New AgriLife  county agent has  Hill Country roots

County Agent Justin Klinksiek shows off a poster in his office, a former version of the Texas A&M program logo in use when he was raising sheep and goats in Bandera 4-H and FFA.

Justin Klinksiek says he started his agriculture career showing sheep and goats in the Bandera 4-H and Future Farmers of America.

Born and raised in Bandera, he says he was one of 141 students who graduated from Bandera High School in 2013. From there he went to Angelo State University to study animal science, earning a bachelor of science in 2017.

While at Angelo State he attended a two-day “Roping Fiesta,” where a mutual friend introduced him to Destiny Henderson. She was studying to be a registered nurse. He first asked her out to the original Henry’s Mexican restaurant, in San Angelo. In May of 2019 they decided to get married in Kyle, which is common ground between their two families.

Klinksiek found his first AgriLife agent position in McCulloch County, living in Brady. While he was there, he also studied agriculture science at Texas A&M Kingsville. “I had a great advisor and mentor, Dr. Randall Williams. I earned my MS in 2019.”

Leaving AgriLife, Klinksiek says he became a customer of the service, while he ran a whitetail genetics program and a cow-calf operation in Brady for two years.

“Then Roy Walston retired,” he says. “The county agent position in Kerrville doesn’t come open often, and Destiny and I decided it was a great opportunity. Now we’re putting down roots in Kerrville. She found a position as a hospice nurse, and we had our son, Kason, in January. I was a member of Rotary in Brady, and I’m looking forward to meeting the Kerrville clubs.”

He says he’s also a member of Farm Bureau. “It’s more than an insurance company. We also have a separate member’s organization and board of directors. There are about 3,100 of us in Kerr County, and we serve as advocates for Texas agriculture at the county, district, state, and legislative level.”

Klinksiek says as county agent he will be working with everyone from Kerr agricultural producers to homeowners.

“I’m here to answer questions,” he says. “For instance, I can identify grasses and trees, and assist with ranch management plans. Locally, producers include mostly hay farming, and raising the cattle, sheep and goats the hay feeds. I want to use my education and knowledge, as well as AgriLife resources, to help farmers and ranchers reach their goals.”

He says he also expects to be active with the programs he grew up in, helping Kerr County students in 4-H and FFA successfully raise and show their animals, and working with the livestock judging teams. He will also be available for the Master Gardeners and Master Naturalists as they meet the needs of Kerr residents.

He says homeowners want information about turf grass and trees that populate their lawns and gardens. “One common question is how to keep skunks and raccoons from digging holes in their landscaping.”

Another AgriLife focus is on wildlife research, he says. “The Kerr Wildlife Management Area is working to improve whitetail deer management, as well as studying other animals. Another focus is on brush control, managing cedar, mesquite and prickly pear, and replacing them with plants and ground cover that will better feed both livestock and wildlife. We want plants that are both nutritious and hardy, able to survive across the Hill Country.”

He adds, “You have to know the animals. For instance, whitetail deer are much closer to goats than cattle when it comes to diet.”

He says, “One of the things I love about being a county agent with Texas A&M AgriLife is that my job is different every day. But as my father always said, ‘Anything worth doing, is worth doing right.’”

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