MIAMI — The only news to come out of Monday morning's meeting of the Ottawa County Commissioners was a big surprise.
Jeff Parmley, Oklahoma State University Extension Educator, will be leaving his post early next year to devote full time duties to his cattle operation.
“It's what I've always wanted to do,” said Parmley.
Officially his last day on the job is Jan. 19.
“Hopefully they can get someone in here without too much time,” Parmley said. “I wanted to give them plenty of notice and get the ball rolling. That way, the position doesn't sit empty too awful long.”
Parmley, who has held the position for almost six years, is a third-generation rancher in the Wyandotte area. He's a 1991 graduate of Wyandotte High School, a 1993 graduate of Northeastern Oklahoma A&M College.
Parmley received his bachelor's degree from Oklahoma State in 1995 and a masters in agriculture from OSU in 1997.
“I have learned a ton of stuff,” Parmley said. “You come to work and you never know what you are going to talk about today.”
Ottawa County OSU Extension director Kathy Enyart is hopeful that the position can be filled despite cuts in local budgets of $10,000. Even more and deeper cuts are expected the next couple of years.
“We will maybe have to make cuts in other places to meet the budget, but I think we will have the county's support to keep an ag educator,” she said. “We've cut a lot of our state staff due to funding from the state. We have cut on our district level and area specialist level, not replacing people. It's kind of a county-by-county situation as to how the budget is being handled.
Enyart said some counties in the southwest part of the state have had to make big cuts and share some personnel.
“We are fortunate in our area,” she said. “Most county budgets are doing pretty well.”
Enyart said Parmley submitted his letter of resignation on Dec. 7.
“It was a surprise,” Enyart said. We wish him well. His lifestock and his cattle operation are his love and his passion. He's got some personal goals that he's ready to work toward.”
“He provides a great service for the county,” commissioner Russell Earls said.
Monday's meeting lasted only about 10 minutes as commissioners handled routine business.
The next meeting will be at 9 a.m. on Monday, Dec. 21.