New 4-H educator finds ‘all the civilization’ she needs

UW graduate Jen Matosky

Sublette

County 4-H Extension Educator Jen Matosky

is brand new in town – she just arrived

on Wednesday and on Friday morning, met

with 4-Hers bringing their lambs and dog to

the Sublette Center for a little pet parade.

Next is the 4-H Jackpot Livestock Show

at the Sublette County Fairgrounds and,

of course, the Sublette County Fair itself

– Matosky has already contacted fair organizer

Kailey Barlow. Her biggest concern

right now is how to get to know 4-H leaders,

members and livestock while dealing with

the COVID-19 restrictions in place at this

time. Statewide 4-H activities were locked

down from March 19 through May 15 and

planning programs and events will require

caution.

“It is different,” she said of possibly

planning a meet-and-greet via Zoom rather

than in person. “We have to tread lightly

with coronavirus; I want to call the leaders

and introduce myself. Maybe we’ll do it in

person later on.”

Matosky was an equine 4-H club member

growing up in Douglassville, Penn., not

that far from Philadelphia. But that does not

mean she isn’t prepared for this slightly remote

and western outpost of western Wyoming.

For starters, Matosky chose to attend the

University of Wyoming after her family visited

an uncle who lived nearby. She graduated

in 2017 with a degree in Agriculture

Business and Animal Science.

“I thought ‘no way,’” she said of UW.

“But loved it when I visited there. It was a

good fit for me. I got most of my experience

with livestock at UW. I absolutely loved it.”

The College of Ag offers a wealth of

hands-on experience and the tuition was

very affordable for an out-of-state student,

she added. “I learned a lot in a short amount

of time.”

And she made a lot of friends – Matosky

has a close friend in Kemmerer who lives

on a ranch. Another works with the Uinta

County 4-H Extension Office, who grew

up in Jackson and attended UW with her.

That’s how she first learned about this position

in Sublette County.

After graduation, Matosky had moved

back to be near her family and her 4-H position

before this one likely prepared her for

just about anything.

“Most recently I was the 4-H and Agriculture

Program associate in the least populated

county in Virginia, Highland County,”

she said. “There are 2,000 people in the

whole county. I had to drive an hour and a

half to get to the grocery store.”

Matosky worked a lot in the Highland

County schools on anything with an agricultural

purpose. She helped local cattle association

members vaccinate for the state’s

One of her first official duties is to join 4-Hers Callie Windbigler, left, with her

lamb Brett Young and Cadin Windbigler, with her lamb Jake Owens at the

Sublette Center on Friday morning. In back, from left, are Sara Windbigler

with Buster Brown, Megan Smith and Jen Matosky.

Joy Ufford photos

UW graduate Jen Matosky, who arrived last week, is excited to be Sublette County’s new 4-H Extension educator.

Beef Quality Assurance program and with

the local sheep association’s “wool pull.”

She taught electrical projects and worked in

the school garden and with 4-H camps.

Although she was closer to her family,

her parents are traveling more and Matosky

grew a little homesick for wide-open

spaces. So she decided to apply for the Sublette

County position.

“I missed the West, I missed the people,”

she said. “I just enjoy it out here – I’ve met

some of my favorite people out here.”

Matosky said she can see how important

having an active, vibrant 4-H program is to

the people in and around Sublette County.

“You can tell the community really

backs this 4-H program; you could see that

throughout the interview process,” she said.

“There are a lot of good resources here. I’m

young, I’m pretty energetic and I am really

willing to work.””

She is determined to be “mindful” of

finding efficiencies, getting feedback and

focusing on leaders and members.

“You have to find what motivates each

person and hone in on that,” she said of

building the relationships needed to keep

the program growing. The range specialist

position might be opening soon so she

and office manager Megan Smith will have

company in the building south of town.

Matosky loves to fly-fish, so she looks

New 4-H educator finds ‘all the civilization’ she needs

By Joy Ufford, [email protected]

forward to seeing more country. She also is

an avid quilter and was excited to see Heritage

Quilts.

“It’s a good mix of everything and covers

a lot of my interests – and it’s pretty, of

course,” she said of the county. “And I love

the Pinedale slogan – ‘All the civilization

you need.’”

Asked if she was informed in the interview

process that the nearest Wal-Mart is

100 miles away, Matosky laughed. “I knew

that one coming in but I’m used to that now

so it doesn’t bother me.

“But – I can get my groceries here now!”

Advertisement


Video News
More In Homepage