi Drake in preparation for the Pratt County Fair. She said she is anxious to the fair activity and meeting the community.
“I’m looking forward to getting out and talking to people,” Simonsen said. “Pratt seems like a really nice community. The people seem really nice.”
Simonsen brings a wealth of education to the Pratt Extension Office that is her first job ever with Extension. She has degrees in environmental studies, fisheries and wildlife, grassland ecology and management from U of N. She comes to Pratt from the Nebraska Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit where she was a research assistant.
She was finishing her masters thesis when she found the opening for Extension Agent in Pratt. She plans on finishing and graduating in December. She was going to get finished earlier but when the Extension job became available, she decided since summer is a busy time for Extension that she would come to Pratt to start work and finish up her masters later this year.
“With summer being a busy time for Extension, it would be better to come into the job now,” Simonsen said.
Simonsen said she has a lot to learn when she arrives. She is ready to jump right in and get to work. She wants to find out what programs already exist and work to keep those going while she works on establishing new programs to meet the interests of the community. The wheat plot tour will definitely be back next year. She would like to go more with horticulture and wants to bring workshops to Pratt. She has considered workshops for wreath making, landscaping or growing trees. But this will depend on community interest.
In the crop area, she wants to learn more about cotton. There isn’t a lot of cotton in Nebraska but it is a growing industry in the Pratt area. She said a noxious weed test plot for testing herbicides might be possible.
Simonsen said she knows people will ask her a lot of questions and she might not know all the answers. But Extension has a lot of resources she can draw from to help solve issues for producers.
Simonsen is engaged to Quintin Brennfoerder. Her parents are Gerald and Julie Simonsen who still live in Ruskin. She has an older sister Stacy and a younger brother Brian.