December 4, 2008

40 years of service: Carpentier shares lessons learned

By Brenda L. Shelkey

"If you want time to pass quickly, keep busy and get involved." Those are the words of Pat Carpentier, McLean County Extension Office Agent since June 1, 1976. It has been the philosophy that he has lived by since he began working for the NDSU Extension Office just over 40 years ago. For Carpentier, time has passed quickly because he has enjoyed his job, the people, especially the young people, and the questions that have come across his desk over the years. He took the job of Extension Agent on Jan. 1, 1968, just after his graduation the previous Friday. His first job was working as the Ward County Assistant County Agent. Shortly after he began, he moved into the position of Griggs County Agent in Cooperstown where he stayed for about 10 years. Then in June of 1986, the McLean County Extension Agent position opened and Carpentier stepped in, just in time for the McLean County Fair preparations to be in full swing. Carpentier has been part of every McLean County Fair since then. The best part of the last 40 years for Carpentier has been the people. He lists them off, "The farmers, elevators, towns. But it is the kids that keep you going." The youth are the most fun for several reasons. For Carpentier, there is the obvious, "They keep you on your toes, keep you young." But there is more, "It is the openness of young people, the thought process of kids. You never know what they are going to say. And sometimes what they say is more right than we care to admit."

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