In Webster County
By LARRY KERSHNER
Farm News news editor
With two months experience under his belt, Max Dirks said he is settling into his new position as the Webster County executive director for Farm Services Agency.
“I’m fortunate,” Dirks said, “because I have a great staff and and a good director board.
“They take care of me and it has made for an easy transition. It’s a great organization.”
Dirks has shifted his ag education career to the FSA after teaching agriculture education for 11 years in the Van Buren Community School District in Van Buren County.
Dirks’ family is still in southeast Iowa. After his three children finish the current school year, he said, they will join him in Webster County.
His wife, Renee, is a mixed animal veterinarian, and his three children are Max Jarrett, 12, Geoffery, 10, and Adrianna, 8.
Dirks said he has found the new post is similar to his former teaching job. Namely that it requires “a lot of reading, checking papers and educating staff and clients.”
Dirks said he made the switch in order to eventually be able to spend more time with his family, especially as the children get older and more involved in school activities.
As FSA director, he said, “I can leave my work at work.”
He said he views his role in the overall ag industry as providing farmers with the tools to be successful through incentive payments and basic farm programs. “Farmers are the background of who we are as a country.
“If we had to import all of our food, we’d be in trouble.”
roughly 25 percent of Webster County producers enrolled in the new ACRE program, Dirks said. It’ll be another eight months yet before it’s certain if that move was the best for them at the time, in view of the problematic growing season.
Contact Larry Kershner at (515) 573-2141, ext 453, or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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