Getting to Know Extension Agent Jenny Totten

Our “Getting to Know…” series introduces you to our extension educators, both professionally and a little personally, so you can learn more about the people helping to extend knowledge and change lives in your community. 

Jenny Totten is well-known throughout the Huntington, Charleston and McDowell County areas for her work in the community. She is an Extension Agent and Program Coordinator for 4H PLANTERS (Preschoolers Learning Agriculture, Nutrition, Technology, Engineering, Reading and Science). For the past two years, Jenny has worked with WVSU Extension Service’s preschool agriculture and STEM programs, and advised communities on youth agriculture projects.

A native of Loudendale, W.Va., Jenny got her BS in Aerospace Engineering (she’s literally a rocket scientist!), BFA in Music Composition and MS in Unmanned Systems – Robotics from Virginia Tech.

What was your job before you came to WVSU?
Hippie wanderer! I volunteered as a VISTA for four years, went to Haiti, basically did all those random things you do when you decide you don’t want to be an engineer anymore.

What is your favorite aspect of your job?
Those “aha” moments, whether it’s a 4-year-old or a 24-year-old.

If you weren’t working with Extension, what would your dream job be?
Farming, that’s no big secret. I have disc golf and goat and chicken farm agritourism dreams.

When you’re not at work, what can we find you doing?
Enjoying this beautiful state — hiking, kayaking, farming…basically anything outside.

Do you have any hidden talents?
Well, they wouldn’t be hidden anymore…I play the clarinet, French horn, drums and a host of other random instruments.

What was the last book you read?
Prodigal Summer by Barbara Kingslover. It’s probably my favorite.

Name your favorite city that you’ve visited.
Birmingham, AL.

What is the best meal you’ve ever had?
The meatloaf at Wedge in Lavalette, W.Va. — you should try it!

What is a “must see/must do” in your county?
I think the trails at Kanawha State Forest are pretty awesome!

If you have any questions for Jenny about what she does or how you can get involved with 4-H, contact her at jtotten@wvstateu.edu or (304) 356-1171.

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