She’s a bona fide country girl taking over the perfect position for someone of her lineage.

Sarah Chudalla is Navarro County’s newest extension agent, taking over primary responsibility for liaison with the area’s 4-H program.

From Wharton, Texas, Chudalla spent many years in the 4-H program herself and had a lot of interaction with county agents, so a job with the extension service was one always high on her list.

“Since I was so involved in (4-H and extension service) for 10 years, plus four years in college, I wanted to give back to the organizations that molded me and shaped me into the person I am today,” she said.

Even though she’s only 23 years old, Chudalla has plenty of experience with the agricultural life.

Her family still works the family farm, bought by her great-great-grandfather nearly a century ago after he emigrated to the United States from Germany. She grew up helping out the family with their hay production operation, a small cattle herd and a few horses.

She’s so country she even spent a college semester taking care of Elsie the Cow, the famous Borden’s Milk symbol.

Chudalla said she traveled around to fairs, milk plant and grocery store openings ... anything to do with the promotion of milk or Borden’s products ... with “Elsie and her entourage.”

Then a junior at Texas Tech, Chudalla set up Elsie’s traveling barn and gear, hung out with the famous bovine all day long, and answered questions from the public.

“It was interesting because we went to different places all the time,” she said. “There were always different people — elementary school kids, high school kids, grandparents. Every day you were in a different town and the people and the questions were different.”

Chudalla earned both her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from Texas Tech. Both degrees were in Agricultural Education. Her Bachelor’s also carried a minor in Natural Resource Management.

And she’s definitely well-rounded. Chudalla carries a Private Pesticide Applicators license as well as being certified as a Texas Hunter Education Instructor.

She’s certified as a teacher for grades six through 12. Chudalla has done student teaching in World Agricultural Science and Technology, two different courses of Agricultural Mechanics, Home Maintenance and Improvement, Introduction to Horticultural Science, and ... oh, by the way ... Agricultural Metal Fabrication Technology.

Chudalla is a member of the Vocational Agricultural Teacher Association of Texas, Wharton County Youth Fair Lifetime Member, American Quarter Horse Association, and the Texas Farm Bureau.

The collegiate organizations she participated in and belonged to mainly focused on agriculture and on most, Chudalla was an officer or committee chair.

Fortunately for Navarro County, good things are said about this area. That brought Chudalla to the courthouse and the extension service job here, rather than elsewhere.

“Navarro County has a great location within the state of Texas,” she said. “It came with great recommendations from district (extension service) specialists and from other county agents. It came with high regard.”

Sounds like the perfect match. The country girl with the great pedigree comes to the great rural county.

And maintaining the rural way of life is something she’s definitely interested in.

“It’s just a vital part of our everyday life,” Chudalla said. “I just want to make sure it doesn’t diminish and isn’t forgotten about.”


Loyd Cook may be reached via e-mail at

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