Getting to Know

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.

Getting to Know Assistant Program Director Kelli Batch

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.

Kelli Batch is the Assistant Program Director of Resilient Youth and Families. She oversees the Family & Consumer Sciences and 4-H Youth Development programs, while securing funding and partnerships for program and staff sustainability. Kelli has been a part of the State family for nine years. Originally from Dunbar, Kelli has a BA in psychology from WVU and an MA in Leadership Studies from Marshall University.

What was your job before you came to WVSU?
Bank teller.

What is your favorite aspect of your job?
Working with youth and impacting their lives through our programs.

If you weren’t working with Extension, what would your dream job be?
Owning a restaurant.

When you’re not at work, what can we find you doing?
Reading suspense novels, doing crafts with my children, cooking and watching movies.

Do you have any hidden talents?
Singing.

What was the last book you read?
The Street Lawyer by John Grisham.

Name your favorite city that you’ve visited.
Las Vegas.

What is the best meal you’ve ever had?
Parmesan crusted halibut and rice pilaf at Chop House.

What is a “must see/must do” in your county?
Explore the hiking trails or visit the casino.

If you have any questions for Kelli about what she does or how you can get involved with 4-H, contact her at kelli.batch@wvstateu.edu or (304) 766-4285.

 

Getting to Know Extension Agent Brad Cochran

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

Brad Cochran is an Extension Agent for Community and Agricultural Resource Development (CARD) located in Kanawha County but providing support to more than 20 counties throughout West Virginia. Brad focuses on small farmer and gardener education on topics relating to urban forestry, mushrooms, hops, pecans, small fruits and general non-traditional agricultural production. Originally from Winfield, Brad obtained his B.S. in forest resources management from West Virginia University in 2010 and his M.B.A. from Marshall University in 2014. Brad joined the WVSU Extension Service family in 2010.

What was your job before you came to WVSU?
This is actually my first job out of undergrad. I came to State as an extension associate and am now an agent.

What is your favorite aspect of your job?
My favorite aspect is getting to meet all of the people that I interact with through workshops, meetings, national conferences, etc., and learning more about them and what they do.

If you weren’t an extension agent, what would your dream job be?
I think this is my dream job! But if I had to choose another career to pursue, it would probably be a teacher/coach at a public school.

When you’re not at work, what can we find you doing?
My hobbies are hunting and fishing, watching sporting events both live and on TV and just generally spending time with my family.

Do you have any hidden talents?
Not really, but I spent four years playing trumpet in The Pride of West Virginia: The Mountaineer Marching Band at WVU.

What was the last book you read?
Gaining Ground by Forrest Pritchard.

Name your favorite city that you’ve visited.
New York City

What is the best meal you’ve ever had?
I’ve had lots of great meals, but perhaps the best I’ve ever had was at Crabs on the Beach at Pensacola Beach, Florida. I had Alaskan King Crab Legs with all the fixins’ and just thinking about it now makes my mouth water.

What is a “must see/must do” in your county?
Since I’m not a true county agent, I’ll go back to my home county – Jackson – and say that if you’ve never done it, you should do yourself a favor and go to Ripley for the Independence Day celebration, complete with a huge parade, carnival, music on the courthouse lawn and generally a town full of patriotism.

Although Brad’s office is located in Kanawha County, he can be found giving workshops throughout the state. If you have any questions for Brad about what he does or when his next workshop is scheduled, contact him at bcochran2@wvstateu.edu or (304) 541-3301.